We rarely see young bucks, such as this one, sporting unique antlers. He will shed the lopsided headpiece this winter or early spring of next year and begin to grow new ones. Careful attention must be paid to this teenager to be certain his curiosity does not get the better of my Liatris for a second time.
The deer have much to munch upon within the acres here, and many more surrounding, so they are kind to me and my gardens. I continue to cut oak, maple and birch saplings allowing new tender growth that deer find nutritious and delicious.
This is the main color show of the gardens now . . . last year Ironweed, Joe Pye weed and Rudbeckia were magnets to butterflies . . . this year there are mostly native bees . . . but few fluttering wings go by.
Nearing the last week of August . . . but there is still time for frolicking. Clouded Sulphurs exhibit their tiny orange and black full moons, while sipping runaway marjoram and courting or cavorting in the field below the middle garden.
Wild Morning Glory is taking over the Bluebird nestbox . . . I am allowing it, as the larger Bluebird family has taken off, beyond the cotton clouds, for now. Nearby, Rudbeckia 'Herbstsonne' reaches for the light to a height of over seven feet. This great plant will never catch up to the stately tips of the Hydrangea paniculata it stands before.
Hydrangeas, though tired and somewhat spent, still offer sustenance to many pollinators. There has been not a plant/weed lifted from this area for all the days of summer. I am surprised by the diversity of small and simple flowers that seem to delight both butterfly and bee.
Our much beloved (NOT) rabbits devoured the planter plantings but now volunteers of pineapple basil, verbascum and salvia are content being squatters. The gardens are on their own this year . . . once the rabbits ate my first food plantings, sigh, I gave up and decided to just be on the land and see what happens when all is left to grow on its own. I do confess to cutting many winding, meandering tendrils of bittersweet, grape and bindweed.
The south field is overgrown with sumac, which will paint the landscape red in weeks to come and then all will be mowed revealing the form of land again by November. Here, the Tree Swallow nestbox is overrun by bittersweet. I recall less height to the field and wildflowers but weeks ago when a Tree Swallow pair tenderly care for their nestlings.
Migrations are in motion . . . today there were at least a hundred Tree Swallows swooping and scaling the sky just above these fields and spreading over towards the middle garden. I like to think that among the many are the two families of swallows from our north and south field nestboxes and they are all on their way to Cape Cod where I may chance to see them once again later in September.
August is nearly full as is its swollen, golden, 'Sturgeon' or 'Blueberry' moon . . . yet, many surprises are to be found in moments lived within the realm of our wondrous Mother Nature. Summer seems longer in moments. Shall we seize the moment then . . . for as long as each new day gives forth fresh butterflies and our young resident hummingbirds are still dipping and humming into my dreams . . . I cannot say summer is gone.