Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Winter and Summer Mix It Up

A honeybee at the nursery in December, out of season.
We humans, huddled inside parkas and scarves and mittens, know full well that it's winter here in the Puget Sound area. (All humans younger than 10 and older than 18, that is. In between exist primates who, for reasons of youthful vigor or fashion, seem impervious to cold and rain--or pretend that they are--and go about in tee shirts and tiny skirts and cute but useless puffy vests.) It is raw and gray most days, with rain either threatening, spitting, or bucketing down.

Calendula in bloom
But after a hot, dry summer that extended well into fall, some of the plants and a handful of insects don't seem to have gotten the message that winter's here.

In just the past two weeks I've seen cosmos plants--those blowsy butterflies of summer--still clinging stubbornly to their blossoms. The geranium out front continues to pump out half-hearted flowers, and a crocosmia in the back garden only just gave up the fight. A cherry tree on one of my walking routes has popped open dozens of blooms, and calendulas are shining like supernovae.

Go to sleep, already!

At the same time, those plants that typically brighten up a dim winter day are flaunting their colors. With those Anna's hummingbirds that somehow manage to survive this far north zipping around and singing squeakily, it would feel downright tropical around here if it weren't for the mercury dropping.

Beautyberry

Leaves of creeping geranium species

Fruits of strawberry tree

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