Monday, September 28, 2020

Musings as the gardens tiptoe into autumn...


Aromatic Aster

Autumn colors are a bit muted this year

Winterthur Viburnum leaves turning black,
not a color usually associated with fall

As I step out into the moist freshness a few days of drizzling rain brings, the lightness of happiness turns a bit melancholic as I survey the ruins of a construction project on hold until the moisture evaporates enough for work to resume as usual.  I could lament about the loss of pride to do a job well done, but it is a sad cry I've had too many times before with hired help, so we'll skip past all that miserable blubbering.

Suffice to say, a spring snapped on the old rusty garage door that opened and closed on a room too small for a car, leaving the space christened the garden shed.  It snapped while I was standing in front ready to take my first step in.  Suffering a tremendous headache as the door came crashing past my bent-head taking a thin patch or arm skin with it, I shudder at visualizing my epithet if I had been standing an inch closer.

The rush of adrenalin caused a flush of heat into every inch of my body, and my heart was racing so wildly, I started deep breathing to calm myself down.  Felt like my head was jammed into my neck, and my neck jammed into my shoulders.  That was maybe three months ago, and it's been a long road back to feeling like my old worn out self again.

American Dogwood Tree berries

Euonymus americanus ~ Hearts-a-bustin'

White American Beautyberry
Purple American Beautyberry

Viburnum Winterthur
China Girl Holly (non-native)

Joe Pye Weed seed heads

Patens Aster

Up until the garden shed project to replace the front with a wall, door, and window; it had been sporadic yard work.  I worked a little, I rested a lot.  Vic worked a lot, Vic rested a little.  Three summersweet shrubs were planted into the Virginia creeper graveyard, but first we mumbled under our breaths gardening sucks as we struggled digging up two sunken baby boulders to reposition.

I guess it's been three weeks now since rain fell to flood proportions with the remnants of the hurricane passing by.  Mulch repositioned into wavy clumps gave us a road map of how the water runoff was actually moving across the grounds causing erosion.  It wasn't a pretty sight.  It was almost enough to drive me to chasing an entire lemon cream cake down with a gallon of Pepsi :'(

Chiseled out the old daylilies along the driveway, reset the stones to proper height, and tried to replace the concrete clay soil with little success.  I felt a little twang of guilt giving the old daylilies the heave-ho after they dwindled to pathetic portions as the red oaks shade kept expanding with its girth.  'Orangeman' daylily from 1902 doesn't shy away from shade, so we shall see if it was a wise replacement.

Solomon's Plume ~ Maianthemum racemosa
Growing under the oak trees

Mushroom clump growing in lawn

Swamp Sunflower beginning to bloom
Yellow petals are 3/4 inch long
 with a tiny moth (I think) resting

Common Eastern Bumble Bee on Woodland Goldenrod

It's that time of season when clouds of swarming gnats and midges appear, and as I walk through one, to inhale is not a wise choice.  The airy paten asters sprawl out under the oak trees, and are sprinkled lavishly with lavender blossoms.  Aromatic asters grow along the sunny south fence line, but airy or demure doesn't exist in their vocabulary.  They command the space shading out all intruders.  Good ground cover for little critters; but occasionally, a blast of water from the hose is needed to deter a hidden cat in need of a bird to torture.

Well, snap crackle pop!  Now I've spotted one of my newly planted summer sweet shrubs laying sweetly on its side.  Little holes here and there...probably a feast of grubs for a little creature with a stripe down its back.  Big sigh :(  Last year I placed bigger sized rocks around my baby shrubs.  This autumn seems destined to be the same.

What is this addiction Mother Nature has to critiquing my style of creativity and trying to bury it all under aggressive goldenrod, centipede grass, cleaver plants, wild vetches, thorny blackberries and spiny smilax vines?  How dare she!  Black walnut to the left, red oak in my yard, maple to the right; tree seedlings from squirrel stashes and winds will haunt me until my last breath is taken.

