Late summer asters

Summer has begun its wind-down. The daylight hours are dwindling, the sun is lower in the sky, the leaves are drying, and some of the birds have already begun their journeys elsewhere. Our colors are starting their change to the deep reds and oranges of fall. So I set out in search of a “last” color of summer and found these Lindley’s asters blooming with their final hurrah, valiantly reaching up to the sun’s warmth. With our lowering night-time temperatures they too will soon be fading into fall’s colors.

Standing tall

Slowly our summer season is coming to a close. The hours of sunlight are diminishing each day, the nights are cooler, and the landscape is losing its green lushness.

Walking in a field the other day I noticed the remainders of what had once been blooming dandelions. Their colors were gone and their skeletons stood tall above the other drying vegetation. Here they seemed proud of their intricate structure and proud of having survived the recent winds. There was no way to know how much longer the remaining blossom stems and seed would remain intact – a few hours, a day, a week – and yet they made a statement to me of resilience and beauty.

Lovely lupine

Our spring is here, and it is lovely! The forsythia bloomed, the red bud trees blossomed out, the lilacs filled the air with their delightful scent, and now the lupine are blooming. I was driving down the road, turned a corner, and there was an embankment filled with lupine. The breeze would catch their upright blooms and they would dance, swaying back and forth. It was as if they too were welcoming the warmth of the sun and the joy of spring.

As we wait for spring

Here in the north we are still waiting for spring’s arrival. Our skies have been gray, our temperatures have been 10-20 degrees below normal, and we’ve even had continuing frosts and snow. It’s been hard to keep our spirits up thinking that spring will not arrive in April but is holding off until sometime in May.

But there’s a lovely “cure” at the McNeely Conservatory in Como Park and it seems like everyone is making a mental-health trip to the conservatory. Spring is in bloom, with bright and lovely colors – reds, yellows, whites, pinks, and blues – and the scents of these blossoms float in the air. Everyone is smiling, taking photos of the colors with their phones, inhaling deeply, and spending time in the gardens trying to soak up the indoor promise of warmer weather.

Spring will come, although by now it may be fleeting. We may instead jump from winter to summer. But I’m sure we will all welcome the long-anticipated warmer weather and it’s accompanying blossoms and blooms.

Holiday cards and 2022 desk calendars

My holiday cards and 2022 desk calendars are now available for purchase. Each year presents a new challenge in determining which images to use for the cards and calendars. Some photographs I think of as my “favorites” and they certainly rise to the top. Others are “hidden gems” that I have overlooked in previous edits. The images for the holiday cards remind me that our snowy and cold winter is just around the corner, and the images for the spring and summer months of the calendars have me pining for those now-distant sunny and warm days and for the color that has since disappeared from our landscape.

The images here are samples. You can see more details about the cards and calendars by going to the tabs at the top of my website page or to the dropdown menu.

Please contact me with any questions and/or orders.