Sunday, June 11, 2006

Summer Is Come

What’s blooming in the area: Yucca, cholla, datura, milkweed, buffalo gourd, golden hairy aster, wooly loco, wooly plantain, local dandelion, tumble mustard, roses of all sorts, sweet pea, hollyhock, honeysuckle, silverlace vine, blue grama, rice grass, downy chess grass, three-awn grass, catalpa, tamarix.

What’s blooming in my garden, looking north: Red hot poker, golden spur columbine, lance-leaf coreopsis, red rose rootstock, chocolate flowers, perky Sue, Hartweg evening primrose, Mexican hat, miniature roses (Rise and Shine, Sunrise).

Looking east: Winecup, creeping baby’s breath, coral bells, rock rose, cheddar pink, coral beardtongue, floribunda rose (Fashion).

Look south: Daylily, climbing rose (Blaze), rugosa hybrid (Elisio).

Look west: Catmint, purple beardtongue, blue flax, purple ice plant, Husker’s beardtongue, snow-in-summer.

Animal sightings: Power line birds, quail, small green hummingbird, rabbit, geckoes, earth worm, grasshoppers, ants, bees, small yellow and tangerine butterfly with patterned wings, white cabbage butterfly, large (2" long body) black and grey moth, large grey spotted beetle, tiny bluish-grey butterfly with dark spots, mosquitoes, no-see ‘ums.

Weather: Storms blew through on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to finally drop some rain Thursday night that penetrated about 1/8"; nights remain cool, days hot.

Weekly update: The change of seasons is always dramatic. No "summer is a-coming in" here. One day the afternoons are mild, the next weak plants are dying.

As quickly as the temperature changes, so do the flowers. I drove through the old village near the river Tuesday and Thursday. When I returned from the polls, sweat peas and roses were blooming. Thursday, daylilies had opened and hollyhocks started to bloom. Corn was 6" high in one garden.

I came home to find my daylilies had two flowers. The Mexican hats are beginning to bloom, as is the purple ice plant. My hollyhocks and sweet peas are still buds, but most of the roses are still blooming. Wild sunflowers are beginning to break ground and grow.

Every time I walk along around the curve of my gravel drive and see roses in the shade of the locust on one side and daylilies in the sun on the other, I think back to all those July hikes at summer camp in Michigan when daylilies bloomed in clumps along the dirt roads of Barry county. My mother told me they were tiger lilies.

Plants one would find on any midwestern country road in June are here in the same combinations. They’re the ones that survive bad seasons and neglect of changing homeowners down by the roadside where they get water collected by the gravel or pavement. The harbingers of summer portend it can be survived, and that the memories may survive as madeleines.

Grasshopper watch: So far, the grasshoppers are being picky, going after the butterfly bushes, shasta daisy, raspberries, and, of course, hollyhocks. A friend of mine in a settlement to the south says her’s are concentrating on her small white daisies.

Other news: Second red blanketflower has opened, but is missing some petals. The petals themselves are dark in the center and graduate to lighter red at the ends; only the very tip edges are yellow. The petals of the first blossom are fading to a more glowing, yellow sienna.

No comments: