1 As you can see from this photo, many leaves are missing from the trees and the colors are just not spectacular this autumn.
2 Leaves are dropping, but most are dropping brown.
3 Polystichum acrostichoides, or Christmas fern - I love this fern because of its evergreen nature.
4 If you look carefully, you'll come across some colorful leaves on the ground.
5 My iconic sycamore tree, the symbol of the farm - its leaves turning brown with anthracnose
6 A nice view of one of the three hayfields on the farm
7 The stream beds never dried up this year, as is usually the case.
8 Some color here
9 A closer look at a sugar maple
10 The Japanese maple grove is just beginning to take on some color.
11 Because it's been so moist with rainfall, there have been many interesting displays of mushrooms. I came across this amazing display along the edge of the farm.
12 Mushrooms are not always easy to identify, but these look like Shaggy Mane.
13 Shaggy mane are at first cylindrical, gradually expanding as their gills begin to liquefy.
14 The caps are covered with flat scales.
15 As the cap expands, it turns from white to inky black and actually begins to drip.
16 Eventually, only the stalk remains.
17 This is a bald cypress, one of a stand that grows near the bulb and fern garden.
18 Bald cypress is a very popular ornamental tree, grown for its light, feathery foliage and orange-brown fall color.
19 The white pines are dropping a shroud of needles, which is common in the fall.
20 I like how the needles look when they fall.
21 The chicken yard is carpeted in needles.
22 As they drop, many needles are caught by the chicken wire fencing.
23 Eventually, strong gusts of wind blow them away. White pine needles grow in fascicles, or bundles, of five.
24 Recently, I decided to allow my chickens to have free range in the cutting garden, which suffered from insect problems.
25 The chicken coops are adjacent to the cutting garden and I had a couple of little doors built, allowing them entrance during the daytime.
26 They really seem to enjoy this change of scenery.
27 Chickens, like many birds, love eating insects and they're having a good time scratching around in here.
28 The hens peck while the roosters take watch.
29 Because this is an open-top garden, the Pomeranian geese are menacing to any hawk that might swoop down.
30 The geese don't like intruders of any kind.
31 G.K. basking in the sun - This brilliant potted tree is a Japanese stewartia, which holds its leaves for quite a while.
32 This is also a stewartia - It adds great color to the landscape.
33 More colorful foliage in the autumn belongs to Cotinus, or smoke bush.
34 These are some of the squash and gourds that grew on the clematis pergola.
35 Gyurme keeps on top of the gutters by cleaning them out once a month.
36 This is Wilmer, hand-sharpening some hedge pruners.
37 He also applied a couple of drops of a general-purpose oil into the joint area.
38 When you have so many boxwood shrubs to prune, as we do at the farm, you want your trimmers to be sharp and working smoothly.
39 Meanwhile, Shaun was busy with a different kind of pruning job on my long row of Rose of Sharon. These mature flowering shrubs haven't been doing very well.
40 Shaun, who is an expert pruner, thought that these shrubs needed a special practice of rejuvenation and reduction pruning, which opens the shrub up at the top, letting in more light.
41 This type of pruning stimulates the epicormic buds, which lie dormant beneath the bark. This rather harsh pruning triggers the plant's hormones to stimulate new growth.
42 As you can see, quite a bit is removed, but by reducing the shrubs height, you also maintain its structure. I should say that this is a professional practice and not something everyone should try.
43 On another day of warmer temperatures, Wilmer was busy mulching around the trees in my pinetum.
44 This is gorgeous composted mulch made right here at the farm.
45 This Japanese larch is growing in the pinetum. Like the metasequoia and the bald cypress, the larch is a deciduous coniferous tree.
46 The needle-like leaves turn bright yellow to orange before they fall in the autumn.
47 These granite posts have been stacked outside the cold house.
48 The posts will be used to frame in the growing area of the cold house, with gravel around the perimeter.
49 The beds are growing beautifully with a winter crop of vegetables. You may recall that crops are grown in the ground in this house, which is minimally heated in the winter.
50 Potted tomato plants are growing nicely.
51 Ryan grew many varieties of tomatoes from seed.
52 All of the urns that remain outdoors for the winter need to be emptied. Shaun is wrestling with one of two century plants that grew like crazy in my matching pair of Kenneth Lynch urns.
53 Shaun will need to find different pots for these plants.
54 This heated hoop house is filled with tropical plants.
55 Another, larger hoop house is in the process of being built for all of my citrus collection and other large tropicals. It will be completed in a couple of days and I will share that story with you.
56 Another misty morning in Bedford
57 The landscape is certainly looking like winter is approaching.
58 The adorable miniature donkeys - Clive, Billy, and Rufus