Photo by B. Walker, Wikimedia Commons

I woke up, showered, ambled into the studio and plopped down into the chair–and a red-shouldered hawk went by the window about five feet away.

Scared the hell out of me for about two seconds–those are not small birds! Fortunately when he turned to go into the woods, I got a good look at the barred tail and the back for ID purposes.  Still. That’ll wake you up in the morning…

The garden is suffering a bit of a scheduling crisis at the moment–we had a very long, hot summer, which lasted well into fall, and it sufficiently confused the denizens that my strawberries decided to start flowering again.  Poor sods. And the leaf changes are completely erratic–some of the red maples have gone totally red, while others ten feet away are still green. But hopefully it’ll all sort itself out and the perennials are doing what they’re supposed to do in our mild fall climate–sending down roots, getting what amounts to an extra growing season before the frost hits.

The signs are hopeful–a lot of plants which died back severely in August or when transplanted to the new bed are now regrowing from their roots, so there’s a lot of black stems poking out of green mounds.  The cup plant, which sent up one spindly stalk this year and was not terribly impressive–“Aggressive grower? What do you mean, aggressive? You call this aggressive?” said Ursula–has suddenly put out a dinner-plate sized mound of leaves at the base and looks like it will be muttering about requiring secure borders at any moment. The Texas tarragon, which smells lovely, has put out a clump of cheery flowers and the deciduous holly is covered in shockingly red berries, which seems to indicate that the male holly “Southern Gentleman” was able to close the deal (ahem, ahem.)

So the garden pretty much looks like it’ll probably look until we finally get a hard frost that whomps everything, and then it’ll be all sparrows and juncos cavorting through the dead stalks until spring. And possibly the occasional red-shouldered hawk coming along to snack on them.

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