Thursday, September 22, 2022

My sweet and sad September_ as she lingers at the threshhold of Autumn.

One day the first prematurely senile leaf will quietly detach itself in a faint breeze and flutter silently to the ground. All through the summer an occasional unnoticed, unregretted leaf has fallen from time to time. But not as this one falls. There is something quietly ominous about the way in which it gives up the ghost, without a struggle, almost with an air of relief. 

    ~Joseph Wood Krutch, "September,
    " The Twelve Seasons: A Perpetual Calendar for the Country

Just like sweets

Austin and Charlotte
I think they were part of the same litter.
Austin showed up a week after Charlotte and her kittens appeared
 during a rain storm.
There has always been a bond between them that I try to preserve.

It’s that time of the year when a twig from the old White Ash Tree is carried with me, to move to one side the orb weaver webs spanning the pathways or plant containers from one plant across to another, as I walk my patio and paths.  Otherwise… there’s nothing like that velvety feeling of a spider web plastering itself across one’s body as they inadvertently walk right into the almost invisible wonder.

The gardens have suffered this year from drought too long, then rains too long, then drought too long, then… you get the drift.  The Chelone lyonii, commonly called turtlehead, has suffered this year from our pruning neglect this past spring of the Swamp Rose growing amongst them, and the forever expanding Joe Pye Weed laying across them after the flowers have bloomed.  Personally, planting the Swamp Rose was a task I now regret.  We all make gardening mistakes, here or there that plague us forevermore, don’t we?

The Spicebush berries were plucked off the bushes over a month ago by a very determined Mockingbird.  I watched it lunge up off the concrete repeatedly to pluck berries from lower limbs too weak to hold its body weight.  There’s a group of young cardinals in the gardens; where their nest was I haven’t a clue, but it’s usual this time of year to be blessed with their company.

So many photos of flowers with insects, but I’m drawn to them in that a closeup always reveals their true selves, instead of that tiny nondescript creature flying or crawling about.  A flower without an insect is a flower.  A flower with an insect shouts out look at me.  I can’t resist that call.

The writing's on the wall as far as planting more plants after this year.  Planting nine wild petunias, two each day at the base of the White Ash tree, caused me to cancel my physical therapy sessions for a week to recuperate.  Vic's offered to help, but by his own admission, as far as gardens are concerned, he's a destroyer not a creator.  We shall see.  

My White Ash Tree is having an affair with Miss Poison Ivy, and I see a new villain has enter the picture making it a threesome… English ivy.  The bane of nature’s love affair with my garden.  

I know the "rules" of gardening, but  I've broken most of them over the years.  Watering in the heat of the day, watering overhead, leaving plant matter to compost in place… my garden’s still here doing what it was meant and chooses to do. 

My house and garden are a life raft floating in the green sea of expanding suburbia around us.  The houses are spaced closer and closer together, and lawns seems to be the new gardens.  Perhaps... the reason wildlife in my space is disappearing.  

We were commenting the other day about the diasppearance of skunks this year.  Not a one seen or smelled.  With country being sucked up by the housing industry to produce more homes around us, we have become isolated from the wild, causing great sadness for me.    

I’m still in a funk over loosing my Lacey, and it has been an uphill task to give this post the right ambiance.  I find photographing the garden gives me some peace in my mind, but it is all so short lived.  It will take time.  I hope you enjoy the photographs as much as I enjoyed taking them.       

Miss Poison Ivy

Spicebush Swallowtail Catepillar's Abode
A folded leaf for protection during the day.
You can see the leaf it munched on last night.

Only 1 or 2 butterfly eggs out of 100 live to become adult butterflies.
Maybe it was the early spring, I don't know, 
but this is the only catepillar I have found on all 7 spicebushes.  
Its chances of not being eaten are pretty slim. 

Little Bumblebee feeding on nector of 
Blue Stemmed Goldenrod (Solidago caesia)

Crowns of rhizomes of Celandine Poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum)
in dormant stage waiting for next spring.

Orange Hover Fly

Maybe an olive green leafhopper or planthopper

Some type of Katydid hiding under a leaf.
I need to see the entire insect to tell you which type.
I didn't feel like desturbing it, so this is all you get.

Hairy Sunflower, Helianthus hirsutus
with maybe a Furrow Bee.

The Large Milkweed Bug,  Oncopeltus fasciatus


Hexastylis arifolia - Little Brown Jug
The large leaves are about 6" wide.

The leaves of this one are amaller.
They are happy to grow in the layer of oak leaves.

Phylloporus rhodoxanthus
commonly known as the Gilled Bolete Mushrooms

Underside, after being uprooted by something.

Looks like claw scratches from some critter.

Clouds backlit by the sun,
driving home after an outing to buy milkshakes in Mt. Juliet.

Small Bumblebee (maybe 1/2 of an inch long) 
with a Small Carpenter Bee (I think) flying by.

Maybe a Green Sweat Bee

I think this is a type of Furrow Bee (Genus Halictus)
It's maybe 3/8th inch long and thin.

Quite a bit of pollen collected on its hind legs.

Arcigera Flower Moth (Schinia arcigera)
about 1/2 inch length,
on Late Purple Aster (Symphyotrichum patens)
Favors asters as a food plant for its young caterpillars.

The scales and hairs of the wings are faintly visible in this photo.
I took this photo around 6 pm.

Early next morning it was resting on an aster flower bud.

Small Bumblebee on aster

This bee looks a bit metallic, so maybe a Dark Sweat Bee.

Fluff from a bird

  Thank you, 
  to all of my blogging friends, 
  for leaving such 
  kind and warm comments
  when my cat Lacey 
  passed away.  
  It means the world to me.

  I miss her so much.

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