Thursday, October 11, 2007

Halloween Preparations

Many of my neighbors have already decorated their gardens and porches for Halloween by adding pumpkins, spiders, ghosts and scarecrows. My only nod to the season so far is a sweet ivy a friend gave me that I surrounded with gourds and baby pumpkins for my table...

I have noticed the local nurseries are getting in the All Hallows Eve Spirit, though. I love the pumpkin patch at Red Barn Nursery.

I plan to take my son there this week to pick out his favorite pumpkin. I liked these wrinkly pumpkins the best.

Not far away, this black & white Jumping spider, (Phidippus audax) almost seemed in costume as s/he waited for lunch on the sedum.

Jumping spiders are some of my favorites because they are small (and so not scary to me) and they seem curious and brave without being aggressive. They will often check out a person by turning towards them instead of running away. I've never been bitten by a jumping spider in all my years of examining them. The little guy I watched above had beautiful, neon-green mandibles that unfortunately did not show up in my photographs.

I walked outside this morning to see what other visitors were in my garden. I found the bees busy as usual on the passionflowers.

The butterflies are showing their appreciation as well.

Two new mystery mushrooms (or are the toad-stools?) have appeared and beneath the short wrought-iron fence.

And I have the best kind of rose: a visitor from my neighbor's garden that has leaned over and through the fence to say "Hello".

"Our highest assurance of the goodness of Providence seems to me to rest in the flowers. All other things, our powers, our desires, our food, are all really necessary for our existence in the first instance. But this rose is an extra. Its smell and its color are an embellishment of life, not a condition of it. It is only goodness which gives extras, and so I say again that we have much to hope from the flowers." ~ from The Naval Treaty by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


Anonymous said...

I heard there was a pumpkin shortage this year, Dawn, but Red Barn's selection looks pretty good. How are their prices on pumpkins?

Dawn said...

Hi Pam!
I didn't know about the pumpkin shortage. Now that you mention it the prices were a bit high. Maybe that is the reason.

Happy Samhain Prep,

Priscilla George said...

Wow so many pumpkins! That passionflower is beautiful. I admire how unique they look and so colorful. The picture of the rose peeking through the fence made me life. I love seeing what others are planting.

Dawn said...

Hi Vanillalotus!
Thanks for dropping by to say, "Hello!" It's good to 'meet' another Texas Garden Blogger.

Happy Gardening!

Anonymous said...

There is something about a display of pumpkins when it is still in the 90s that seems wrong to me. I'm glad it finally cooled down to the 80s...but pumpkins still seem wrong in this climate.

One October we visited West Point NY and they were having a fall festival with all the local apple growers and plenty of pumpkins and preserves. Now that seemed right.

Mary said...

Your autumn decorations are so pretty! Over hear in NC, our pumpkins patches have dried up and the ones you can purchase cost a small fortune. We only bought three this year.

Jumping spiders scare me because they JUMP! LOL!

Dawn said...

I know what you mean. It took me a long time to get used to a relatively warm Christmas as well. I find myself turning the temp down in the house on warm Thanksgivings & Yules. Not very environmentally thoughtful of me, but my Northern blood demands it. ;-)

Hello Mary!
As long as the spiders are little or live in a web I'm okay. I have a hard time with wolf spiders inside because they jump and have long hairy legs that really creep me out. We still try to stick to a "capture and release" method in the house, though.

Sorry your pumpkin patches dried up. That drought has really impacted so many people and crops. Here's hoping good rain will come your way very soon.


Annie in Austin said...

They were 78 cents per pound at one store - is that high? It sounds high to me!

It's not easy to get in the mood for fall decor down here, where most of the brightly colored autumn leaves are silk, and on a garland from Hobby Lobby ;-]

Your passionvine is a knockout, Dawn - mine's just sitting there, all leaves.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

A wildlife gardener said...

Those pumpkins are amazing. Great colour too. And how fantastic to be able to grow passion flowers outdoors :)