Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Milkweed seed pods have not split open yet, for the most part. But some seeds were blowing past (at a very fast speed foe something with a parachute to slow it down) so at least one pod split open, either naturally or with the help of a child.
Saw 2 woolly bears already today. These caterpillars seem to thrive in chilly weather -- I haven't seen one all summer, and now that it's cooler, here they are!
This heron spent the morning crouched down, either stalking a fish or a frog, or trying to stay warm...
Nothing is actually happening to the cattails... their seeds aren't spreading or anything. I just wanted to show how bent over they were in the wind; and note that the lilypad in the background is blowing out of the water. The lake (and this is not a big lake) actually had whitecaps this morning.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
This is one of 2 monarchs I saw today.
- a big green cicada, near the end of its life.
- A very fuzzy caterpillar, about 2 inches long, grey and orange, on a sweet white clover plant. I have seen this same species on the same plant in previous years (8/25/06, to be precise. I sketched it then). My caterpillar field guide fails ID it, however, and I didn't get a photo.
- Another argiope spider.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
And here is a sign of fall. The hazels are turning orange and burgundy.
Coneflowers, both yellow and purple, are long blooming. There are still just a few hangers on of each type at this point. But most have lost their eponymous colors and dried up into seedheads, ready to propagate new plants... as seen in the photos.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Pumpkins ready in the garden. Although we use them for Halloween and Thanksgiving -- and they will store very well until then -- my experience growing pumpkins always has them ready well before that. (And a side note: today I ate the melon that we brought inside to ripen; it did ripen. It was small and not as tasty as my melons were last year, but still delicious.)
It is also apple season, with many varieties ripe for picking.
Cool tiny flowers on a tree.
Acorn cap on the path. Squirrels were eating the nuts overhead and dropping these onto the ground!
Berries on false Solomon's Seal.
Cardinal flower's brilliant red plumage.
Solomon's seal wears its fall colors, with blue berries and leaves turning to yellow, then crispy brown.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Gentian has gotten its purple color, making it the last new flower of 2009 (at least in my yard). I do expect the color to deepen some... I find them to be especially interesting because even when the flowers are in full bloom, they look like a bud that is getting ready to open. They never do. But they are insect pollinated, mostly by bees or other large bugs that can force their way into the closed-up petals. Later, these petals will dry up and become a pouch containing a bag-full of little seeds!
Friday, September 11, 2009
- Etymology: from their being reckoned from the heliacal rising of the Dog Star (Sirius)
1 : the period between early July and early September when the hot sultry weather of summer usually occurs in the northern hemisphere 2 : a period of stagnation or inactivity
Although this isn't the hottest part of the summer,* and early September has passed into mid-month, I feel like we are in the dog days -- at least by definition 2. For the past two weeks, each and every day has been the same... warm, sunny -- actually, quite perfect, weatherwise. A scant few new things have bloomed or passed out of their prime. Autumn hangs over our heads, always just around the corner, but still... it almost seems we could go on, with every day being like this, indefinitely... lethargy.
*Actually, it's pretty close to the hottest part of summer. Only because summer has been cool. But at this point, nights are becoming distinctly cool regardless of the day's high temp.