The hot winds of August and all my flying acts

The hot winds of August have long been blowing around the ridge and Fairy Holler. The brief but intense downpours have wrecked havoc with the structure that I reside within, but have been refreshing in their reviving of the residents who are struggling to live in their raised beds. I have found myself this year observing from behind selected viewing portals at the flying acts that are more amusing and entertaining than any repeat programming on television.
Yesterday in a moment of spacey contemplation, I was standing at the bedroom window, gazing at the colors of August in the front fairy gardens when I saw movement amongst the second wave of blooming Kugglesonne rudbeckia.
The Kugglesonne's this year have been prolific. In anticipation of their stature, I had placed large garden grids over two clumps of them to help in supporting their tall flower stems when they were ready to bloom in July and August. They fooled me. They threw another clump outside the western end bed beside the Chinese Almond bush, again. That first clump I had lifted and plunked into the side yard's bed to bulk up the side bed's bloomer's.
The original K. rudbeckia must have thought it a joke, because I noticed another healthy wad of large leaves this spring where the last throw had been. I was amazed at the health and vigor of just living outside the raised bed of worm casting soil in hard, red clay. I forgot to shove a grid over the clump..............
Standing in a haze, I noticed the bright yellow petals of newer buds moving and focused upon the flowers. Ahhhhh, the collaboration between fairies and the actual culprit who is probably responsible for the sowings of more and more plants was visible, but barely. He moved with precision as he tore into the past bloomed heads of the rudbeckia. A brilliantly decked out Goldfinch male.
He munched and tore into the remaining seed heads with so much concentration, he didn't see me standing in the front door closest to the original clump that was supported. I had moved in my fascination of his ravenous munchings.
The dawgs had gone into son's room and slipped into his bed to hang and snooze with him since they still thought I was sitting at the computer desk. So they weren't aggravating me at the door and blowing my cover. I stood quietly with the door slightly open so I could hear the outside sounds and feel the wave of hot winds as they tried and succeeded to push past the cooler air of the house and me.
The colors of the Goldfinches topcoat were as brilliant as the rudbeckia's. And as I watched him with deliberately slowed breaths so he wouldn't hear me, I noticed out of the corners of my eyes, more flying acts in this late summer circus.
It's been a color extravaganza this year in Fairy Holler. So much to share. The four o'clocks this year wowed me. I always pull up as many seedlings from the little black dimpled grenade's as I can, because they grow to great, smothering succulent and knobby kneed inconsiderate plants. I get enough show and perfume from the great tubers of previous year's plants that return every year for me.
This year, I noticed that magenta and yellow 4's were all mingled everywhere. And when I saw everywhere, I mean, everywhere. Through the whole front bed, outside the front beds and even popping up in the perennial containers and trying to establish in the driveway.
The most notable 4's though were the magenta ones. I had one that grew so upright, it invited me to stake it and support the central knobby stalk. I did. For my consideration and foresight, it grew to be SIX FOOT FIVE INCHES TALL. I know the heights it achieved because son is six foot four inches..........it was taller than he.
That plant, the flowers were the normal, eye popping magenta. And as you pushed past the knobby arms that reached over the sidewalk thru the sage smelling branches and blue flowers of Blue Enigma salvia, the combined aroma's of sage from the salvia and the sharp and wonderful smell of Mirabilis (4's) was enough to stop you in your tracks and inhale. I did. Frequently.
With all the downpours and overcast days, they opened at all times of day and into the evenings where they stayed open all night. During the construction of the nook's boardwalk into an amazing mini deck that youngest son built for me, I was forced to use the centrally located entrance, and the fours and other occupants wowed me.
The other revelation of 4's this year was the obvious mutation of a magenta. It's not just magenta. The central portion of each trumpet flower was a lighter, metallic pink. The colors blended with each other, but the central color made each flower highly noticeable. They smelled as sweet.
Under and woven thru all the tangles of foliage, the yellow ones popped up thru to highlight the beds. Some of the yellow's persistently trying to jump over the gravel driveway, and showing me that a couple of their tubers were growing in clay and gravel and didn't mind in the least.
As the colors started focusing in, I noticed I had been spotted. The finch cursed me, and flew off to the side and went to the western front volunteer clump to nosh. That plant showed me that rich soil, even if leeched by rains and snows of a decade were still enough to make the flower stems grow in curves instead of upright and straight. Because the flower stalks of the volunteer grew as straight and upright as if I HAD staked them with a support grid! Only a final pounding rain last week was able to bend them to their more prone and reclining state. The finch didn't care. He was intent on the buffet before him.
All thru the towering stalks of assorted returning acts, floating hang gliders were everywhere. Swallowtails, all types of them, in every possible coloration imaginable have hatched and grown to full size to sup from my many flowers and taste the sweet fruits of the fallen pears in the driveway just past the gates of Miz Mary's old ancient pear tree.
Monarch's, checkered skippers, dusky wings, longtails, giant skippers, Fritillaries, Emperors, Snouts, Satyrs, Viceroys,Admirals and Sisters, and Painted Ladies. Crescents and other butterflies have made the air thick with their flying. You expect there is need for a teeny air control fairy to orchestrate their glidings among all the landing area's.
