Monday, October 10, 2011

Autumn's Other Colors

We had our first rains of the season, and then the quintessential days of autumn arrived. Temperatures are in the 70s, and the air so clear it stuns our senses. The leaves are just starting to turn, and the corn stalks have been laid to rest. The sun is rising farther south perceptibly everyday; an amazing transition is underway with an obvious sweep.
I think the thing that surprises me the most right now is the insect activity. Everywhere I look butterflies are taking in the last of the flower nectar. They go from gaillardia to chrysanthemum, basil to tomato, dandelion to sage. I'm finding caterpillars climbing the outside walls, or making their way across the endless desert of decking, or wandering through the dry grasses down by the pond. The dragonflies are darting in and out of everything and everywhere. They're almost as big as the hummingbirds and hungry all the time.
Of course the frogs and lizards disappeared during the three days of rain, but when that sun came out again the activity was breathtaking. Baby lizards are scurrying everywhere, including in our laundry room (rescued Sunday morning!) and the frogs came out of hiding to bask in the sun on the water iris foliage.
Soon, too soon of course, all of this will end. Bare tree limbs will bend under snow and we won't even see the ground for days at a time. The silence and stillness of winter will bring its own beauty, but I know I'm going to miss these sights, those colors, these wings.

19 comments:

  1. A most spiritual time in the Sierras .. always for me.

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  2. For me, the saving grace of these shortened days are sunny skies, mild temps and the bursts of color still abound. I will enjoy it this coming week with the last hurrah of summer weather. Great pictures of nature's show, as usual, Robin!

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  3. I wonder how we'd all change our lives if we looked to the autumnal transformations as a directive to live our lives.

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  4. beautiful photos, as always. you have the most amazing cycles of life and variety of creatures around you. Lucky lucky. And, next season, they'll be back!

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  5. You have more butterflies in this post than I saw all summer!

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  6. Your garden must be providing ideal habitat for all of tgese insects. Love your photos, robin. this time of the year always feels juat a little wistful as the winter snows will soon blanket everything.

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  7. roger -- where is your woodshed post? i've seen gus the greenhouse, and various incarnations of the sauna, and residing the old house, and fixups and fencing in the current one. so, inquiring minds want to know about the woodshed construction.

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  8. found my first caterpillar here a couple of weeks ago, but we don't get the exotic colors or the large numbers you get in your butterfly population! that sierra summer is simply not ready to say goodbye. lucky you!

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  9. It is wonderful how nature goes frentic with color when the monocromatic days of winter are approaching. A reminder that if we just hang on, Spring will bring it all back.
    Wonderful shots of the gentlest of creatures.

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  10. Beautiful post, beautiful, crisp pictures!

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  11. Wonderful photographs! Every single year I am surprised at the changes in the sun's position. You would think I would get used to it.

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  12. Marvelous images of those ephemeral creatures; I especially like the little blue ones! I've seen clouds of them in various places.

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  13. So beautiful - thanks for sharing!

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  14. Such a lovely post--words strung together just so, crisp photos interspersed--inspired!

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  15. Oh, those butterflies! Thank you for bringing us into your beautiful space.

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  16. Still looking lovely. Our fal is as good as over. Winter is knocking at the door.

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