Heat and sunshine bring out the big blooms in August. Foxes, raccoons, and even deer visit, especially at night. It’s peak insect season too, as you can see from my iNaturalist observations. Daytimes are in the mid to upper 90s, with showers most afternoons. The weeds are getting an upper hand, but for the most part I at least catch them before they seed in.
Sun Curve is down-right gaudy, with the Crepe Myrtle springing up as a shrub despite being cut to the ground repeatedly. That puts hot pink flowers up against the hot orange flowers and yellow striped leaves of Bengal Tiger Canna. But the real action is on the Mountain Mint, a favorite with bees, butterflies, and wasps.
Other Front Yard
The Chinese Abelia is in full bloom, attracting Eastern Swallowtail and Silver-Spotted Skipper butterflies, various bees, and hummingbirds. The hummingbirds come for the Major Wheeler Honeysuckle that grows through the Abelia, but also visit the supporting white flower clusters. I wondered if the whirligig would interfere with the winged visitors, but they don’t seem to mind it at all. My new Pollinator Habitat sign on the gatepost is from the Xerces Society. The fragrant white Lilies range from three feet to six feet tall, with up to eight flowers per stalk.
Bog and Water Feature
The Water Lilies send up a bloom or two most days. The Water Lettuce reproduces so rapidly that I throw away handfuls of it every few weeks, along with mats of string algae. But the water is clear. The Pickerel Weed continues to bloom. So far, the native Lizard Tail has multiplied but not bloomed. Many dragonflies and damselflies continue to do areal acrobatics, guarding their territory and seeking mates. I was happy to photograph the tiny Forktail Damselfly for the first time. The frogs continued singing most nights, particularly rainy ones, until the beginning of August.
Dry Stream Bank
Indian Pink is blooming again, better than shown below. The rabbits have finally allowed a vine to crawl up the trellis: my favorite Christmas Lima Beans from Rancho Gordo. The grasses shrug off the heat. The Butterfly Milkweed continues to be a star, with a few orange flowers and many seed pods. Some of the seedpods are covered with colorful Large Milkweed Bugs.
This section of the garden continues to be green and lush, but more subtle than I’d hoped. I miss the Cardinal Flower, which was spectacular last year but did not return. The Buttonbush didn’t bloom at all this year. Still, several tall plants are topped with flower clusters. Someone is eating the leaves of the Pipevine, perhaps Pipevine Swallowtail caterpillars.
So many wonders! I imagine it makes pandemic seclusion a good bit easier.