Peak Foliage and Rose Hips

Yesterday the foliage was at its best. This is what peak color looks like.

I did not use photoshop to enhance the color. Did I mention the cloudless perfectly blue sky? Stand under a maple tree and the sunlight streams in like stained glass.

Not all trees are blazing orange. Some are yellow.

The colors are so outrageous that a tree this red, with green highlights, looks subtle!

Trees aren’t the only plants changing color. Poison ivy is so prettily red that I worry that people who don’t  know better will pick it. Ferns are a subdued, soft ochre. Where once roses bloomed pink, there are now red rose hips.

The foliage fireworks aren’t going to last. Thunderstorms, rain and wind are predicted tonight. But the rose hips will remain for awhile longer. I’ve never made rose hip tea, have you? What about jelly? I’ve read about it, but never even tasted any. I’d like to try. Leave a comment and let me know what you do with rose hips.



  1. WOW!!!
    What a wonderful way to start the day here in the library. Thank you, Terry.
    Would you mind sharing what kind of camera you use? Your shots are always amazing.

    Temecula has fall colors too. They are not as beautiful. First we need fall weather. : )

  2. In Britain you can buy rose hip syrup, sweet and high in vitamin C, & it can be added to milk. That didn’t taste so great to me, but it was good added to other drinks. If you have a bush with large rose hips, try using them. They do have a lot of vitamin C.

  3. Wow, those colours are amazing. In England we get lovely autumn colours but not set against deep blue, clear blue sky like that. The first photo is mind blowing.

  4. Hi Terry! I just found your blog and LOVE it! Totally off topic but I was wondering how much feed your gems go through and how fast? I have 10 pullets and they make such a mess of their feed. I feel like they go through a 30 lb feeder in a week. Just wondering how normal that is. Thanks! And thanks for your hencam, its so fun watching it with my kids.

    • Welcome! I have a FAQ about feeding. Generally one hen eats about 4 to 6 ounces of food a day. If hens free-range, then some of that will come from what they forage. Mine eat only 3 ounces of pellets a day. But let’s say your hens are only getting pellets. For 10 hens that about 25 pounds a week. It does sound like there is wast. So, here are some questions to ask: is the food good quality or does it turn to dust? Is it moldy or bad so they are throwing it on the ground? Are they throwing it on the ground because it’s a mixture of grains and they’re only eating one type and wasting the rest? Is the feeder hanging at the wrong height so they eat messily? Lot’s of clues – I’m sure you’ll find the answer.

  5. Your photos are fabulous. and…OMG…I just remembered i have one of those nikon coolpix things, but it’s not a 500, whatever that is. if it’s anything it’s an 800 (number on the front). it’s so much smaller than the big, heavier panasonic lumix i have sitting on my table here sending me guilt rays whenever I go out and leave it behind.

    I wonder if there’s any poison ivy with gorgeous red berries around here? one of my brothers, who lived in NJ for a while, said the p.i. was the best-looking plant/tree in their yard. chore for the day? looking up p.i., then going to look for some, photographing with this little nikon coolpix all the way.

    Thanks for your inspiring blog!

    • It’s lighter than my earlier compacts! Has a great zoom function, and also close-up. I had a little one like yours, and that was good, too. Be careful photographing the poison ivy. I swear that I just have to look at it to break out in a rash.

  6. My favorite time of the year. I try to enjoy every second of it. Now out to clean the pond pump one more time before winter.

  7. Beautiful pictures Terry. We have several maple trees in our yard, some have golden leaves others orange or red.
    Fall is my favorite season. The spectacular colors, the smell of the fallen leaves and the lovely music of the crickets and tree frogs chirping on warm sunny days. I hate to see it end knowing that soon there will be snow and ice and cold dreary days. I have never made rosehip tea either. This summer my rugosa rose bushes were loaded with beautiful hips. Until this summer I didn’t know that they were edible. I picked a hip and took a nibble and to my surprise it was really good. Tasted sort of like a sweet peach. I found a jelly recipe and couldn’t wait to try it, but the wild critters ate most of the hips before they were fully ripe. I did manage to pick a few handful of hips which I put into a jar and filled with some local honey. I use it in my tea or sometimes just scoop out a hip and eat it with some of the honey. If you want to eat the whole hip you have to cut it open and scrape out the seeds they have little hairs on them and are not edible. It’s very time consuming but is worth the trouble.

    • What a wonderful idea, to use the hips to flavor honey! I wonder if they would also perfume sugar.Then use that to dust pies…

  8. Love the fall colors. Because most of our native trees are evergreens, deciduous tree fall foliage really stands out against the dark background, but mostly these are planted in people’s yards. This year I suspect our ‘color season’ will be short. Just starting to look showy in the last week, and then this morning the first snow. That’s about it, folks.
    In the hen yard the newbies are looking suspiciously at the white stuff, while the old girls are ignoring it, dashing out to snag the morning sprouted grain treats before the new kids get over their fear.
    I made rose hip jam a million years ago, and I remember it was the most glorious iridescent rose-pink color, thick enough you could eat it with a spoon, and absolutely delicious. Alas, I can’t remember where I got the rose hips, but I mainly remember is that although I started with what seemed like a LOT of hips, when it all cooked down I got about a half pint. I’m sure I got the idea and the recipe from a recipe in the old, old Organic Gardening magazine – does anyone remember the small, original version with the newsprint pages? That was back when Ruth Stout was still alive and writing a regular column. I think J.I. might have still been alive too.

  9. Gorgeous pictures! I have to agree with Ken, fall is the best time of year (with the exception of the aroma of manure that people here in S.Cal spread all over their lawns every October…)

    As for rose hips, I always enjoy the tea, purchased at the health food store. There’s a rose especially bred for hip production in the “One Green World” catalog for those who want to grow their own.

  10. Hi Terry,

    When I saw the rose hips photo, it reminded me of a BBC series that is currently on YouTube (probably not suppose to be there, but there you go). It is Wartime Farm. IN one of the episodes, they picked rose hips and made a syrup.