Beefsteak Plant ~ Perilla frutescens
Non-native and appeared on its own
It's slowly becoming invasive, so it will be eliminated.
I rather liked it once I got used to it's odious odor  :(

Basilica Orb Weaver Spider ~ Mecynogea lemniscata
Busy little spider guarding her egg sacs

Seeds falling from the White Ash Tree pictured below

Royal Catchfly

Walking the back gardens to wrap up my day, I hear little pitter pats like rain that hasn't yet decided whether to go away or flood the earth.  Then I see it...ash seeds releasing their grip on the white ash tree and sprinkling the garden below with a light dusting which eventually will become a heavy dusting as the days pass by.  Many insects are either in hiding, going on vacation, or have given up the ghost to a foraging bird.

Greeted at the feeder by two lethargic sparrows going nowhere (I could have easily picked them up); I threw the old feeder into the garbage after they finally flew off, and now there only stands a lonely bare shepherds hook.  A new feeder will grace the space after three weeks as a precaution to prevent potential illness from spreading.  It's just a feeder, but that empty space void of feathery decorations makes me feel as if I've lost an old friend.

While I realize my words are as evanescent as one day moving on into the next, and fade into time and forgottenness more quickly than I would like, I'm taking a little time out to let my gardens enslave me in weeding and planting and weeding and kicking my shoes off to just enjoy being me.  A flower falls, even though we love it; and a weed grows, even though we do not love it ~ Dogen 1200-1253.  


  1. Wonderful post today with many beautiful autumm pictures

    Ialso love that little quote" A flower falls, even though we love it; and a weed grows, even though we do not love it ~ Dogen 1200-1253."

    wish you a happy day Yvonne and thank you for nice comment at my place :))

    Pss love your cute little kitty cats at the sidebar..Mjaauuu :))))

  2. Hello Yvonne,
    Your post are a delight, pretty descriptions of the flowers, plants and your walk around the garden. I cringed when I read about the door falling on your head/neck. I hope you are recovering well. You have so many pretty flowers and berries. Your birds should be happy with the natural berries and seeds to eat.
    Enjoy your day, have a great week!

  3. Your beautiful pictures and ,even more, your Autumn musings brightened my day! Loved it all, except they garage door part ...that was downright scary...I’m glad you’re OK now, what a thing to happen!

  4. The inexorable march of fall continues, and the birds are winging their way south. The sumacs are scarlet and the maples are dropping their leaves. Soon perky little Dark-eyed Juncos and American Tree Sparrows will be looking for your feeders - so get them back up!

    1. :) They eventually will reappear. Thankfully the gardens offer plenty of seed heads and berries.

  5. ...most of your plants I am familiar with, but I don't think that I've seen White American Beautyberry. Thanks!

  6. This is quite familiar. Not necessarily the plants - but the mood in the garden.
    Life and health is very vulnerable. Sometimes we are reminded of that.

  7. I love the first pic! Very nice macro photography. You should be pleased with yourself.

  8. Tis the season for berries on bushes. Birds will relish them into the fall and winter. - Margy

  9. WOW! It's always such a pleasure to swing by at your lovely blog!

    Happy Weds, Yvonne!

    Those purple asters are so pretty!

  10. you have a wonderful garden for sure. So much to enjoy. I like your sharp shots of the bees. I find them sp hard to catch :)

    1. They are difficult to capture in a photo. Took five different trips outdoors to get the ones I used.

  11. Your photos are stunning <3 Thank you for this art exhibition of the mother nature!

  12. You are quite pro in doing these photos!
    Quite beautiful. Thank you a lot for your post!
    Happy WW and thank you for the visit! Have a fine week!

  13. Great photos. I especially like the bell flower. Happy Tuesday

  14. Sorry to hear you got hit on the head. My, that must if hurt.
    Glad to read that you are feeling better though.
    Wonderful pictures.
    Enjoy the week...

