New Posts on Wednesdays and Saturdays -- er generally

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Last burst of summer

Words don't really do justice to the colors of late summer. I am savoring them all as soon enough fall will be here with a different set of colors which, though I appreciate autumn's beauty, nothing is like summer for me. Yes, the equinox is a month away, but it always seems as though with Labor Day summer is over.

I've been watching the birds to see if they are beginning to gather for the migration, but so far they seem oblivious to any change coming. I am seeing less of the grosbeaks at the feeders and more of the smaller birds, not that I know that has significance.

The nights have cooled off to around 40 F which means, whatever it may look like outside, the first frost is lurking to nip the flowers and garden. Right now with the french doors open, the cooler night air is making for great sleeping-- except on the nights I lie awake thinking of the things I need to get done before fall. Roses need trimming again, the garden is getting overgrown with weeds, and if the greenhouse isn't readied soon, the plants on the deck will have to find another shelter. With grocery stores selling food year round, I don't have to make jam, can, or freeze unless I want to; but the feeling inside me still says prepare, prepare, prepare-- winter is just around the bend. Instincts go deep.

This is the first year I have planted sunflowers, and I am loving their richness. Their colors and size vary as the light seems to turn them almost transluscent. They have grown as high as ten feet which makes them the most impressive thing around, but also makes photographing them a challenge. I don't like to cut them as they last longer in the garden.

I did cut those lavender gladiolas for the dining room table, but only because I planted them to be cutflowers... but usually forget I did. The canna lilies next to them have put on a showy display most of the summer. Heat agrees with them.

A new bull calf was born last week and looks like he's going to make it despite his mother initially rejecting him. Those heifers have the baby; then look around as though what was that? It's not mine.

Thanks to some time in the barn with a headgate (metal bars that hold the cow so she cannot escape, but can lie down), she was persuaded to stand still long enough for the calf to feed and for her to realize that little critter was kind of cute. Shucks, maybe she wanted it after all.

The first day they were out with the herd, the calf ran alongside her, almost skipping he was so full of energy. At the back, where the herd was, the first thing the mother did was bring him to her own mother as though seeking her benediction. Once approval was given, I watched the other cattle come to sniff of the newcomer. From a rejected little heap, he is now a proud member of a herd. Instincts go deep.

(All pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them)

12 comments:

Joy Des Jardins said...

The colors of these flowers are stunning Rain. Absolutely beautiful. Summer's last burst has a lot to offer. Thanks Rain.

Dick said...

Beautiful flower photos. I especially like the sunflower. They were one of Annie's two favorite flowers.

You are right about the turning to fall coming soon. We will still have warm days but the nights will drop to freezing levels before too much longer, although up here it usually isn't until mid-October or so. But when we have gotten used to summer temp levels, upper 30s & low 40s feels cold. I kind of hate to see that change come as I know what is next.

The story about the calf is neat. You have some very good photos in this post. Thanks for sharing them with us.

Winston said...

Great photos... I got the impression from your description that sunflowers grow that tall (10') and produce those large blossoms atop in the same year. Is that correct? And is that planting from seed? I had always thought it took 2 seasons for the plants to mature and bloom. Wrong again, Winston...

Autumn said...

Love those photos. We can tell here that the seasons are about to change too, but still have temps in the high 80, close to 90, and very warm at night. We won't get 40's here until probably sometime in mid to late OCT. at night.

Rain said...

Winston, those were planted from seeds this spring and did that all in one season. I have been amazed too. It is a variety known for being tall but wow. If you have deer though that can get to them, they will be nipped-- that happened to the ones out front with a less effective fence around them.

As always, I enjoy reading all your comments :)

robin andrea said...

The grosbeaks have stopped coming to our feeder. Most of the migrators are now gone. It's very quiet. The nights are definitely getting colder. It's great! Fall is in the air. Our flowers are more on the downside these days. Do have sunflowers, but they're nearly over. It's been very dry here, and we're not watering much. Your flowers look so beautiful. And the calf is sweet as can be. How lovely to be surrounded by all of that.

Sandy said...

Such great pictures of your beautiful surroundings and so glad that the newborn calf is healthy and that mom took to him! You are pushing me (it's a good thing lol) to getting back into planting my flowers the way I had for years. Seeing the pictures of yours, so pretty is a great motivator. Enjoy them!

Parapluie said...

I started feeling the beginning of autumn about the 11th of August. I was at the Oregon Coast near Lincoln City. On the 11th all the trees were green and then over night the vine maple began to turn red. The winds blew and leaves fell mostly becuase they were so dry. Today one of our lillies called "Nakid Lady" opened all the way. They are nakid because their leaves grow in the spring and dye before the flower appears in the Fall. Looking forward to the last neat days and evenings. If the weather is nice enough it is fun to entertain outdoors.

Endment said...

Oh the bounty of autumn!!!
How rich and glowing - thanks for sharing

goldenlucyd said...

Sunflowers---My favorite. And I love the little bug on the first one.
Thanks for the calf story. I think we can learn so much from animals. You're very lucky to be surrounded by this richness. A great post as usual.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Beautiful pictures and such sweet writing....I love that Hepher not quite "getting it"...and then, finally understanding this was hers!! The colors of all the flowers are scrumptious!

Thanks for your visit....so nice to meet you!

Fran aka Redondowriter said...

Today we went to Butchart Gardens and it looks to me that you've got a mini-Butchart right on your farm. Seeing the mom and calf is magical for a city girl. Thanks for commenting on the Empress Tea; talk about magical. Haven't had much Internet time and don't even know if I'll be able to use a computer in Issquah. But, I'll catch up with you eventually.