I Miss Fall

Photos taken in mid-December

I always get a little sad after the holidays–they go by so fast!

Anniversary. Thanksgiving. Christmas. Birthday.

Then, nothing but winter blah. The yard is naked and vulnerable without the cover of leaves. Everything looks dead, and it feels like we are all just waiting for spring.

It makes me miss fall. Especially this year–the color was more beautiful than ever. I never remember our pecan trees looking so golden. I suspect it had something to do with the drought.

I’m trying not to dwell on the winter deadness. At least we had such a beautiful fall. And  our winter has been mild compared to last year. The yard might be ugly now, but the weather is nice enough to want to be outside. The great outdoors are good for my soul and for curing these winter blues. It’s good for Tice’s soul, too. Kids need to be outside as much as possible. (I’m an expert, and that’s my professional opinion.)

Here are the last fall photos I took before the leaves fell…

These are cuttings from a Chinese Tallow. It’s a horribly invasive weed tree that just pops up in the yard and flowerbeds, but the fall color it displays makes it almost worth keeping it around. It seems like I always miss one or two of them each year, and my reward is autumn hues that are usually rare in our part of the country.

Even though I’ve been familiar with the weed for a while, I never knew what it was called until I took these pictures and wanted to include it in a post. I went to my good friend Google and typed “Texas weed tree looks like aspen.” And then I thanked Jesus for the interwebs, because I immediately found out that it is Chinese Tallow. I became an expert, just like that (I just snapped my fingers for emphasis. Not really, but I thought it.).

Oh, and it really does remind me of Aspen–not just because of the fall color, but the grayish-white trunk, the way it spreads by shallow (but strong) runners, and the way the spade-shaped leaves rustle in the wind.

If it wasn’t so invasive, I’d just let it grow. But, to give you an idea of its nasty nature (if you haven’t already battled it in your own yard), it spreads by berries and runners, but it also has an evil trick up its sleeve–its decomposing leaves (that were just so beautiful and golden-red) are toxic to other plants! This beast isn’t playin’ around.

Supposedly the tree doesn’t mature enough to make berries until its third year, so as long as I cut it down or dig it up before then, some of its invasive nature is kept at bay.

And these leaves shouldn’t poison any other plants as long as they drop on our copper bar top.

Only 63 days till spring. Not that I’m counting or anything…


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