Several of my friends and lots of other people have been publishing their pictures of Autumn and it's making me very jealous. Autumn was always my favourite time of the year in the temperate UK because the colours were outstanding, but here everything just stays green and if it's not still alive, rots very quickly, turns brown and smells nasty. What's worse, the weather this year has been pretty awful here (as I described in "Dust bowl"). Tremendous flooding early this year and then a drought. My garden has died.
It's also now the time of year that the weather on Mauna Kea's summit starts to become a little dodgy and the current forecast doesn't look good. I don't think there's much doubt there'll be some snow up there in the next few days, but it's still not late enough in the year for the summit temperatures to get really low, so the snow should melt quickly. I don't think the next week of observing will be particularly productive, but some of us will be up there anyway on other projects.
So, to get back at all those people posting those wonderful pictures of Autumn trees, here's mine - a tulip in November of all things. It's one of the few things still thriving despite the unfriendly climate this year.
As you might have guessed, these aren't really tulips at all, but a picture of the flowers on an African Tulip tree that's in the yard. I had to look it up, but the proper name is "spathodea" which doesn't sound as nice a name to me. There are one or two other survivors here but I'm dreadful when it comes to remembering names, so haven't a clue what they're called, instead here's another view of the tulips instead.