The colors are diverse, even for hot days of August. A hot pinkish purple (pirkle) clump of still blooming Phlox where I park on the bricks out front, growing thru the cracks are pinkish white and pirkle Cleome to compliment the phlox's colors. And thrusting thru all this, a determined white butterfly bush.
As your eyes are drawn by the pink's you notice at the edge of your vision the deep blue of the Enigma salvia that reach over the supporting wires I plunged into the edge of the concrete that provides a firm footing towards the new side deck. That garden wire was put there to discourage Sugar and later Smιagol from digging the loose, rich soil.
Dark eyes ringed by orange yellow petals battered but still hanging in there on the little Black eyed Susan's in the container beside purple asters that are starting to spring open.
Munched spires of purple Loosestrife stand with arms uplifted for perching of any tired flyer. Next to that, the perfect Quaking Oatgrass in another container that gifted me with thousands of little seedlings when I didn't cut the seedheads back last year.....................the fairy's joke on me for not being diligent.
Thru all these flyers, a twirrrrling sound, high pitched and familiar. The real star of this colorful flying display. Hummer's. Green and electric, and the more muted grayish of his wife, and their children who now chase each other thru the forest of flowers.
Long ousted from this paradise, I no longer see the rare and seldom seen Ruby throat hummingbird. He's been thrown out of the Rufus' neighborhood. There ain't room enough for the two of them apparently. Never mind, I enjoyed his brief showing in the Enigma salvia before the Rufus ran his ass away.
If you stand or sit in front of any front window of this disaster of a house, your soul is immediately filled to overflowing with the colors of the last days of August.
Mary Emma's tough pinkish white phlox that has literally bloomed all season. She arrived all decked out in twice her usual amount's flowers because I finally clipped her back hard in early spring once the growth took off. She too, has thrown me daughters in random fairy selected places to fill in a need for a color, however delicate.
Underneath the black cherry tree, the toughest shade and drought tolerant plants have survived my neglect this year. Toad lilies are now gracing slender stalks that rise up among the many many leaves of the perennial begonia which are all sporting dangles of hot pink flowers.
A hint of texture, a stubborn Japanese painted fern hangs on by threads at the corner of a barren spot where I know the "taters" of Pottingshed's Virginia bluebells are resting up for next year's display. Astilbe have crisped and died back to the soil, the texture of the Arborvitae fern is underneath the variegated leaves of the Peris, and I disturb little teensy toads as I wander to see how much under the tree has managed to survive despite it's greedy roots.
Beside the gate that leads you inside Fairy Holler grows Zebra grasses that are now making seed heads of golden, and the grasses, not having been tied or girdled up are flopping wide open underneath the astounding display of the white crape myrtle I brought from home 13 plus years ago that was a gift from a former employer and my first gardening mentor, Jack Totty.
Complimenting the white spires of this myrtle, are hot pink ones that are crowding the gate's railings. And behind and between these two perfect colors, are ever blooming orange sherbet trumpet vine.
Japanese anemone that were munched to lace by blister beetles before I sprayed them with pyrethrum to fell them quickly and before they could lay eggs greet me in four places with their pure pink flowers that sit atop four foot stems. Each imperfect and perfect flower is dotted with a dark yellow eye that greets each flyer as they glide past on their way to other treats.
No pink butterfly bush this year, she was trimmed and then brutally whacked out of necessity for the deck's widening. I moved her, but I don't see signs of life from her yet. I hope she's just sulking. I miss her blossoms that attracted the flutter by's and even the hummers so closely to my nook window.
The outside beckons me and I go out with umbrella in case it really rains (I hope so, containers and raised gardens are making an obvious sucking sound) and look skywards and see those perfect imitations of deflating brownish pink balloons up in the upper tips of the fig tree. It's FIG TIME!!!!
So laying down the umbrella, tucking the digital camera into a pocket, I grab thick branches and start to bend them towards me, so I can reach those treasures of sweet perfection. Some have passed their perfect sweetness and piss ants are cleaning them up on the stems. I leave them for their enjoyment, and take nearby figs. Most of them huge.
It's easy to get lost in the branches of a fig tree that has started ripening it's fruits. I'm more watchful of those enormous hornets that visited the figs last year than anything else. Plucking each perfect fig, and spotting yet two or five more in other upper branches, I feel little ants falling on me as I shake their buffet, and I keep snacking.
The grassy weed that has taken over every pathway, every terraced landing around the house, blown over to inhabit the promising eastern yard to heights that are now past my knees, as I wade thru it, making paths, I realize I will have to tear all of this out very soon before those pink ball like flowers form on the ends and I have ten times this amount next year.
The air is thick with humidity, the chirping sounds of cicada's, and a tired bird or two. The winds are warm, and the sparce drops of rain are almost hot. Maybe it will rain after all. Then I can watch the hummer supping the deep blue trumpets of the Enigma salvia as the raindrops dilute the nectar he finds in each flower. I think I'll go get another couple of figs...........................
madgardener, up on the ridge, back in Fairy Holler, overlooking a cloud enshrouded English Mountain in Eastern Tennessee zone 7, Sunset zone 36
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madgardener wrote:

