Thursday, November 18, 2010

Autumnal Colors, South Florida Style!

I've been inspired by the blog pictures of many people who have been cataloguing Autumn up in the upper 48 states: Dave Bonta has a great photoessay that takes us on a hike and Sherry O'Keefe shows us a weathered face of autumn. I routinely lament the lack of Autumn colors down here in southernmost Florida, but this week it occurs to me that we have gorgeous Fall colors, just not traditional ones.

So, I decided that it was time to take out the camera, to meditate on God's grandeur in a non-Brit-Lit part of the world.

This time of year, our yards are covered with a beautiful carpet of lavender flowers. From a distance, if you squint, it looks like snow. Natives call this groundcover clover, but it's nothing like the clover we'd use to make clover chains in a different part of the world.

Who says we don't have traditional Fall colors? Here's our orange--sure it's more lurid than your maple trees, but beautiful still.

I remember when I first realized what a florist in a different part of the country would charge to add birds of paradise to a floral arrangement. I thought, wow, those grow in my yard, and they spread like weeds!

Bougainvillea--the quintessential tropical tree. We used to have one that bloomed year-round, in a much more vivid pink than the one pictured. We lost that tree in the horrible hurricane season of 2005. I mourned it more than most trees, and it was one of the first that we replaced.

And now we look ahead to the next season. If you look at the above picture, you'll see it's a poinsettia bush! My spouse took one of the ubiquitous Christmas Eve poinsettias home and planted it in the yard. It's done beautifully as a green bush, but we wondered if it would turn colors. In other states, there's an elaborate procedure that involves putting a bag over the plant and putting it in a closet--something about that process tells the plant to change color. A few weeks ago, our outdoor plant began the change without all the fuss. Fascinating!


Dave said...

Glad my photos helped spark this response! You know, as often as I've read about bougainvillea, I still don't have a clear mental image of it, so thanks for that photo especially.

Wendy said...

Nice post. I have to admit I get so used to our flora that sometimes I forget its beauty in the wistfulness of not having that perfect image of changing leaves. We have birds of paradise and bougainvillea in our yard, too. Lovely. I especially love birds of paradise.

Sherry O'Keefe said...

hey, what a treat to read about FL autumn in your post (and to be included in your links!)

i esp like the shot of orange contrasting with the turquoise swing set. good eye! envious about that carpet of lavender...

Kristin said...

Thanks, everyone, for stopping by and commenting!