|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!