Sunday, September 24, 2017

September Sunshine

In my last post, dated earlier in September, I said that it felt like fall. Well, that is no longer true. September returned to its usual weather, with warm sunshine and clear blue days. Lately, it's been downright summery, with temperatures in the 90's this weekend. It's hard to imagine that frost can normally be expected in about three weeks. Now I love autumn, but I wouldn't mind if summer stuck around for awhile.

Also in my last post, I showed a chrysalis from one of my monarch butterflies. I raised four of them indoors this year, gathering them from my milkweed as tiny caterpillars. Well, they've all flown the coop already, and I sure miss them! I was busy on the days when they "hatched", and wasn't able to catch photos of the process. If you are around when they first eclose from the chrysalis, it's much easier to get them to pose because it takes them awhile to get comfortable with flying. That's the best time to pose them for photos. They'll walk on your fingers, but aren't quite ready to fly. But I missed it this time. This one had come out some time earlier, so after I took this open wing shot, she was off like a shot.

To me, September is a time to savor the garden. Many annuals are peaking, the weather is usually pleasant, but there's a sense of time running out. You just know it won't last much longer, so you want to gather in the last of these halcyon days.

Many plants put on a bit a of a renewal this time of year. My roses put out some more blossoms, and the herb garden is quite exuberant. The snapdragon patch puts out a fresh crop of color.

But the September highlights are always the same here in Robin's Nest. It's time for zinnias, and sunflowers, and dahlias. Funny, but these are some of my favorites, as you can tell. 

I was thinking about ending this post with an entreaty that September never leave me. But then I remembered what comes next, October! Now there's a month to love. As Anne of Green Gables would say "I'm glad that I live in a world where there are Octobers", and I couldn't agree more. But September is fine indeed. 

Saturday, September 9, 2017

If Feels Like Fall

Here in Ohio it has been unseasonably cool for September. I'd rather we had the usual weather this time of year, with low humidity, blue skies, and warm days. But I don't dare complain when there is so much extreme weather happening elsewhere. Right now Hurricane Irma is bearing down on Florida and wildfires are raging out west, while Houston continues to deal with the effects of Hurricane Harvey. So perhaps my cool September doesn't look so bad after all.

One of the other things I love about September is the monarch migration. I've seen quite a few of them passing through here, and it makes me happy to know that they continue to find my little garden along their journey. In my last post, I said I hadn't raised any caterpillars in the kitchen this year. But the monarchs had other ideas. One day I was sitting on the patio and glanced over at my two little milkweed plants. There I saw this big fat monarch caterpillar! When I went to gather him in the next day, I could not find him anywhere. But in searching, I spotted several tiny caterpillars, so I brought four of them inside to raise. I kept them supplied with milkweed, and right now they are resting in the chrysalis stage.

Of course you know that there are many other visitors to my garden that bring me delight. Pretty much anything with wings is going to make me happy. Do you suppose it's because my name is Robin?

My fascination with summer zinnias is one of the main reasons why I see so many butterflies in my garden. And of course they are just plain pretty, and always make me smile.

By now, my summer containers are either at their peak, or fading quickly. These are a few of the ones that still look good, but there are others that need a fall refresh.

Hopefully our September weather will improve, and those perfect days will return before the weather truly turns to autumn. I do love fall, but I'm just not ready for it quite yet. Until then, it's time to break out those fall jackets!