Please don’t mistake my intention here—I am not ready to let go of summer for quite a while yet, and I plan to do what I can, as time and other commitments allow, to celebrate her presence for the foreseeable future. Still, I can’t help but notice a few signs that the old earth continues to revolve toward the inevitable next phase of her cycle. Two of my main indicators of the seasonal shift are the brackens and the sumac. The bracken fern (Pterydium aquilinum) is progressing to yellow and will soon be fading to brown.
Most of our smooth sumac (Rhus glabra) is still a rich green, but the occasional leaf or branch that has likely been somewhat more compromised in its nutrient supply than its brethren has already begun to wax into the flamboyant stage of its annual cycle.
I will continue to document the fruits of the remnants of this glorious warm season, but I will also embrace the changes that come as the year evolves. As it does so, I relish the flora that span both the summer and the autumn, and among of my favorites are the asters. The most common ones that grow around our cabin are probably Lindley’s Asters (Symphotrichum ciliolatum). Their petals vary from almost white to deep azure, and I can easily get lost in their lovely intricacy.