Saturday, October 9, 2010

Hawthorn Bushes in the Valley

We haven't had the prettiest fall this year. Early on, the leaves on the hawthorne bushes turned brown and simply fell off. The aspens are trying to brighten the valley by turning yellow, but they're outnumbered by the varieties of fir trees around them. Valiant effort, though.

Many ranchers in the valley dig out the hawthorne bushes to get more land for growing grass for the cattle. We kept ours, as the amoung of land you recover for grazing is minimal and the bushes provide habitat and food for all kinds of wildlife. Also, in most years, the leaves turn a brilliant scarlet in the autumn, turning the valley into a picture worthy of the best nature painter's efforts.

The bears forage heavily on the berries, as they prepare for hibernation, and the birds also feast on them. I;ve been told the birds can actually get drunk on the berries and that could explain the lopsided flight patterns  several flickers, robins, and magpies have exhibited after dining on these dried fruits.

The hawthorn bush is indeed thorny and it's an excellent nesting place for the hummingbirds and other small birds who seek safety in its branches.


  1. It's been gorgeous this year. The leaves are in magnificent form right now. I love it.

  2. In Virginia, outside my window, it still looks like summer. It's still warm as well with highs in the upper 70s today. I love being in the woods and find it inspiring for writing.

    Where are you located?


  3. I live in Meadows Valley, in the western Rockies. Snow usually falls on Halloween but doesn't stick. Then like clockwork on Thanksgiving weekend the first serious storm hits and we're in snow until April.

  4. It's spring here, but a lot of rain. I've been trying to grow strawberries and spinach. It has been fun.

    My Darcy Mutates

  5. Hmmm. Wonder if the magpies have found a source around here. They sure have some raucous parties.