For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move. ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

Thursday, 15 September 2016

The Garden In September


Climbing rose 'Golden Showers'.
Dahlia.

This morning really felt like autumn, with fog in the air and dewdrop-beaded spider webs on the lawn. But come afternoon a warm sun shone, and insects reappeared as if by magic, making the most of what could be the last day of this Indian summer. Bees, hoverflies and Small Cabbage White butterflies busied themselves on the asters, the fuchsias and the lavenders — harvesting pollen and nectar in one last mad rush. 

Peering closely I found yet more spider webs festooned vertically between the aster and lavender stalks. A spider guarded the centre of one web, gloating over what looked like a small hoverfly shrouded in gossamer. I blew the web very gently, and she scurried along the outermost strand of silk to take camouflaged refuge in a flower head. When satisfied things were safe, she traced the same route back to her prey.

Because of the dry summer, and because I hadn't watered nearly enough, many plants had withered weeks ago. But the 'Golden Showers' climbing rose was still putting out blooms — always the first rose to flower and the last to succumb — and some of the dahlias were still going strong. At the bottom end of the garden the plums were now picked, or had fallen or shrivelled on the branch, and Red Admiral and Comma butterflies gorged on the scanty, squelchy remains.
   
Two Comma butterflies in the plum tree. The one in the top left-hand corner, disturbed by a shadow or vibration, has folded its raggy-edged wings. What perfect camouflage! 

8 comments:

George said...

A lovely piece, Robert, and a textbook example of how we can live mindfully and find both companionship and pleasure in the world at our feet, regardless of where those feet are planted.

donna baker said...

Same here. Though I love autumn, I do not love winter. I'll have to find things to do when it gets cold lest I sit and read all day.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Same here with lack of watering Robert - I am always going to do it but it gets left and then things begin to wilt.

Laura said...

Lovely and poetic. I am also noticing the changes as we teeter on the edge of summer and autumn. May winter stay a long ways off though.

Linda said...

Beautiful! I love all seasons. The only thing I have trouble with is extreme temperatures such as very high heat and humidity and frigid cold weather. The rest I don't mind at all. Warm greetings from Montreal, Canada. :)

dritanje said...

It's a lovely time of year and fascinating to see the changes happening in gardens. In some of the warm and sunny days recently, I've enjoyed too, watching butterflies. And found some dew-beaded spiders' webs too. If recent years are anything to go by, we could have many good weeks of weather still to come. Thanks for these autumn images!

Gwil W said...

We've had semi-tropical weather this summer and everything has grown wild and big. The hornets have disappeared from the kitchen. Actually I killed them. They have been replaced by a handsome Carne Fly of twice normal size. It is welcome to stay.

Derek Faulkner said...

You seem to have had the same long spell of dry weather as us here in North Kent, I have some cracks in the garden that you can put your arm down.
Love the Comma, I had one in my garden yesterday, it looked newly hatched.