Bloomin’ Update 10: Autumn Joy

My plan was to have a post featuring the blooms of the waning days of summer.  With camera in hand, I captured bees tending to their chores on a day that felt more like July than September.  If you could see their bee faces, I’m sure they were aglow with autumn joy.

 Then, in a matter of hours, a cold front roared through.  The clouds thickened and darkened, the wind grew stronger, and fat drops of rain splattered everything.  And all the while, the temperature plummeted — so much so, that by sunset, it felt like late October.  When I looked out of a window, I saw the last canna bloom (was that a shiver?) glowing.  I again grabbed the camera, this time to capture the canna’s last stand — and I was blown away by the vividness of color.

I wondered what other flowers and plants would look like surrounded by chilled darkness and then the glare of a flash.  I was limited in my selection because of the time of year, but I did (surprisingly) capture a noisy cricket in the ivy that climbs up the maple tree.  He’s resting on the large leaf at the bottom of the photo.
Now the Zinnias, a little battered and chewed up, but still holding on to their color.
This Blanket Flower is probably wishing that it had a blanket.

A few of the old standbys:  a faded Hydrangea (take that Madonna!), Liriope spikes, Coleus “Tartan,” and a Caladium close-up.


The Sunflower Sisters, one streaked with orange, the second like a faded version of the first, and the third looking more like celestial eclipse.

Finally, another glimpse of “Autumn Joy” Sedum.  The bees were probably in a state of suspended animation at this hour and temperature.

My late-night expedition into the garden was a wonderful way to close-out summer.  (Note to self: Next year, don’t wait until the end of summer for a nighttime photo shoot.)  Looking back on this growing season, it was exciting to enter the blogging world and to share my life and garden with you.  I appreciate greatly all of the comments and encouragement.  Now, it’s time for cleaning up, digging and storing tender bulbs, protecting terracotta pots, and the never-ending raking — in other words, the joys of autumn.

20 thoughts on “Bloomin’ Update 10: Autumn Joy

  1. I had to look twice to find that cricket! I love to walk outside at night. The garden acquires mysterious elements with even a hint of danger. You did a good job capturing some lovely blooms at night!

    • That cricket certainly made his presence known long before I saw him. It’s amazing at the volume that comes from an insect so small — and capturing him in the photo was pure luck. I’m glad you enjoyed my evening walk — I knew white flowers look beautiful in moonlight, but the chilly air seemed to make the whole adventure bittersweet.

    • Thanks! I think the trick was the flash — it really brought out the vividness of the colors. I was surprised myself. My only wish is that I had done this earlier in the summer. There’s always next year!

  2. Pretty blooms. Love the sedum with the two bees on it. Trying to get the last, I suppose. I always think of autumn as saying goodbye to my plants for the winter. It makes me a bit sad. But, as you say, it’s also the time to plant bulbs – which are such a joy in the spring. And I do like to see the evergreens in winter. They get lost in the summer’s glory.

    • The bees have a field day whenever the sun warms up the air. They’re so preoccupied with their task that they don’t even notice me sneaking up on them, like a member of the plant paparazzi.

    • I love the way you described the Liriope. Imagine a forest with purple trees! I think we would all be so distracted we would never stray from it. Thanks so much for that image.

  3. Great idea capturing photos at night. Isn’t it funny how quickly the weather can change this time of year. We’ve had some right hot muggy days but it only takes a matter of hours and a cold wind blows in and the day turns to autumn.

    • Hi Marguerite, and thanks for commenting. That night, when I took the pictures, the temperature fell about 30 to 40 degrees. On a day like today, though, it feels positively tropical. The plants can’t figure out if its autumn or summer.

    • Patrick, so glad you found my blog and that you enjoyed what I posted. I had never done this before, and the surprise has me eagerly looking forward to next summer.

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