Yellow foliage of Rugosa rose with red leaves of ornamental cherry in background

Leaves and Berries

Around here, leaf-drop happens in November, often along with wind and rain. Southeast winds blow as rainstorms arrive and stiff westerlies as they leave. Northeast winds bring cold air from the British Columbia interior. All these winds mean the leaves from the several trees (maples, ailanthus, and birch) that surround my garden are distributed throughout the neighbourhood. But there are always enough of them to swell the compost pile.

This fall was relatively windless, so the leaves fell close to home. The compost pile is overflowing, with the surplus piled up on the side of the driveway for pickup by the municipality.

Huge pile of leaves on compost heap
Leaves piled up for collection, OTBT in backgroun

Last Tuesday, the winds arrived. First from the southeast, and then the west. Result: a mess. Yet another major raking session was needed. I topped up both compost pile and the pile to be collected. While raking, I noticed leaves from parts unknown, i.e., from trees in other parts of the neighbourhood.

On the other hand, autumn leaves can be quite photogenic.

Yellow maple leaf caught in ornamental grass Pennisetum alopecuroides "Little Bunny"
Maple leaf captured by ornamental grass Pennisetum alopecuroides “Little Bunny.”
Red leaves of Bergenia cordifolia
Leaves of Bergenia cordifolia turning red for winter.
Yellowing foliage of irises and asters in front garden November 2022
Iris and aster foliage yellowing in style.
Red/orange berries of Cotoneaster franchetti
Berries of Cotoneaster franchetti. They’ll be gobbled up by birds soon.
Cotoneaster franchetti twigs, leaves, and branches against blue sky
Since the leaf-redistributing windstorm, we’ve had some chilly blue sky days.
Last few leaves on Magnolia branches against blue sky, with hummingbird
The last few leaves clinging to the magnolia. There’s a hummingbird in the middle of the photo, next to the little cloud. It looks like another leaf!

Meteorological winter is here! It certainly feels like it today, with the temperature hovering around the freezing point.


  1. Gorgeous pictures, Audrey
    Our magnolia trees keep their leaves all winter which has me wondering if yours are a different type of magnolia than ours. They are often included in fancier Christmas wreaths.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Pat. There are lots of magnolia types. Some are deciduous. I see some of the evergreen types in the neighbourhood. They are small trees rather than large shrubs like mine.


      1. Some our evergreen types are quite large. My father had one in his front yard in San Diego, his daily exercises was getting out of his chair and picking the leaves up after they fell on the lawn.

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        1. I guess the leaves dribble down all year round, sort of like madronas (also known as arbutus), a broadleaf evergreen tree that grows out here. Beautiful trees, but the leaves can accumulate and are quite slippery when they collect on a slope.

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  2. Bring the rain, we beseech the myriad weather gods, we’ve had enough of this “clear and cold”. Cast over your dreary blanket of clouds. These chill nights and days, their dry, cutting winds, suck the heat from our backs, leave our noses dripping. At least with the clouds, the mercury will rise, a bit. And a bit is all we need.

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    1. Thanks, Liz. There are quite a few different types of magnolia, including ones that drop their leaves. I think mine is a variety of lily-flowered magnolia, whose name is “Susan.” (Lost the label years ago.)

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  3. I managed to rake together some leaves and grass clippings before we hit frigidity, and underneath their blanket of snow, there’s still just enough heat to keep then from freezing. I love mulch in the winter. 😀

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  4. I couldn’t resist posting this little poem as it sums up my dislike of the cold weather. From my tiny book of freebie poems ‘words and other stuff’ free on smash etc.


    Don’t talk to me about the way of the world and all that global warming.
    I’m up to here with the doom and the gloom and I’m here to give you fair warning.
    I’m sitting here and it’s ten below, icicles hanging off my nose,
    There’s a hole in the roof and it’s starting to snow, and I’ve frostbite on my toes.
    So if the temperature rises a degree or three, forgive me for saying so, but that suits me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! I can relate, Gary. I used to live in a place where -40C and blizzards were routine winter events. Even here on the west coast of Canada, temperatures lower than -5C feel extreme. That’s the thing about climate change, though–weather patterns are less predictable and extremes happen more often.
      Stay warm!


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