"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

Hello Friends!

Friends, Romans, countrymen...y'all. Foodies, gardeners, artists and collectors - let's gather together to share and possibly learn a thing or two in the mix.

Donna Baker

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Seasons


When seasons begin or come to an end, I am usually out in the woods or fields, looking for the first signs of spring, etc.

August, in Oklahoma anyway, is the hottest one.  Temperatures are often in the hundreds and rain is rare.  Not my favorite kind of weather.  So, while deadheading the echinacea and phlox, (please, if anyone knows if this will encourage another flowering, let me know), I found these leaf skeletons.  There were quite a few in fact.  Perhaps, the first sign of fall?

The foliage has been losing its freshness through the month of August, and here and there
a yellow leaf shows itself like the first gray hair amidst 
the locks of a beauty who has seen one season too many.

Oliver Wendell Holmes
"The Seasons"






38 comments:

  1. When it is so hot with dry winds it is not great for the plants.
    We had a very short sprig with everything blooming fast and at once.
    The plants knew summer was coming fast. We jumped from low 90's to 110-115 in a day and it stayed that was beyond hot I was ill.
    Now the monsoons are here in force. Heavy bone crushing, pounding rain. Lots of flooding.
    Three straight days of rain in the evening and all next week, rain every evening.

    Hope you get some rain soon but not like the summer monsoons we are having,

    cheers, parsnip and thehamish

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    1. Before your blog I had never heard of the summer monsoon season. I always thought southern AZ was dry as a bone. Our week is going to be in the hundreds. Too hot to do anything outside.

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    2. We have the summer monsoons as the native people call the male rains.
      lighting, thunder fast moving storms with wind and gone in seconds. Leaving flooded streets, washes, rivers with flash floods taking trees, rocks and cars with stupid people who try to drive through them.
      Our 2 month winter has the soft, soaking in rain that a called female rains with snow in the mountains that surround Tucson.
      So we usually have rain but the last three summers have been iffy. This year not too bad.

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  2. Our garden is just starting to ' go over ' Donna and a few leaves are starting to drop !!
    Love your skeleton leaves .... so pretty. XXXX

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    1. Thank you Jacqueline. I expect the garden to last until a late autumn freeze so I'm not happy that the perennials are on the wane. Next year, I'll have to plant more annuals.

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  3. Dry weather and heat are indeed not kind to plants. And can provoke a premature autumn.
    I do hope you get some relief soon.

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    1. Well thank you Child. Unfortunately, this week we'll have a heatwave and some summers no rain. It is brutal when that happens. Hopefully, that old jet stream will move and we might get some rain.

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  4. "leaf skeletons"

    Aren't they lovely..... And your name for them, is lovely, also.

    Delightful quote, as well.

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    1. Thank you Luna. That's what I've always heard them called. They are really ephemeral.

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  5. Donna, my Phlox and coneflowers never bloom twice, so I just let them self seed. Next spring,there should be dozens of baby plants. Many of my plants are listless and worn-out in this heat, with the exception of the Rudebekia and Zinnias, good ol August.

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    1. Same here Jeri. Luckily, I didn't deadhead them all, just in case. Tiny goldfinches are feasting on the echinacea, even as prickly as they are. I am watering often.

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  6. Aren't those leaves beautiful? I'm hoping August will be a little cooler than July.

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    1. Yes, though the cottonwood leaves are lying all over the lawn. I was hoping the lawn mower would chop them up, but no... It will be extremely unusual here to have a cooler August.

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  7. I cut everything back in the fall..except things that bloom on this yer's growth..and even then if they are too big I bite the bullet..parched here too..but no yellow leaves yet..all too soon it will happen.My echinacea and phlox bloom once..nepeta comes back if I am diligent and a few other smallish perennials..
    the light has changed..nothing stays the same~
    Have a nice day Donna~

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    1. You too Monique. Glad I didn't cut back too much; just at the back so it wouldn't show. Learn lots from all of you. I had never grown many of these plants and can't imagine why.

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  8. I don't like transitioning to the fall/winter season. This year has been especially tough, with all the cicada damage. It's been like fall since June, with all the damaged, brown leaves in the sky and on the ground. I read the reference of "nature's pruning machine." Horse hockies.

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    1. Horses nibbling or horse shit? Did you get your new garden planted? That will be fun.

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  9. My hydrangeas are mostly fried to brown, but a few just bloomed and are that lovely blue! A deep purple clematis blooming on the birdhouse, a few morning glories still opening in the early morning, lantana growing like the weed it is (the pink and yellow version), pentas still colorful, but that's about it with so many triple digit days. Grass is starting to brown out also. Heavy storms have brought rain off and on, that combined with the heat and sunshine, the two fig trees are covered with fruit and I can't keep up on picking and cooking. Sharing some and today made first batch of jam - another planned Friday when I will show a dear friend how to make it and send her home with enough for a year most likely!



