1 With only a few days left of summer, you can see how the fields and trees are not as verdant as they have been, as autumn begins to emerge.
2 It was such a crisp and vibrant morning and I thought it was time for a tour around the farm. This is the equipment barn.
3 Hurricane Irene blew off a lot of tree leaves. You can see from the lengthening shadows that the sun is lower on the horizon. Shorter days are coming!
4 This white pine is still emerald green, but with one good cold snap, many of its needles will begin to yellow.
5 The trees surrounding the lower hayfield are showing signs of colder temperatures.
6 Ginkgo biloba trees are especially attractive in the autumn because their foliage turns a deep golden yellow.
7 It is said that the ginkgo is the oldest tree in the world and that it existed more than 200 million years ago. Throughout history the ginkgo has been prized for its medicinal and culinary uses.
8 The leaves of the ginkgo biloba are uniquely fan-shaped. Treatment for short-term memory loss is just one of many medicinal uses for the extract derived from the leaves. Roasted ginkgo nuts are a delicacy in China.
9 In April of 2009, I planted this field of 640 Christmas trees with Jeff Sutherland, who runs a Christmas tree farm in Elk Creek, Virginia. These trees are now more than seven years old.
10 This tree in the wetlands has turned color rather rapidly.
11 But not these tall sugar maples, which, I hope, will turn brilliant again this autumn.
12 Goldenrod is blooming around the perimeter of the little pond. Goldenrod is often blamed for causing allergies, but this is a misnomer. Ragweed, which blooms at the same time and often alongside goldenrod is the culprit.
13 Ragweed's flowers are pale green and blend in with the foliage. When ragweed releases its pollen, goldenrod is blamed because it's the plant that's noticed.
14 Ragweed's pollen is lightweight and spread by the wind. Goldenrod's pollen is heavy and sticky and can't be blown by the wind. The flowers are pollinated by insects.
15 This is one plant that won't be changing color. It's a native Christmas fern, which has an evergreen nature.
16 Cotinus, or smoke bush, whose summer flowers give the appearance of smoke, has beautiful fall color.
17 Crocus are blooming? No, these are not crocus, but colchicum.
18 Despite its common names of autumn crocus and meadow saffron, colchicums are neither crocus nor saffron, but are members of the lily family.
19 Cosmos are late-bloomers.
20 And many of my hosta plants are flowering away.
21 Autumn is time for round puffballs, mushrooms whose interior is composed of spore-bearing flesh.
22 This is the brilliant fruit of a crabapple tree and are closely related to apple trees grown for fruit. The main difference is that crabapple fruit is 2-inches in diameter or less, like these tiny ones.
23 This is the fruit of of an ornamental tree called styrax, or fragrant snowbell, which produces 6 to 8-inch-long clusters of fragrant, white, bell-shaped flowers from may May to June.
24 My pair of Black Welsh Mountain sheep are growing nice, thick coats for the winter.
25 Hello, sweet little ram!
26 Squash and gourds continue to grow along the pergola.
27 This birdhouse gourd is forming nicely.
28 The Zucchetta have gotten so long!
29 The golden raspberry bushes are still producing sweet fruit.
30 A pumpkin in the pumpkin patch
31 Another variety of pumpkin
32 We just wrapped another Halloween special at the farm and the chickens get to eat all of the pumpkin decorations. The beta-carotene in the flesh turns their egg yolks brilliant yellow.
33 It's another bumper crop of apples this year.
34 For some reason, the fruit is smaller, but.....
35 Abundant, which seems like an understatement!
36 The crew picked just a few.
37 Gyurme was busy washing and sorting.
38 The best apples will be used to make applesauce, pies, crisps, and apple cider.
39 The not-so-good apples never go to waste! They are saved for the chickens.
40 Apple seeds, as well as the pits of stone fruits like peaches, do contain trace amounts of cyanide, but not enough to hurt the chickens. Apples are an occasional treat that the chickens seem to love!