Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Hanging On to Summer, but Autumn's Making Inroads

People get confused enough in fall, what with all that setting back clocks by one hour in November and ultimately arising in the dark and returning home from work in the dark. But right now it's the plants that seem muddled in my area.

Just as the vine maple and the birch in the garden are turning orange, yellow, and red, some of the plants are merrily bursting into bloom as if spring were right around the corner. I can't say I blame them--the weather last week was stunning, with blue skies and temperatures above 70F. But it's as if the trees are serious sages who are tapped into the wisdom of the ages, while the shrubs and perennials are ridiculous grasshoppers from a fable who won't stockpile food and insist on playing the fiddle instead.

The spiders and insects, however, appear to know the jig is up. Some of the garden spiders seem to be nearly the size of salad plates and their webs as big as wagon wheels, and many of them have caught so many insects that they've stockpiled future meals on the spokes. Meanwhile, the honeybees are in an absolute frenzy of nectar gathering. I've noticed quite a few mummified bees in the spiders' larders.

Mexican orange blossoms.

Rose--I've lost the tag, but it's some sturdy wild
shrub-rose variety, with lovely salmon and yellow tones.

Busy bee on goldenrod, a flower that IS supposed to
bloom in late summer/early fall. Poor goldenrod, always blamed
for hay fever, but not responsible for it at all; the bee
pollinating it is proof positive of its innocence.

Spirea blossoms.

Fly on fall-blooming aster. It isn't actually supposed
to be sideways, but Blogger can't seem to handle
vertical pictures, even when you crop them to be
horizontal. So just lie down to view your screen.