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    1. Can you freeze figs? If not, jam is the best way to preserve and of course give away all you can. That's what we've done. At the farm garden, the okra is all that is left producing. I came back today and my citrus plants were parched even though I paid someone to water them. Going to have to fuss about it.

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  10. I think leaf drop in August has more to do with high heat and no rain...same same here.

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    1. Yes, it is brutal here. I want the cottonwood leaves to be chopped up by the mower, but they go right over them and I am not ready to rake yet.

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  11. Your skeleton leaves are pretty. Some of Mother Nature's lace work. Our alternating super hot and then heavy storms and rain have been hard on my flowers.

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    1. It is hard to get it just right. One year, a sever storm blew all our corn stalks over. It was about 6 feet tall and unbelievably, it stood back up by itself. I like those leaves too.

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  12. Dear Donna, I'm glad that your city house has got some water nearby to just offer a bit of refreshing air to the increasing heat of August. This is typically the time of the year when NYC becomes a place of great sidewalk heat. When I first moved here back in the 60s, many shops would close during August and even more would be closed on weekends.

    Now the economy churns on and such European August patterns are long gone.

    I've got a gingko tree outside my from window (not the smelly gender) and just this morning I've noticed that its leaves are beginning to get a brown edging. About 15 years ago, we had a very, very hot summer and I did lots of drawings and paintings of the premature autumnal natural look of the city. This year is not quite so extreme, but it still makes me sad to think that it wasn't many months ago that those daffs were in bloom.

    That's how the wheel turns, I guess. Wheels reminds me to let you know that my brother has let me know that his place doesn't have any car like your green electric geometric retro vehicle. But ... he has seen them.

    It was cool enough here today to do some more knitting, but also cool enough to trek over to the library to bring home more books than I can possible read before their due dates. Most are from the long-term-loan date stacks...like Jane Austen, so I will begin with a brand new Nina Stibbe novel, Paradise Lodge. For more challenging pages, I will turn to the philosophical exploration, Violence, by Salvoj Zizek. I'd recommend them both. Oh, Jane Austen, too, naturally.

    xo

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    1. Wel thank you dances for the book advice. I had been wondering about Jane Austen as I find I like the older works more than contemporary fiction.
      Better tell Brother that I read collectors are snapping them up as the first electric car. I just got back to the farm today, so maybe I'll stop by and offer him some folding money (old term for a higher denomination bill) - maybe $100 just to see what he says.
      With climate changes who knows what the weather will bring. I am surprised about the shops closing etc. Very European. I did read that residents of Miami leave in August.
      I wish I could remember how to knit. I bought some yarn in Paris and have yet to finish the scarf. I might start painting a Christmas card as you do. I always want to do that, but wait too late.
      Like you, I run quick errands, but in my truck. I can't imagine how difficult it must be in NYC with all the walking.

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    2. That would be Frances. I type horribly on my Mac laptop. Make so many more mistakes than on a regular keyboard.

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  13. Deadheading the phlox will encourage new blooms, with echinacea they should reflower even without deadheading but obviously look better without the dead flowers. I don't enjoy seeing the first signs that autumn is slowly creeping in this direction! Sarah x

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    1. Yes Sarah, me too. It makes me think what's to come after. I somehow need to find a way to like winter as I can probably count the ones remaining. Yes, I will try to convince myself.

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  14. My garden is not looking very good at the moment, if only we could freeze them in time when they look their best. One of those skeleton leaves would look lovely framed.

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    1. They are common, but I do love them. Maybe I will do that very thing. Oh, your garden is so beautiful, it must hurt to see its decline.

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  15. That's a great poem to go with the photo.
    Stay cool:)

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  16. I'll try. They did go together nicely. Wasn't quite happy with the fading beauty part and her first gray hair.

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  17. That's the first time I'd heard of a leaf skeleton - who knew? Are they a sign of fall, or of hot weather I wonder?

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    1. I really don't know Amanda, but if I had to guess, they result from some kind of insect activity.

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  18. Replies
    1. Maria from Chile? How in the world are you. Long time. Thank you.

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  19. Dear Donna August here in Ohio has some signs of season changes too. Far too quickly summer passes us by. Although this year it has been very hot and dry so will welcome a bit more cooler weather. Have a great weekend. Hugs!

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    1. Same here Deb. Hot and dry. Am waiting for the season to change. Hope you can get out and enjoy the weekend. My weenies got me up at the break of dawn this morning. I never get up that early.

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