Sunday, October 2, 2011

Farewell to Summer

With frost warnings being posted for the first night of October, I thought I should get out and say goodbye to some of those things that still link me back to warm summer months. The bright yellow Goldenrod flowers won’t stand up to a heavy frost. Even a light frost could take the vibrancy from the blossoms and leave them with a dusty brown cast.

I went to my favorite spot at the top of The Hill to get a general overview of the landscape. With temperatures in the mid 40’s, weather conditions bore no resemblance to summer. A light mist of rain fell all day. Not enough rain to register in the rain gauge, but enough to continually coat the camera lens with vision distorting beads. The strong north wind made it impossible to protect the camera, so it was a choice of constantly cleaning the lens or taking slightly distorted photos. I did a little of both. Heavy clouds made light conditions about equal to five minutes after sundown, so most of my shots weren’t going to look crystal clear anyway.

The hilltop prairie is full of Gray Goldenrod. The grasses are looking a little bit brown, but the yellow of the Goldenrod makes it a very cheery scene. If the clouds stick around over night, we’ll avoid a frost and the Goldenrod will continue blooming for another week of so. The meteorologists seem to have us in a perpetual Annie forecast, meaning that it’s always raining today but “The Sun’ll Come Out Tomorrow”.

Some of the trees are beginning to put on their colors. Weather definitely influences the progression of the seasonal change, but many species take their cues from day length and can be counted on to begin their transition to winter at the same time each year. Lack of any severe drought conditions through the summer should mean an especially colorful fall.

The Eastern Red Cedars are looking very green and full. I’m expecting them to carry that bright green color right into January.

The Indian Grass flowered a little bit later than normal this year, but each seed head is now full of ripening seed. I hope that translates into flocks of sparrows feeding on the seeds through the winter. There have been years in the past when sparrows have spent the entire winter feeding on Indian Grass seed. Even through heavy snow and ice storms there always seemed to be some seed accessible to the birds. I’ll miss the warm days of summer, but I’ll make up for it by enjoying the days of fall and winter.


  1. It's good to see what is happening at home. We are sailing out of Florida for awhile. We left Ohio in early September and won't return until late November. I'll be watching your blog for all the changes at home. ;)

    All the best from Port Canaveral where I have a decent Internet connection today,

  2. Hi, Lois. Hopefully I'll be able to report pleasant weather. We had a light frost this morning. The grass in the lawn was covered with ice, but the tomato plants in the garden weren't touched. I found that to be pretty odd.