Drifts of little birds are busy in the shrubs and atop aging perennials, efficiently gleaning seeds to build up their insulation before frost sets in. Tall stems of Hosta sieboldiana flowers have gone to seed, and the cardinals get on these, bobbing about as they pull the black seeds out. In similar fashion, goldfinch partners (the yellow and black males, and their more subtle ladies), hang on and sway atop the prominent brown coneflowers, while nuthatches and downy woodpeckers creep around on the bark of a massive spruce. All this is just outside my writing window, so no wonder my blogs require a watchful eye from the editor!
The bees and small minor wasps are increasingly busy (and soon will be frantic) as they search out the diminishing summer flowers still producing nectar. They work harder each day, and eventually will be limited to the few remaining plants that can tolerate cold nights for a while longer. The ‘White Opal’ Michaelmas daisy (Aster novi-belgii ‘White Opal’, Zone 4) has recently opened and the flowers are fresh and in their prime—just right to give these charming little guys a thrill.
Other posts by Judith this week: