Wednesday, August 31, 2016

An August Alphabet

August was varied and lovely this year. There were days of storm, with skies of charcoal and grey; sticky days when the sky seemed bleached of colour; refreshing days with skies of a deep clear blue. There were spells of glorious warmth when the heat of the sun was like a blessing on your back; there were cool misty mornings and fall-hinting nights. There were winds blowing hot from the south or the west, and winds blowing chill like a breath from the north. There were swallows on the wires holding silent convocation, and cranes in the pastures making winter flight plans. The goldenrod marched from field to field, executing its annual takeover, while along the verges the smaller flowers kept their heads down in hopes of escaping the county mower.

If August were an alphabet, here's what the letters would stand for....

A is for Aster (flat-topped), sure sign that summer is on the wane:

B is for Barns under bounding white clouds:

Bee with a bounty of pollen on its legs:

Birds on mullein stalks and birds on wires:

B is for Blossoms too, like this Buttercup (with Bug):

Blue Vervain:

Birdsfoot Trefoil:

Black-Eyed Susan:

Bladder Campion:

and Butter-and-Eggs:

C is for Clouds:

Cows (with more Clouds):



Canada Hawkweed (or possibly Canada Lettuce):



Crown Vetch:

and Creeping Dogwood (or should that go under "D"?)

D is for Daylily, growing wild on the verge:

E is for Evening Primrose:

F is for Fleabane:

Flowering Spurge:

and Feed Mill (with Flag):

G is for Goldenrod:

Great Blue Lobelia:

and Green-Headed Coneflowers:

H is for Herbs that grow at my doorstep:

J is for Joe-Pye Weed:

K is for Knapweed, invasive but lovely:

M is for Mullein:

P is for Purple Loosestrife:

Q is for Queen Anne's Lace:

R is for Rough Blazing Star:

Red Clover:

and Ragweed (achoo!):

S is for Silo:


Sedum found growing wild on the roadside:

Spotted Jewelweed:

Sunflowers and sunflower look-alikes:

Soapwort (or Bouncing Bet):


St. John's Wort:

and Sandhill Cranes, gathering for the long flight south:

T is for Trees:


and Thistles in three colours (with and without Turtle):

U is for Unkown:

and Unidentified:

W is for Winding Roads (my favourite kind):

Wires crossing a stormy sky:


Water Hemlock:

Wild Cucumber:

Water Smartweed:

and White Sweet Clover:

Y is for Yarrow:

and Yellow Sweet Clover:

At the end of August, every ride, every walk has a valedictory feel. The trees and fields look tired, as though they're ready to give up the fight. But the flowers seem bravely and gallantly gay, like soldiers dancing on the eve of a winter's battle, making a last colourful stand in the face of the killing frost to come.

(Dear me, what a somber ending! Rather Byron-ish now that I think of it.)


Here's to a happy September. :)

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