We’ve had a run of cool, clear weather this week, providing Nature with a wide open canvass on which to work. Just as I used to create masterpieces of sidewalk art using an array of colored chalk, Nature has chosen a palette of glowing pastels to paint the sky.
Most of the leaves are off the trees, although a few of the oaks and maples have strong, stubborn leaves that are not quite ready to head earthward, not ready to leave summer behind.
As I stepped outside this morning, about 50 crows were gathering in the tops of the cherry and cottonwood trees. Apparently, something big was afoot because there was much cawing and flapping and launching off branches only to return after circling a few times. We usually see only four or five “neighborhood” crows during the summer. This must have been the extended family. After a few minutes, they all took to the air and continued on their journey. Our backyard trees are merely “rest areas” along the bird skyway.
Autumn has been pleasant so far, warm and mostly dry. Even on this chilly morning, with the temperature starting in the low 40s, the sun rises with enough strength to ensure we’ll be in the 60s by noon. These are the golden days to treasure now and later when the winter winds howl.
The flowers take advantage of this moderation in the weather to extend their blooming season. Zinnias are still bright and cheery in the side garden. Their deep reds and pinks complement the browns and yellows of the fallen leaves.The English lavender is still lush, complete with a few late-season bees buzzing from bloom to bloom.
And a few oddities–a couple of lilac buds blooming way off schedule…
And many rhododendron buds seemly not knowing what season it is…
I appreciate these late bloomers, but it also makes me wonder and worry. What do these unscheduled flowerings mean? Is something wrong? Has this always happened and I’ve just never noticed? Both the lilac and the rhodo are older bushes–maybe this confusion is a sign of old age in the plant world. We must wait and see. 🌺