Summer is reluctantly fading into fall and I officially added the heavy duvet to my bed last evening, since the house is quite cold when I wake up. This morning I could swear an arctic breeze had swept through the place at night, but the thermostat said 69. I have no idea how I will survive the winter if I am freezing now!
The yard still has a lot of action happening as summer hands the baton to fall. There have been some updates to the house and I will post those soon, but this post is dedicated to the nature outside my door and all its lovely splendor. Big things really do come in small packages and I find that the tiniest bits of life around this place get my heart pounding. For example, I was headed into the shed one day and noticed this adorable little flower between the boards of the ramp. I’ve looked in two flower books and cannot find the name of it, but I am enamored! Some would call it red, but this little gem looks to be a lively Betsey Johnson pink to me. If anyone knows what this is, please tell me!
Another surprise that has delighted me more than I can say is the fall seedum blooming on my front walk. The plant has been covered in bumble bees, honey bees, hairstreaks, skippers, moths, and several other bugs I can’t name. I sat transfixed one day just watching all of them work, the bees sinking face first into the tiny flowers and emerging covered in fluffy bits of yellow pollen. I envy their ability to dive into flowers.
Several weeks ago I pruned my clematis back and she has revived herself for one last showy display before the cold sets in. This shade of purple looks awful on clothing, but somehow seems deep and lustrous on a flower.
I feel a bit sheepish about this next bit. It’s kind of porny actually. There have been some serious butterfly shenanigans going on in my garden. I was weeding a bunch of violets out one day and came upon this little guy. I immediately brought him into the house and was freaking out because I love caterpillars and haven’t had any for so long, but I had to find out what it was. Turns out, I’d found a buckeye. These were quite rare on Long Island when I was growing up and I remember finding some in my dad’s garden as a girl. To this day, it was one of the most exciting butterflies I’ve raised. They’re quite common in the south.
As I left my little charge on a fresh violet leaf, I discovered some buckeyes having a naughty end of summer fling next to the fence. If anyone ever asks you how a butterfly is made, I present you with exhibit A.
All of these tiny bugs and flowers are beautiful little worlds unto themselves that unless we stop to observe, we will sadly miss. As fall approaches and the leaves begin to turn, I encourage you to turn off the TV and make the effort to get outside, take walks, look at the undersides of leaves, follow the flight of a butterfly, and disconnect from the world behind your desk or inside your living room. These are the things that keep me sane, that remind me there is so much more to life than my own small universe.
Today I head to Long Island for a much needed vacation from house projects and work. The beach is calling…