very nice indeed.
you live in good country, sir. or madam.
carl
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thank you <g>

"maddie"
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madgardener wrote:

sucess! when do i get to meet the girls? ;)
carl
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On 26 Aug 2005 17:59:02 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@my-deja.com wrote:

and when do I get to be one of the girls? zhan
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you already have top billing......................<g>
wrote:

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madgardener wrote:

When are you going to post some of those pix to alt.binaries.pictures.gardens?
--

Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
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Travis, I'd rather send them to you because you never see the pictures I post on alt.bianaries.pictures.gardens. and I does post pictures there......but think of this.......I see responses about pictures that have posted and when I look for them, I can't find them, so it works both ways............I think I have yer address. if not, I'll holler back atcha......... maddie

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madgardener wrote:

I got the pix, thanks.
You are posting to the wrong group. Check the spelling. It is alt.*binaries*.pictures.gardens not /bianaries/.
--

Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
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right now for me. is there a google to archive these? my flamingo's in the fig tree's picture is still there......so I know some of my pics are showing. I just looked at a nice picture of a Eucheris flowering (I have one myself that blooms twice a year that I drag inside to winter over. I'd repot it, but apparently it loves tight shoes.) but I am subscribed to alt.binaries.pictures.gardens. I just spelled it wrong. sorry. maddie

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madgardener wrote:

There is not one message from you in alt.binaries.pictures.gardens.
Do you see the pictures posted by Jan B? Do you see the pictures posted by Marutchi?
--

Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
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Or Sneff? Or Bob Holden (gorgdous series on Great Dixter)
Maddy, seriously, there are no pictures in there from you since the Black Iris thread back on 7/11. I save all of your pictures in my Agent download file, and there's been nothing since. If you're using OE for posting then you might be seeing your own posts in your outgoing or something, but there's nothing in alt.binaries.pictures.gardens. :o(
I've also checked on the Newsguy.com direct feed, and there's nothing there.
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Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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Ann wrote:

Agreed! I've also been looking for a while now. Sadly, there are no pictures from you.
An investigation is in order!
Good luck, Jean
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Ann wrote:

Thanks Ann and Jean. I thought I might be going crazy.
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Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
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expounded:

nahhhhhh yer not going crazy. I just posted some more pictures on the alt.binaries newsgroup. lessee if these show up. if not, I'll have Squire tweek it for me tonight since he's home..... rainy here madgardener
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madgardener wrote:

They haven't shown up yet. I'm off to work now.
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Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
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