If, by late August, a gardener is wondering how long it will be until frost arrives and tidies up the robust weeds growing in and among everything, or if she/he is thinking of tacking up a sign to declare the grounds a wild game preserve, then that person has lost the battle. Again. And, as usual, I remind myself to look for the beauty amid the tangle. It is there, in the soft pink anemones, bold zinnias and bright orange tithonia, Mexican sunflower, that towers above the black-eyed susans and rose-colored cleome.
Masses of fall asters bloom in shades of lavender and blue and butterflies flutter all over the place––monarchs, swallowtails, orange skippers, and tiny blue hairstreaks. Hummingbirds are darting, and the moths that resemble them. Goldfinches streak from sunflower to sunflower singing in that euphoric chatter finches have. When I was a child a close friend made the observation that our family hummed happily at meal times. Well, so do birds in their way.
The writing spider (see Charlotte’s Web) has woven stories throughout the garden, intelligible only to her and perhaps the fairies. Blue-green dragonflies hover over the pond, ducks bob, and squeaky frogs plop into the water every time we walk past. At night, the peepers sing from the tall grass in the meadow, and the crickets and katydids. Owls hoot and screech, bats zing through the dusk and nighthawks pirouette. Come to think of it, this is a wild life preserve.~
***This is an excerpt from my nonfiction book, Shenandoah Watercolors, a 2012 Epic eBook finalist. Free in Amazon Kindle from August 19th -- the 23rd.
*Image of our old red barn and abundant sunflowers by daughter Elise
*Our garden with cleome flowers in the foreground taken by Elise
*Butterfly on red Bee Balm taken by Elise