Fall Colors


We started out a bit on the monochromatic side, and although there were many days of rain and many more days when it was so humid it felt like there was no oxygen left in the world, we felt it would be worth it. And it was.

Chief among our about-to-be-Fall colors this year is green. We’re back to full-on enchanted broccoli forest status.


Travis does not believe there should be any time outs in ball play. Are we here to play ball, or not? What are we here for if not ball? Is your ball arm broken again? It looks ok to me! Can’t you even kick the ball? Could you get someone to come over and play ball, then?

But I was busy collecting colors. All that rain has inspired all the crape myrtles to bloom again, in all the colors.


I have one pale pink crape myrtle by the back door that doesn’t get enough sun to thrive, but I was lucky to capture a kitty portrait on one recent morning. Marco and Lucy sitting on a rain barrel, moments after he jumped down from the roof onto her head. (Lucy on the right.)


Mostly cats, but one little crape myrtle blossom.

A couple of days later I couldn’t tell whether I was glad to have that photo or not, because Lucy didn’t come home at 4 pm.

A neighbor who was walking by with her border collie knew what that meant as soon as I did. There is no good universe in which Lucy would not be home at 4 pm, because that is cat food time and Lucy is keeper of the internal cat food clock.

It was a Saturday and all I’ll say is I spent the weekend crying and picturing my Lucy being swept up and eaten by hawks. Posted a notice on NextDoor and naturally all our immediate and even distant neighbors went on the serious look-out. For once in my life I was glad to go to work Monday, because once I got myself under control and embarked on teaching at 11 am, I was fine until the drive home.

You know how when someone is first gone you can still hear and see them everywhere? Surely she’s right around this curve. Was that Lucy? Did I hear a meow? On and on and on, interspersed with visions of what the hawks must have done with her. Oh well, at least she has nurtured some wildlife is not the most comforting thought in the world.

Marco obviously missed her, looked for her, and stood in for her by giving me all the attention and snuggles Lucy usually provides. (Marco likes a very limited amount of physical affection, thank you very much, and ONLY when HE wants it.) Travis’s attitude was One down, one to go! Jerk.

It’s lucky I’m a crummy sleeper at the best of times. How else would I have heard those tiny meows outside my bedroom window at 2:30 Tuesday morning? At first I thought Marco was overdoing his Lucy substituting routine, but when it kept up I knew It wasn’t Marco.

I hurried out into the damp dark side yard, telling myself aloud that I was not dreaming. This was real. Oh but it must be that wild cat who likes to come by occasionally and drive Marco crazy. Oh but his meow is a whole lot…

And out she sprang from under the bushes, thin and panic-stricken, straight to me. I scooped her up and brought her into the house gasping with shock, disbelief, and joy. Floyd came out to see what the fuss was, and it took him a minute to believe it too.

Lacking a fatted calf, I gave Lucy and Marco a small can of wet cat food, handed a cookie to Travis, and headed back to bed. Good luck getting back to sleep, said Floyd. Which of course was impossible because Lucy and I were snuggling all the rest of the night, and I was petting her awake whenever she sounded frightened in her dreams. Kitties! Their number one rule in life is Do nothing that won’t make more trouble for the humans.

I told her she owes me 100 kisses for every time I pictured her with the hawks.

Fortunately the lantana are ready and waiting for the butterflies to come through and distract me from animal shenanigans.


Around the corner from our house, a hedge of color, Texas sage heavily purple and the autumn sage and Turks’ Cap a red riot.


I know I am hopelessly in love with lantana, but who can resist all its charms? My neighbors down the street have a beautiful flowerfall in their front yard.


I suffer terrible blue plumbago envy, might as well admit it. I have some in a back yard corner, but I’ve been so successful at nurturing a shady oasis, the B.P. never really thrives. So I took a photo of somebody else’s.


All over the ‘hood, terribly messy at this point (because beloved by birds) and astoundingly prolific (because beloved by birds), the American Beauty Berry is bowed down with vivid fruit.


I finally got a new project on the needles, as they say. Having given away my favorite self-made hat, I decided I needed a new one in case there’s some cold this coming winter. It’s not a whole lot of fun to knit with sweat running down one’s back, but last year my right hand still wasn’t up to it and now I’m glad it’s back.

I like knitting in the round, actually, and use circular needles even when I’m knitting flat because the needles are short and easier to hold. Knitting in the round you ordinarily hardly have to purl at all! Just knit round & round & round and the purl rows somehow magically create themselves. Why is purling so hard for me? This hat is worked in the round (good news) but involves a laborious amount of purling anyway (bad news for me). At least I know the end result to be worth it.

I’d like to say I was inspired by fall colors, but the truth is I was inspired by some leftover yarns from our amazing wonderful local yarn shop Hill Country Weavers. I’d bought a bouquet of skeins on sale last time niece Chris was down to visit, and they’d been waiting patiently ever since. And even though it’s 85 and extremely sauna-like here today, you just can’t tell in central Texas. It could freeze at any moment.

I’ll have to get busy if I want to be ready.


What are you making?


6 thoughts on “Fall Colors

  1. Looking at your beautiful garden and flowers and trees, I almost thought you were in Southern California. Who’d a thought? Texas??? Good for you. I grew up in El Paso, TX, but we didn’t have anything like you do.

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