Sunday, August 22, 2010

Autumn

Autumn is on the edges of the sun's rays and on the tops of the swallowtail's wings who circle about each other midcanopy. It is in the yellow of drought tired spicebush and tuliptree leaves that drift to the edges of the driveway like golden finches who also gather at roadsides. It is in the appetite of monarch and major datana eating the butterfly milkweed and blueberries. Autumn is in the rotten tomatoes that we toss over the fence and into the goldenrod. The foxtail grass and the young song sparrow who eats the seed. The rabbits becoming more witting of the approach of shod feet.


The meadow is purple and gold. Mature bulrush, squarrose sedge, and New York ironweed.



Major datana caterpillars on cultivated blueberries, August 16. Six days later they have defoliated the plant. About a half dozen caterpillars or less got it done.



Zebra caterpillar on a still robust kale, but now poopy and unappealing. They've also enjoyed my Brussels sprouts, which I may not enjoy myself. As I say each year as I plant the seeds, "Maybe this year they will work our. As I say each autumn, "Maybe next year they will work out."



This spicebush must be pleased by today's downpours (right now I'm watching the second on with one eye) . The shrub's yellowing leaves partially hide yet another "hoop" protecting a native plant - in this case, an increasingly healthy patch of alumroot.


Because of the drought, we never staked our tomatoes. They became a self-mulching tangle. Harvesting and watering is more difficult, but I think we saved the fruits from sun-scald.



Monarch caterpillar, August 19. I wondered who was making a mess of the butterfly milkweed.

Monarch caterpillar, August 22, several times larger than a couple days ago. They are nearly as large as the caterpillars I discovered on the butterfly milkweed in the vegetable garden, just before they disappeared. Chrysalis or a hungry chipping sparrow?

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