  15. Hi Yvonne,

    Thanks for visiting my blog.

    I really like your introduction and tried to write a comment from there, but could not find a link to click or send an email. Anyway, I found it here. I'm in Chattanooga, not far from you!

    Learned so much about the bushes I often see when I hike around Chattanooga area!

  16. Hi and thanks for the visit. Lovely set of photos, but wow that story of the garage door is frightening. You were lucky that you were not closed.
    Take care Diane

  17. What a beautiful garden and such lovely pictures. My mother was a big gardener and always had a wonderful yard but I know it is so much work. When I was younger I always said that if I ever owned a house I would have the yard paved. Now I live in a van so no worries about a yard at all.

  18. I like seeing photos of the changing seasons, we are in Spring and all of my roses are flowering.

  19. Loving your autumn photos as I face spring here.
    So sorry about your encounter with the garage door! I do hope you take some time just for you to make sure you recover totally.

    It's great to see you at 'My Corner of the World' this week!! Thanks for linking up.

  20. Hello and welcome to my "Nature Thursday"
    I am very impressed with your knowledge of flora!
    You have chosen beautiful photos, I do not know many plants.
    Thank you very much for linking to "Nature Thursday".
    I would be very happy if you would always be part of it!
    Warm greetings from Germany

  21. Love your narrative and beautiful photos of your very productive garden. Glad to hear you are on the mend after that awfully close call.

  22. Stunning pictures, autumn is surely moving in fast, I see the changes all around.
    Thank you for sharing such beauty.

  23. beautiful and very interesting your posting about this beautiful nature and plants with all the insects. You managed to take breathtaking photos.
    I am glad that you are better again. What a shock what you've experienced.
    Get well soon and have a nice weekend!
    Greetings Elke

  24. Wonderful photos of your garden and nature. I love the macro shots of the bees. The near accident sounds quite scary. I hope you recover fully from the shock.

  25. Hello,

    Lovely captures of the bees in your garden. They must be happy pollinators. Your asters, plants and the colorful berries are just beautiful. Lovely collection of images. I hope you are feeling better. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, enjoy your day! Have a happy weekend!

  26. Hi Yvonne :) You still have so many beautiful flowers in your garden! I love the photos of the bees. I think this may be my first visit to your blog, and I didn't know about your near-death gosh, how scary. I never look forward to any tradesmen coming over...I'm always afraid they'll leave halfway through the job and never finish it! Great post, and wonderful prose! :)

  27. What a lovely post that is. So many perfect pictures and knowledgeable descriptions to boot! Enjoy your weekend break.

  28. Beautiful photos, I enjoyed viewing them.
    Have a great weekend.

  29. That was a nasty unfortunate accident with the garage door. Hope you are recovering well Yvonne. Beautiful photos of plants in your area, which are quite unfamiliar to me. Have a lovely weekend.

  30. Nice selection of photos of lovely flowers and insects from your garden. Lovely sky. Have a great weekend.

  31. Your poor head!
    Gosh. A lovely garden. We are starting to put mine to bed, as well. I enjoy the changes.

  32. ouch....

    your garden is so pretty, especially those pretty purple asters. awesome captures of the bees, they are beautiful!! this shows that if we look around, there is so much to see in our gardens at any time!!

  33. My goodness, but you have some really amazing photos!! I especially the ones with the the aster and the bees! WOW!! Have a grand week!

  34. Love the bee photos and gorgeous nature shots

    Live each moment with love,

    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  35. I see beautiful berries, seeds and other autumnal things in your post, some of which I have never seen before! The carpenter bee is similar to a bumblebee? I also find the spider egg sacs very interesting. Thank you for your blogger tips too, I'll try them out.

    1. After looking up bee identification again, I think this is a Common Eastern Bumble Bee, as Carpenter Bees are bigger with a more bald top abdomen, so I corrected it. You keep me on my toes :)

  36. Hey Yvonne!Thank you for your comment at my place

    you are a very wise woman




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