Here in the United States, today is Labor Day–a day that many folks think of as the “end” of the summer season. Students go back to school (if they haven’t already) and the “carefree” attitude that many adopted in July and August seems to evaporate.
As much as I try to hang on to a summery attitude–at least until the official start of autumn on September 23 this year–nature doesn’t always cooperate with me. This is what I am seeing.
The plumes of that “annual” pennisetum in the above photo are already more brown than red. In fact, birds have harvested some of the brown stalks completely, a sure sign of coming autumn.
And of course, here are the ubiqutous maple “noses” although these are only half formed. These are the seed pods of various maple trees–in this case, my neighbor’s Japanese maple. There were some double podded ones–the ones that gives them the name “noses,” but their color wasn’t nearly so pretty.
My common milkweed, going to seed.
In my town, we go back to school tomorrow but most of the towns around us went back last week in a heat wave (unlike most of the country, we here in Connecticut do things by town not county. So the next time you think your state government is inefficient, remember that we have 168 of them in the 3rd smallest state! Ugh!)
But back to school is definitely the “end of summer” for a lot of people. So savor today!
We still get a bit of summer, but the seeds are getting just as ready here as they are everywhere else. This will be my first year with the milkweed.
We’e still having full on heatwaves here–very unusual for us. It’s 74 at 5 am and it’s going to be in the mid-90s again today. Many of our schools are on early dismissal because they are not air conditioned. But I just came in with the dog and Orion is up in the sky so there’s no doubt things are changing, 90 degrees or not!
Out here, as I think I said in my post, milkweed can “host” many other critters besides the monach. There’s a quite handsome black and orange true bug called the milkweed bug. It might actually eat a bit as well. (Maybe that post is coming up–I actually show the monarch caterpillars on Wednesday, I think). And I always get some aphids at some point–this year I had so many, the ants came to “farm” the honeydew.
But like parsley for the swallowail caterpillars, I always seem to have enough for everyone.