When you get as old as I am the seasons pass by so quickly. It takes some discipline sometimes to make myself aware. And this summer has not been “normal” – the June rains were so welcomed and the unpredictable showers of July and even this month have allowed many a garden (even those that depend solely on rainfall) to flourish. Rarely have I seen large mushrooms popping up in people’s yards at this time of year as I have this year.
So, it’s the beginning of August now. What do I notice? The hummingbirds are back in full force. They are fighting over our one feeder and our favorite hummingbird plants – flame acanthus (Anisacanthus quadrifidus var wrightii), cigar plant (Cuphea x David Verity), firecracker plant (Russelia equisetiformis) and Salvia greggii.
There are more butterflies. Fennel, dill, parsley and rue are being devoured in our store greenhouses and in my garden by the swallowtails. Monarch and queen butterflies are dancing around the Gregg’s mist eupatorium. Painted ladies are visiting the Penta.
The second brood of bluebirds has left the nest. Mother cardinals, mockingbirds, titmice, chickadees, blue jays and wrens are teaching their young to be independent. New families of hawks circle over the lake and kingfisher families swoop down trying to find prey. There are new young whistling ducks, herons, egrets and mallards.
Temperatures may still be in the 90’s (and this is way cool for this time of year!), but nature has its seasons and the sign of a new one not far away is there if we look for it.