Monday, August 8, 2016

Berried Treasure

Finally, some rain!  It's been such a hot, dry summer.  I love all the mushrooms that pop up after only a few wet days.

This Tulip Tree Silkmoth has chosen a very smart place to wait out the rain! 

He looks just like a leaf there.

Beautiful tiny scales cover the wing surface. 

Love those antenna!

Rain storms bring weird, alien-like bits of fungus down from the trees, too. 

This little bee is waiting it out inside a flower blossom.

I don't know if it's the rain or the every-so-slightly lower temperatures, but many flowers are blooming again.

Very nice, but I'm absolutely dying for cooler temperatures.  In Indiana you start getting nice, crisp days in September, but South Carolina will still be in the 80s through the end of October!  August finds me feeling pretty antsy for fall, so I take my cues from nature that cooler weather must be on the way.

I examine leaves.  Do I see a bit of color here?!

Pine and fir trees no longer have immature green cones.  These are mature brown cones, another sign of fall.

Nandina berries have started to blush.

Beautyberries are a full, round green now.

Liriope plants, which only bloom in the fall, are starting to send up their spikes.

These signs are very encouraging to me, because they tell me that although it remains wiltingly hot and humid, fall must be coming. 

Speaking of taking cues from nature, we had a carpenter ant infestation this weekend.  I read that carpenter ants in a house mean that there's damaged/wet wood somewhere, so Todd got out the ladder and started to investigate.  He found that the frame to our kitchen greenhouse window was completely soft and spongy.  He also found a big ant nest full of eggs. 

The rot was starting to affect our wooden siding, so it was a real blessing that the carpenter ants "told us" we had a problem. 

I love studying my natural surroundings and becoming more in touch with the plant and animal life cycles.  No matter where we live, there will always be more to learn! 

Have a great week! 

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