As the sun started to set last night we went for a little stroll to see if it was possible to get through the brush. The main purpose was to see how the bayberry bushes had fared during this bone-dry summer. I found them. Mere dry twigs, they were. The wild ginger and trillium seemed to make it through, but the bushes look like they gave up a while ago.
The entrance to the woods is guarded by this little gazebo, which sits in front of a pond. It looks so pretty engulfed in trumpet vine and sedum. In the summer it is sometimes a-swarm with hummingbirds, and I've sat in the distance with binoculars watching them buzz around drinking nectar. The frogs around the pond were slow and groggy in the cool of the late summer night and we saw dozens of them lazing around the edge of the water.
It surprised me how much the "jungle" had died back, but the lack of rain was clearly apparent. A small stream runs through the woods, and it was very low. Mosquitos were pretty healthy, so we didn't go too far. I took another picture of the jewelweed in bloom because it was easy to get close to this patch. You can see the touch-me-not pods hanging from the stems along with the blossoms. The woods were full with these orange gems.
When it was time to leave, we walked out to the shop to turn off the lights and lock up. The shop garden is full of calendula, and all sorts of butterfly drawing flowers like fennel, cleome, bee balm, and sages. It was dark outside, but in the glow of the porch light, this moth was drinking from a bunch of cleome flowers. It is large, about the size of a hummingbird. After allowing several flash shots to be taken, it apparently wanted to get closer to the source of that light and buzzed my head several times.
With summer failing, its time to start gathering hemlock cones, milkweed pods, and all the seedpods that will become Autumn craft projects. I hope the rose hips make it to frost before withering.