One of the little bumble bees that were buzzing over all of the Bidens:
There must have been thousands of them.
There must have been thousands of them.
Now they are turning their attention to the few Bidens that are left, the asters and the swamp sunflowers.
There's nothing quite like the golden punch of a swamp sunflower in October.
I don't know where this aster came from, but I like it! I think it's willow leaf aster. Distinctly different from 'Miss Bessie'; much more dainty, blooms about a month earlier, with a softer more pinkish color. 'Miss Bessie' tends to be more of a steely violet, and I swear the color changes from year to year; some years the flowers have a gray cast and some years they look more purple to me.
Purple is a great complement to all of the year. One of the purple muhly grass that hasn't been crowded out yet.
American Beautyberries -- again, not perfect, but the color of those berries who cares?
This is the first time in about FOUR years that Anemone 'Honorine Jobert' has bloomed. Black blister beetles have been chomping them down, but not this year. Perhaps they like hot dry weather. This summer, thankfully, like most of the eastern seaboard, was mild and rainy. In contrast, large populations of striped blister beetles here died off in drought (Thank goodness! Have you ever gotten a blister from a blister beetle?).
Typically I do not care for red in the garden, but there are ALWAYS exceptions. Especially for reds tending to pink or very pure red or a bluish red. Exceptions include a pure red rose ('Fields of the Wood' comes to mind), cardinal flower, St. Joseph's lily (Hippeastrum x johnsonii), a few red daylilies like 'Red Volunteer' and 'Ruby Spider', and
'Hot Lips' Sage is now also on the list.
I haven't seen any Monarchs yet but it's been a banner year here for many other butterflies. Tons of swallowtails -- tiger, black, spicebush -- even a zebra swallowtail in the middle of summer, when they are usually just passing through in March. We were graced by the presence of lots of sulfurs all summer, when typically there are only large numbers in the fall. They would gather together to puddle at the edge of the tiny pond next to the water trough and then disperse into fanciful clouds.
The quail have gathered together too, into a covey of at least 15. Occasionally I will see the little partridge silhouette of a quail running around the corner of the garden. I've seen them flush from the neighbor's fence next to our land, and twice flushed them out in the garden here. It's always a little startling when they fly up like little torpedoes. If they scatter they will call to each with a two syllable call, different from the male's territorial "bobwhite" call. You can hear those calls after 15 seconds on this audio clip. The calls typical to the bobwhite here sounds like the ones 15-25 seconds on the clip.
Anyone else ready for the sun to come out?? We could use some sun. When I rode the horses in the pasture yesterday it was a little difficult finding areas that didn't have slick spongy footing, and we got more rain again last night.
I've debated blogging about the horses but it might be kind of boring. So many problems. Sometimes I think of them as walking billboards against the pitfalls of horse ownership. lol Prince is healthy now but this summer he gave us a couple of scares with a swollen right leg and an instance of going briefly staggering lame. He's 10 months out from his front left injury (many small deep AND superficial digital flexor tendon lesions, and even some check ligament involvement) and after miles and hours of walking and some trotwork he's back to doing some light dressage work 2-3 times a week. The pony, on the other hand, is lame AGAIN. Laminitis is probably at the bottom of it, in spite of the fact that they are STILL on the dry lot behind the house, and she's getting bermuda hay, which is typically low in sugars.