Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Signs of Fall

Woodland Goldenrod (Solidago caesia) at it's peak
Autumn is officially here, unusually early in this part of the country. In most years summer refuses to let go, often persisting with mid 80's to 90 degree temps well into September, but despite the horrendous heat of June and July, September has been quite cool and comfortable. Autumn usually leaves me feeling melancholy, I can feel summer leaving, ending, the garden is quieter, colors are muted and drab. There's not much to look forward to in winter, unless you love snow (not me) and over-commercialized holidays that have lost their true meanings (also not me). Oh, if I only had a greenhouse...then I could tend to plants year round and retreat to my warm, humid hideaway when the weather is at it's worst. I do plan on growing some veg under hoops/coldframe until it gets too cold, and I can start seeds for next year inside in February, so that will shorten winter somewhat. Oh well, for the time being, there's still a little bit of activity and color out there, here are the highlights.

The honeybees and bumblebees were loading up!

I even saw a few Hairstreaks.

Any plant that attracts that much pollinator action is also going to attract predators.

And not just spiders either, over in the Solidago "Fireworks" this mantis was chomping on an unfortunate bumblebee. 

Autumn also bring the fall migrants through, every morning for the past week our backyard has been full of Palm Warblers looking for breakfast to help fuel their long journey south.

Although you may think they look kinda drab, they're actually quite beautiful. Their telltale ID mark is their yellow spot under their rump and how they pump their tail continuously, moreso than even a Phoebe.

The honeybees had their faces buried in the sedums, this hot pink is an unusual color for a fall blooming plant.

Much more typical, a white aster, Aster pilosus I think.

It can look kinda weedy, but it's native here, super tough, and very much appreciated by the insects.

Many plants have already gone to seed like this White Snakeroot (Ageratina altissima) signalling the end is near.

Don't be silly, the end of summer not the end of the world! 


  1. You have such lovely visitors to your late season garden, and they pose for your camera! Such performers : )

    All the photos are beautiful, well captured, and not a hint of melacholy in any of them, even if the camerawoman feels otherwise.

  2. Thank you for the ID on the Palm Warblers - we have them too, but couldn't figure out what they were. I have lots of Solidago caesia - your photos are outstanding. I especially like the preying mantis and spider.

  3. I feel exactly the same about autumn and winter! I just love spring and summer. Have a nice Wednesday.

  4. Thank you for mentioning the palm warblers - I saw them too and was trying to decide if they were female goldfinches but they were so quick it was hard to determine.

    Wonderful photos - I feel like I stopped by for a visit.

    I'm sure Jeff is working on your greenhouse in a secret room that he won't let you go in ....

  5. Ellen, you don't seem to be aware of my engineering and construction shortcomings or the size of our home! No secret rooms :(

  6. *Laurrie-Thanks, I do feel a bit better just looking at the photos, I guess perspective matters.

    *Jason-Glad I could help with the ID! Solidago caesia is wonderful, isn't it!

    *Satu-I hope you have a nice Wednesday too!

    *Ellen-Glad I could help with the ID, warblers are definitely tricky!

  7. Julie, just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the Beautiful Blogger award, one of those awards bloggers give each other for mutual recognition and promotion. There's a little homework involved, see my site for details. If you'd rather not, that's fine. Very much enjoy your blog.