Summer Photo Walk, August 23

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Each year I take a few days from work to help my daughter get ready for school. This morning I made a quick walk through a local public garden to capture some late summer blooms. Bumblebees attended sunflowers both tame and wild. I also spotted dew on some dark caladium leaves that looked like something from a dream:

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I will close with a few other pictures from today’s walk, and then I will return to the yearly ritual of the back to school. The next step shall be the haircut. At least the hairstyles nowadays are simple and free of the perms and big hair of my school days.

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Garden, September 3

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I’m lingering more in the garden because its days for 2017 are coming to a close. Inevitably the weather will turn too harsh to sustain these flowers. The unknown is how long the growing season will last. The first frost could come anytime between the middle of September and the beginning of November.

Last year the flowers were still in bloom a week after Halloween, but I cannot depend on a similar season this year. The temperature dipped to the high forties during a couple nights this week. My hibiscus bush is growing new leaves for a second bloom, but I don’t think the warmth will endure long enough for an encore bloom like last year.

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Mystery Sunflower

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I sowed four varieties of sunflowers this year, yet just one of them bloomed as expected. All of these were grown from Burpee seed, which has been a reliable brand in my experience until this year. The Lemon Queen bloomed as depicted on the seed packet. The other three did not prove to be quite so accurate or abundant.

None of the Mammoth Russian seeds germinated. My Autumn Beauty has only yellow blooms instead of a variety of yellow/orange bicolor flowers. The picture shown above is what bloomed from a packet of Teddy Bear sunflower seeds. I’m not sure what variety this flower is, but it is not Teddy Bear, which has many rows of small wispy petals unfurling from the outside in as the bloom matures. I grew a Teddy Bear sunflower with my daughter when she was very young to teach her how to sow seeds and care for an easy plant. It did not look like this sunflower, except for its short height.

Garden, August 26

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The sunflowers have attracted lots of honey bees and leatherwing beetles. Both are so content with their feast that they don’t seem to notice my milling about with my camera.

Hummingbirds have been visiting my calibrachoa baskets, but they fly away as soon as I start opening my back door.

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Garden, August 19

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My hibiscus bush is done blooming unless there are some surprise buds facing the garage. Last year fall was long and warm enough to produce a second round of hibiscus blooms. Perhaps the encore blooming will happen again this year, but our cool nights hint that this is not likely to happen again this year.

My sunflowers continue to bloom. Pictured above is my first open bud on our Teddy Bear sunflower. I’m excited to see this one unfurl. It looks more like a giant mum than a sunflower when it is in full bloom.

My calibrachoa baskets are prospering. This afternoon I noticed a hummingbird flitting about these baskets, but it flew away as soon as I opened my screen door with camera in hand.

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