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Summer's over,
Now it's fall;
Just the nicest
Time of all.
                 ~ Lois Lenski
Good evening, Kibitzers! It's a little early yet here in northern New Jersey for fall foliage color, even though the equinox has come and gone. We're just starting to get touches of color on a few trees, and that's not unusual in recent years.

japanese maple turns red early

October and November are when it all happens nowadays. It's hard to keep track, because the past couple of years have brought strange autumn storms that have severely messed with the leaves, whether they were ready to fall or not. In 2011, we had that Halloween snowstorm, the only serious snow of the winter, that brought down a lot of trees because they were still in full leaf and got weighted down, leaving us with the World's Tallest Stump™.

downed trees in yard from sandy

oak trunk is world's tallest stump

In 2012, it was Hurricane Sandy, tearing through around the same time in October and doing with wind what had been accomplished with snow the year before. We're hoping for a quiet October this year!

Last year, I went out and shot a few pictures around October 23, even though most trees weren't cooperating yet (except for the eager little Japanese maples). I was about to go to New Mexico and Colorado for a couple of weeks, and I was afraid I'd miss the best color. Little did I know! I'm grateful my dad was okay here by himself; when I left, Sandy was still predicted to turn out to sea and amount to nothing.

So, since it is too early for foliage this year but I'm wanting to see some, here are my last year's fall color pictures, below the orange hurricane-shredded leaf.

view across the back yard

looking into the woods

yellow maples and blue sky

black eyed susan asters
japanese maple orange

japanese maple orange and yellow

japanese maple red and orange

japanese maple leaning left

japanese maple all red

Among the things I didn't know was, this would be about the last I'd see of the two giant evergreens that had been growing in front of my dad's house for 60 years or so, seen in the picture below with trunks flanking the little red maple. When we moved there in 1960, they were maybe six feet tall -- dad strung Christmas lights on them without a ladder. In 2012, they were tall enough for Sandy to have dropped one onto the neighbor's car in the driveway next door. In their day, they gave some shade and a place that birds liked to nest, but given the storms of these days of climate change, we're lucky they fell away from the house and we think it was probably for the best that they left us.

red japanese maple between big evergreens

And, below the red maple and to the right of the rightmost tree trunk, you can see that the evergreen has not left us without a trace. Here's a close-up of the now-orphaned baby. Whoever's here in 60 years will just have to deal with it, because it's way too cute to harm now.

baby evergreen

Kitchen Table Kibitzing is a community series for those who wish to share part of their evening around a virtual kitchen table with kossacks who are caring and supportive of one another. So bring your stories, jokes, photos, funny pics, music, interesting videos, and so forth. We would also appreciate links—including quotations—to diaries, news stories, and books that you think this community would appreciate.

Please note that pie fights will be unwelcome in this community, just as in most other series at DKos.

Finally, readers may notice that most who are posting diaries and comments in this series already know one another to some degree, but that definitely does not mean that newcomers will be excluded or unwelcome. We're happy to welcome guests to our kitchen table, and hope to make some new friends as well.

KTK posts nightly at 5:00 Pacific, 6:00 Mountain, 7:00 Central, 8:00 Eastern.

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