Tuesday, September 07, 2010

a fine late summer evening

I was enjoying the cool breeze blowing over the deck, picking **&%^&*& elderberries again, when it dawned on me that I could sit out here and blog. The sun is about halfway down, and after the mid-90's of today, it is very comfortable. In fact, this may be the most perfect evening of the whole summer. The new deck furniture, purchased in mid-July when the prices went down, has hardly been used. Soon it will be put away for until next year.
A week ago we were all along the beach and bay in Delaware looking for bayberries. It was 102 degrees. There were very few bayberries to be found, but it was probably because we weren't sure where to look - other than protected wildlife and or nature sanctuaries. We did find beach plums. This was the first time we'd ever seen them. Perhaps different plants taste different, but the ones we tried were very puckery - like they had a lot of tannic acid. They'd probably make wonderful jam, though.
Earlier today I wandered around trying to find proof that summer isn't over yet. No such luck. It was starting to become clear when cornhusks started flying through the air like giant snowflakes the other day. Farmers are cutting the corn all around here. The view is changing. The sky is a different color, too. But that's not all.
Walking past the garden, somebody was busy munching on what's left of the bean leaves. He looked at me in a sidelong manner, as if to say, "what are YOU lookin' at?"
The dogwood berries are getting to be a deep red, which usually does not signal that there's a lot of summer time left :-(.I totally missed my favorite stage of the hibiscus seedpods, when they look like they are made of leather. They must have hit that on the day we went to the shore, because they are right by the door, and never had that sturdy, shiny look.
Next up is the seedpod of Velvetleaf. I posted it earlier on the TEH facebook page as jimson weed, and Sue Hess discreetly clued me in. Back in the late 70's, there was a rash of jimson weed usage. I seem to remember someone trying to jump from the roof of the parking garage directly across from the police station.... ANyway... at the time I was out in a meadow with some kids, and someone pointed it out. Probably both plants were close together, and someone mentioned the barrel shaped pods. Hey, lots of things could be barrel-shaped-ish! So 30 or 40 years later, we got that one straightened out.
The Sweet Annie is high as an elephant's eye and covered with the tiny balls that will soon make those with allergies miserable. It smells wonderful to me.
The sea oats are drying in the sun, shimmering and quaking to the gentlest of breezes.It doesn't look like there was much proof of a lasting summer out there today. I will continue to look. Maybe down in the deep part of the woods, where the burning sun hasn't managed to cut through the trees and burn leaves. That's the real problem, you know. It isn't that summer is over, it's just that it's been so hot that the plants aren't handling it well. Poor things. That's what it is.

1 comment:

Beth said...

Great photos! It's amazing how divine and lovely is the symmetry of seedpods and flowers.

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