Ah, August, Adieu

As our August draws to a close, I was moved this afternoon to go out into the garden to embrace and expand upon some of the nostalgia I’m feeling as summer is preparing to give way to the inexorable approach of autumn. It’s not that I’m not looking forward to fall—I freely admit that I am, but a part of me always laments the passing of another summer.

CD bought a few Coleus plants earlier this year, and they have flourished in the partial sun on the edge of the patio behind the house. Their leaves have developed into a most saturated orange-burgundy mix with highlights of green, and it has become one of our favorites in the garden.

Also, as summer has begun to wind down, I have been following the gradual fading of our Echinacea with a mixture of fondness and regret. They are so glorious when in their prime, and they give up that glory so reluctantly. One of the fading ones grows immediately adjacent to the Coleus, and I’ve been planning a photo of the two of them for a number of days, and today was the day when I acted.

Echinacea and Coleus 2057When I was confident that I had the shot that I’d visualized, I moved closer to the Coleus, to have yet another close look at the symmetry of its seemingly-inexhaustible new growth.

Harvestman on Coleus 2086 And, behold, right there on one of the young formations that caught my attention, was a harvestman (order Opilones), resting and taking it all in, and holding on quite well in the face of the persistent, gusty breezes.

Harvestman on Coleus 2103I have seen far fewer harvestmen this year than in the past several, so I was delighted. It took me the better part of an hour to get several sharp images, but patience has its rewards.  And so I wish you all a lovely September!

About krikitarts

Welcome to Krikit Arts! I'm a veterinarian; photographer; finger-style guitarist, composer, instructor, and singer/songwriter; fisherman; and fly-tyer. Please enjoy--and please respect my full rights to all photos on this Website!
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12 Responses to Ah, August, Adieu

  1. Vicki says:

    Wow! The detail in that third image is amazing. It was well worth the effort.
    Love the colour of the Coleus – it has a real golden hue. Was that the sun at that time of day or are those Autumn hues representative of that particular variety of Coleus? I vaguely remember my Mother growing a greener leaved one some 50 years ago.

    One of the things I’ve learned over recent years is the inclusion of various leaf colours in a garden. Flowers aren’t the ‘be all and end all’ of a successful visual impact of a garden.

    • krikitarts says:

      There are many varieties, and we haven’t had the time to research them to identify our particular one. But we love it, and plan to try to find more next year, since it’s an annual, not a perennial. And, yes, I completely agree that leaves can be every bit as rewarding as flowers.

  2. Wonderful photos, and they capture the leaves and the spider so beautifully. Coleus varieties aren’t predictable season to season at garden centers around here. New varieties are introduced, and older ones may or may not make it to the seasonal display. It is easy to keep the coleus over winter so you have a particular variety again the next year. Just cut some stems now, 12″-14″ long, strip the lower few leaves, and place them in a vase of water, where they will root. You can keep them as rooted cuttings for several months, or pot them and keep them in doors as houseplants through the winter. The leaves will be smaller inside, and not as saturated, but you’ll have the plant for starts in spring. Coleus can root if stems are pressed into potting mix and kept moist- I just prefer rooting stems in a vase in a windowsill
    Best wishes, WG.

    • krikitarts says:

      Hey, WG, thank you so much for that most welcome information! We had resigned ourselves to trying to find another next year, but you have kindled hope, and we will definitely and eagerly try your method for carrying them over. I’m just having a first look at your blog and it’s taking a very long time to load (our internet connection is absurdly slow of late), but I love your 8/29 blog and your photos of the hatching snapping turtles. What a wonderful opportunity!

      • Thank you for the kind words. We’ve had deer coming onto our patio at night attacking one particular (very large) Coleus plant. For over a week, we’d find another branch broken off every day or so. Some were near the pot, some several feet away on the walk. I’ve rooted all of them… given some to friends, replanted a few, and still there is a bouquet of rooted Coleus in a vase in the kitchen window ;-) My dad just sticks the pieces he prunes off back into the moist soil and all root. Coleus is one of those wonderful plants which is both beautiful and easy ;-). So sorry for the slow loading. It is probably because I use so many photos. I”m glad you let me know that problem, and may try to cut down on the number of photos. We found another turtle yesterday, and were able to move it out of the street and into some moist shade. We are having great fun with them. Best wishes, WG

  3. Mike Powell says:

    Great shot of the harvestman. You captured wonderfully the details of this amazing arachnid, including those really bizarre sidewards-looking eyes on the stalk in the middle of its back. Knowing you and seeing the relatively wide depth of field, I am pretty confident that you used a tripod for the shot. The color of the coleus is pretty amazing too, a great color for the coming autumn.

    • krikitarts says:

      Right you are, Mike, tripod this time. It was so breezy that I pushed my ISO up to 1000 so I was able to shoot at 1/250 sec and f/11. And yes, the Coleus really is amazing. We’re sorry that it’s an annual and were not expecting it to survive the winter, but I’ve just had a tip (see above) that there may be a way!

      • Mike Powell says:

        One of the nice benefits of taking some many photos over the last two years is that I am starting to be able to look at photos and do a quick analysis of how they were probably shot.

  4. Meanderer says:

    Love the colours of the coleus. A coleus was one of the very first houseplants I had when a teenager. I think it was too cold to grow them outside then – that may have changed now with the rise in temperatures.

  5. Adrian Lewis says:

    That top shot is very good, Gary – I find the flower extremely striking, and that soft background of textured russet is just the thing. The darkening and decay of the flower’s petals add to it. And I feel about summer’s passing and autumn’s arrival just as you do – I’m looking forward to the colours, the cooling days and the mists – to me, each of the seasons has its own attractive character. Hope you’re fine, my friend! Adrian :)

    • krikitarts says:

      Yup, a little better each day, loosening up bit by bit, and I hope to be permitted to move my arm actively starting in a couple of days. I am feeling pretty good and am very much looking forward to feeling progressively better as autumn comes into her own once again. Hope you’re fine, too!

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