The foliage has been losing its freshness through the month of August, and here and there a yellow leaf shows itself like the first gray hair amidst the locks of a beauty who has seen one season too many. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes
Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. ~Albert Camus
Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. ~George Eliot
Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all. ~Stanley Horowitz
For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together. For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad. ~Edwin Way Teale
No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace
As I have seen in one autumnal face.
The final bloomers show their petals…and I begin to harvest tomatoes…a few each day. It has been a most beautiful summer in the garden and I have really enjoyed the time spent outdoors, watching things grow. White lilies and a final poppy showed themselves this morning.
A Late Walk
When I go up through the mowing field,
The headless aftermath,
Smooth-laid like thatch with the heavy dew,
Half closes the garden path.
And when I come to the garden ground,
The whir of sober birds
Up from the tangle of withered weeds
Is sadder than any words
A tree beside the wall stands bare,
But a leaf that lingered brown,
Disturbed, I doubt not, by my thought,
Comes softly rattling down.
I end not far from my going forth
By picking the faded blue
Of the last remaining aster flower
To carry again to you.
I have been spending time on two missions in the garden recently…trying to disband a wasps’ nest that is tucked in between my Cremona flat stone and the tomato planter and trying to identify what sort of creature is digging holes exuberantly at my veggie garden boxes.
There is such evidence that the evening temperatures are cooler and autumn is around the corner. The catoni asters have some red leaves in places. The columbine have their second growth. The mayday tree is providing the birds with plenty of berries to supplement their diet at the feeder.
Mary appeared at my house on my birthday a few years ago and gave me the gift of some beautiful lilies. Their blooms are spectacular and I always consider them a remarkable way to end things in the gardens. The sunflowers are now seven feet tall. I wonder lately, if they will ever bloom. I feel a little like ‘Jack’, if you know what I mean. There are some rust spots on the leaves, but otherwise the tomato plants are producing generous amounts of fruit. I have enjoyed being home this summer, watching things change. I enjoy my back yard so much.
In fact, I am going to head out there shortly and dependent on the cloud cover, I might have the chance to witness the Perseid Meteor shower that will come to its climax tonight and in the wee hours of the morning. Unfortunately, I do believe that our weather is going to be uncooperative. I encourage my readers to go and take a look, wherever you may be.
The heat is exceptional today…but regardless, there is already a sense in the garden, that summer is fading. Mary’s Lilies have yet to bloom and they will be gorgeous and the sunflowers are the height of George Duncan’s outdoor art by now, but apart from that, all else has bloomed. Calgary’s growing season is so short…it’s as though everything comes to life suddenly and then passes. I’m grateful for the beautiful walk along the river with Max today. I’m grateful for the opportunity to take pause and relax in the shade of the Mayday tree.
It is impossible to capture, with my camera, the cacophony of sounds and the flutter of activity as I step out onto my back deck in the morning. While I’m still researching the upside and the downside of keeping a bird feeder in my yard, for now I just really enjoy the robust nature and shenanigans of the sparrows that come to my backyard tree (I’ve always called her, May). Every branch seems to move with my entrance to the deck. It’s as though the tree is alive, and I mean ‘alive’ in a different way!
May and Bird Feeder
A couple of things I want to learn…how does one attract birds other than sparrows to ones bird feeder? Second to that, how does one adopt the beautiful black and white spotted feral cat that routinely perches on the top of my fence in order to stalk the huge gaggle of sparrows? Finally, is it alright to continue to fill my feeder with seed around the seasons, or is it better for the bird population that I discontinue this practice?
While pondering all of this, I so enjoy the harvest of my garden! I am so blessed!