Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Fall Ball...and a Birthday on the Horizon!

Fall collage 11-26-11 by sparrow72
Fall collage 11-26-11, a photo by sparrow72 on Flickr.
A touch of Autumn in Fort Worth, Texas!
Here, here... I offer up my fall collage with Cherry Laurel, Pecan tree leaves on the ground, Chinaberry, Crepe Myrtle, and Pansies in the background.

Hi everyone!  You too, Laura!  Well, I've got a few fall photos that I can honestly say came from MY YARD!  Actually, most of my fall photos have come from my yard and neighboring yards.  So, what do we have here?  You see the photo in the lower left corner?  I'd like to bring your attention to this gangly shaped tree called the 'Chinaberry'.  This tree is actually on the fence row, but on the inside of my neighbor's house (who, by the way, chooses not to trim it back).  It began as a sprout that was probably carried in by a bird about 15 years ago.  These trees grow fast!  And when it puts on it's leaves in the spring, they loom over our house, but they have a lovely, shimmery, and flowing appearance.  Then, in the fall, the leaves just DROP to the ground, whilst the berries are forming.  The berries later turn yellow, and then brown, but do stay on the tree for most of the winter.

I found out that this is actually an invasive weed...brought to us from Asia in the 1700's, and, surprisingly enough, it is disease and insect free.

In Fort Worth, we see sprinklings of Chinaberry everywhere, offering much needed shade in the summer.  We have even planted a few of the seeds in pots and watched them grow.  They grow fast in the pots, but stop growing at a few feet and need to be transplanted into the ground for better success.  The article I read states that Chinaberry grows along Florida's road sides, and in forests and marshes, their rapid growth replacing vegetation in those areas.
The Chinaberry does bloom in the spring, and the blooms are said to be fragrant, but I have never indulged in the fragrance myself.  According to the link in my previous paragraph, the fruits are poisonous to humans and other mammals-well, I've never tasted the berries, but I've considered cutting some clumps, drying them out, then spraying them silver and gold, or bronze to use in Christmas arrangements!  I think that would really add to a tablescape, don't you?  I guess I'd have to include a little card saying, "Look, but don't sample the berries"!

The article also states that the leaf debris adds alkaline to the soil that can be advantageous to species that thrive in alkaline soil-it's a good thing there's not much else around this tree, because the leaf droppage is major!  Below is a upview that Karo captured showing a massive amount of the berries at the top of the tree.  Berries anyone?

There are berries on every branch of this tree!
photo by Karo * November 29, 2011


HEY!  Who does this guy remind us of?  Nooo...not Elvis!
Michael Delaney * Mark Twain Impersonator and Defender
since 1998

This man recently spoke to the Junior class at Bozeman High School in Montana about Mark Twain's writings.  I believe he is from Missoula, Montana.  He defends the writings of Mark Twain.  A new version of 'Huck Finn' was published, just this year, eliminating the 'N'.....word, replacing it with the word 'slave'.  Although, Mr. Delaney does agree that the racial slur 'N' word is offensive, he's not sure that the 'slave' word is totally appropriate either.  And, I think his reasoning makes a lot of sense.

He quotes:
Slave is almost the right word, but it is inadequate to bring to mind “an owner who is content to work, beat and starve another human being to death,” he said.
“The difference between the right word and almost the right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug,” he said, using a favorite saying of Twain’s.

For the last 126 years, people have been trying to ban and/or censor the 'Adventures of Huckleberry Finn'.  This is an American classic, written by an American, who lived through these times, and was intelligent and gutsy enough to share his thoughts with the world.  I know, I know...I said all of this in a previous post this year that I named Dear Mark Twain...We're Not Gonna Let Them Mess Up Your Work! (written on January 6, 2011).  But, I'm glad to find a person such as Michael Delaney, who works to keep these writings alive!  And, Delaney's right...every time the book was banned it was worth another 25,000 sales!

November 30th marks the 176th year of Mark Twain's birth.  I want to thank Mr. Twain for his contributions to our American heritage, and,

Let's keep it going...Happy Birthday Mark Twain!
Mark Twain * November 30, 1835 ~ April 21, 1910

"It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid
than to open it and remove all doubt."
~Mark Twain

I guess it's time to close...I'm sure I've said enough.  Thank you, my fond readers for stepping across the web to see what I'm up to.  Aren't the seasons just flying by?  Halloween, Thanksgiving, and now, Saint Nick is preparing for his flight in just a few short weeks. 
And, then, YAH!!! The New Year  2012!

Please be safe and happy!

Thanks to:
Mark Twain, of course
Mr. Michael Delaney
My Husband Karo
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle
The Christian Science Monitor

The Fall Ball

Summer steamed in with its almighty drought,
Lending not much desire for rousting about.
Yay!  Autumn's appeared...she answered our call!
Put your dancin' boots on, and join the Fall Ball!
~penned by Suzanne * November 29, 2011 


  1. Hi, Susan! Your blog My Texas Gardens still does not appear on my list of blogs I'm following and your name and picture do not appear on my followers roster. I joined this second blog of yours in hopes that Blogger will finally take the hint and get our blogs connected properly! (LOL)

  2. Hi Shady! Welcome aboard! Maybe this will help you get to the right place. I usually just click on your icon that's on my sidebar, because one day you're on my list-the next day you're not. Today, you were actually on my preview of new posts! Every now and again I post some music history on this blog. You may find my post "And The Beat Goes On...on...on, (or something like that) interesting. Have a good evening!

  3. hey susan!! yay!! AUTUMN!! first off...Happy Birthday to ole mark twain!! and my thoughts on censorship...or changing the wording...NO!! what a person his expression. he was speaking in HIS HIS time...and should be left alone! they shouldn't be 'putting words in his mouth'....

    the chinaberry, huh?? i've heard the name...with the looks of the amount of little berries all over...i bet it gets COVERED in flowers!! and it's fast growing too?? i'm gonna have to look in to that!! maybe you can mail me some seeds!! :) i saw a rattlebox tree axcross in the bloom...beautiful little bright orange flowers...invasive too, bit i didn't care! i took some seed pods and am hoping i'll get at least ONE to grow!!
    i'll go check out that link for the chinaberry and look for pic's of the flowers...i'm sure i've seen it...but i can't think what it looks like!

    Love your pLaNt collage!! :)

  4. Hi Laura! Karo says he'll pick some of the Chinaberry berries/pods,to send you. He has planted them in pots, and they spring up all over the fence rows-fast growers! And I have never seen a tree so loaded with berries as this one is.

    As for my buddy Mark Twain...YES!!! Leave him alone! We studied him as an author of the day, and there was never any conflict as to the content being racist. I say, present him as a famous author in the schools, and give students the option to read, or not to read! I get all fired up about this! Haha!

    Thanks for coming by Laura, great to hear from you. And thanks for your generous compliments and input! See you soon!

  5. He does look like Twain (and also Colonel Sanders). It would be fun to hear him.


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