August 4. Going to be another hot day. At 10, it was 85 degrees and muggy. I went on walkabout to take inventory and prioritize yard tasks, and there are several. I will probably go out shortly and attempt just a few of them.
I took my camera with me, and I realized that although I thought my SUMMER section was over, I needed another page to show the end of the season. We had just a bit of rain over the weekend, but it seems to have been enough to bring out the crepe myrtles again. These in the front yard are not that spectacular (well, they never are for some reason), but I like them anyway.
But those by the garage certainly have made a late-summer comeback!
I was proved right to cut down the brown naked lady stalks several days back to make room for the late-comers that I saw poking out of the ground. These have come up, as have a few others in the yard. And as I anticipated, the various insects that like them seem particularly glad to have some back. You can't see the insects here, but trust me, they are there.
You can certainly see insects in the althea bloom, although you'll have to enlarge to do so.
I seem to have more althea blooms right now than at any time earlier this summer. If memory serves, their major blooming season is later in the summer.
I still haven't gotten a name for this little beauty. Maybe if I send a copy of this to my sister she will supply a name. I used to have more of these, but I guess I have over-mowed where they tended to grow. The earlier bloom was hidden in the camellia. This one is against the front fence with the yucca plant in the background and a bit of dead cat briar to the right.
I have cut down and mowed over the Black-Eyed Susans in my wildflower patch, leaving what I hope are golden-rod as well as that patch in the foreground that I think is a smaller late-blooming variety of the beautiful yellow plant. I'm thinking this process spread the Black-Eyed Susan seeds about. If I have none next summer, I 'll know I made a mistake.
The woods are unusually green for August in Alabama: usually they are starting to show a dried-up brown. We have had more rain than usual. (That limb stretching out to the right is from a tree in the woods seeking the light by overhanging the yard: it will crash down one of these years and create another project for me to attend to.)
A preview of coming attractions: my clematis is getting ready to bloom. The vine itself can drive me crazy, especially when it entwines with crepe myrtles and other plants where I don't want it. But I love the masses of tiny white flowers when they bloom. Behind my garage I have left the dead redbud trunk you see on the left to give the clematis something to climb on, and on the right is the stand that I allow to grow on the front fence between the walk and the store.
Yes, still some summer! And in addition to the clematis we still have the spider lilies and the goldenrod!
August 11. It is 89 by the thermometer at 2:15 in the afternoon. Not that bad except the humidity is probably as high as it can get. You step outside and the sweat pours down.
But the clematis doesn't mind the heat or the humidity. Look what has happened to it in the last 10 days. Of course it has probably been much helped by our having a bit over an inch and a half of rain in the 3 showers this weekend.
Chances are you'll be seeing a few more shots of these clumps before the season is over.
August 15. I have grown most fond of how the late afternoon sunlight slants across the yard of my neighbor to the west. This is very much the angle I see from my dining room window as I have supper during the summer months.
Unfortunately, the limitations of my camera (or possibly the person behind it) prevent my capturing the particular golden magic quality of how it really looks. Still, this gives some idea.
And I like how the trees in my woods look when struck by the light of the sinking sun.
August 18: rain blessed rain!
At long last the "scattered afternoon thundershowers" caught up with me. Almost lost power but not quite. At one point the power blinked just enough to unsettle the DirecTV box and it had to go though its 10 minute reset. My battery backup kept the computer from blinking out. And we might get some more this afternoon!
The downside, of course, is the humidity.
The big weather news, however, is the 3 days beginning Saturday when the temperature may reach 100 or more. Summer definitely still here!
August 28. Ten days since I've posted, and 10 days since the last much-needed rain. Just about the only thing remaining in bloom is the clematis. Here's the patch on the west fence in the back yard with the county road disappearing into the distance.
This just may be my last post of the summer, certainly the last for August, what with all that's going on. My 97 year old cousin who had been ailing these last weeks and who took a particular turn for the worst on this past Sunday did in fact die yesterday, and the memorial service and lunch attended by multitudes of family and friends is scheduled for Saturday, August 30.
There are lots of bugs of all sorts flickering through this clematis. I've even seen a very few honeybees, my first of the summer.
I love clematis too, as you have no doubt noticed.
If I didn't love the clematis as much as I do I'd probably hate it. It grows everywhere, including on the edge of the magnolia and intertwined in the plant by the pump house door. If I'd seen these in time I would have pulled them out. But I'm such a pushover for a pretty face: once they start blooming they've got me!
Here it is September 3.
I was going to move into Fall, but it's just too hot for that. Low 90s predicted every day for the next 10, along with isolated or scattered thundershowers. (I think the latter forecast gives us a slightly better chance of rain. Just not fair having the high humidity and no rain.)
Today Sawyerville looks like William Wyler's Wuthering Heights but feels like John Ford's The Hurricane. I don't think we've got storms coming, although the power did go off for nearly an hour this a.m. I was foraging in Tuscaloosa at the time and missed it. Just had to reset clocks when I got home.
September 8, afternoon. Just back from letting Bully and Gus out to pee down at the May Farm. They enjoy my company, I theirs. A warm afternoon, and they were eager to get back inside.
Nothing new blooming in the yard now. Very little blooming at all. I saw a trace of dark pink of one of the crepe myrtles, not enough to photograph. The clematis is way past its prime, the tiny while petals falling off now. No sign of spider lilies yet (although there are a lot of spider webs in the yard), and not even a trace of goldenrod.
But the 2.6 inches of rain I got Saturday and Sunday really has helped the grass. Friday it was more brown than green, and the rains really brought out the green again. And down in the woods the leaves on the trees have taken on a brighter green as well.
And the September skies have been spectacular!