a story of Southern agriculture

Autumn Magnolia


Earlier this month I shared this foggy autumn evening photo.

foggy autumns 1

The tree in the yard – peeking from the right of the photo – is a magnolia.  It’s probably 60 years old, though it doesn’t seem that old in height.

That’s what cattle chaos can do to a body – cut you down a few sizes.  No, really, it’s true.  Keep reading for a bit of farmstead lore…



My mother-in-law tells a true story from her 1950s childhood.  She and her parents drove home from church one day to find a cow nibbling on a young magnolia tree.  Grandmother Sallie wasn’t pleased.  The magnolia survived, as you can see.  However, its trunk became four separate stems and it only grew so tall.

But it grew and still blooms and those four trunks make for some serious tree climbing by small children.


I love a story of reinvention and success in the face of bovine adversity.  I take that magnolia very seriously.




The magnolia’s blooms are delightful and fragrant, but these…



…these mesmerize.  I had never noticed this aspect of magnolias until moving to the farm.  During the autumn these velvety pods open and share red seeds with us….




…Bright red seeds loosed from brown, crunchy spent pods on the tree and then…


…on the grass.


Yet another reason to adore Southern autumns.


Bloom and grow and seed.
Emily Grace


Iced Magnolias anyone?



7 Responses to “Autumn Magnolia”

  1. kcg1974

    Love this little story and the pictures of your tree. We have three magnolia trees that are only a few years old. Never any red seeds yet, maybe one day for me….



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