Runaway Summer

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At last the rains came. Last week, almost half an inch over the course of five days, this week half an inch in one 36-hour period, and a few days later, two-tenths in an hour, most of which fell in an eight-minute hail storm that left squash leaves in tatters. But the fear of fire is diminished, and the need to run water on the garden as well.

In the throes of summer’s runaway roller coaster I have been neglecting morning rounds; company, a several day water crisis, a family catastrophe, and the sheer demands of the garden have all conspired to distract me from sharing the wild beauty of Mirador’s blooming yard. For today, a brief synopsis, and hopes that I will do better from now on.

The potted agave that shot up its stalk last summer has finally bloomed, and this too took much of my attention for the past month. How sedately it opened, one cluster at a time. I expected some special moth, or fly, some nighttime pollinator to visit, and was surprised at who came to dominate. Hummingbirds! All three species here have been striving to feed from its dripping nectar but of course the little bulldog rufous birds have held sway.

In the early days of the flowers' opening the rufous hummingbirds began to guard the stalk, fighting amongst themselves and chasing off the black-chinneds and the broadtails.

In the early days of the flowers’ opening the rufous hummingbirds began to guard the stalk, fighting amongst themselves and chasing off the black-chinneds and the broadtails.

As the inflorescences opened more they continued to maintain control.

As the inflorescences opened more they continued to maintain control.

Echinacea opened and bumblebees came.

Echinacea opened and bumblebees came.

Leeks flowered and all manner of bees came.

Leeks flowered and all manner of bees came.

Mullein shot up its neverending flower stalk and honeybees came.

Mullein shot up its neverending flower stalk and honeybees came.

And the hundreds of images I’ve captured in the past month I’ve barely begun to sort; my dear neighbors provided me with an insect field guide that I haven’t had time to study; work deadlines loom large. My dearest auntie lies recovering from a broken hip; I cried myself to sleep last night in fear for her recovery, and awoke this morning way too early to the morning star rising over the West Elk Mountains. But the day dawned crisp and clear, July’s parting gift, and I’m optimistic about everything… for now. The fernbush has opened its candelabra blossoms and welcomes a host of buzzing insects, some too fast and tiny to capture. There is always some lovely distraction outside when I am sad.

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7 thoughts on “Runaway Summer

  1. Love your comparison to the “runaway roller coaster”! it is a perfect fit to the way my work life has felt after a two week vacation. I’m now midway through the 3rd week on that roller coaster. Good thing it is my favorite amusement park ride!

  2. Love these shots. I find following the bees around to be quite cathartic. Sadly, we have experienced a decrease in bees in my area. Maybe next year . . .

  3. Rita your pictures are the clearest I have seen…..is it chrochrome???? LOL crystal clear!!! Sorry about your aunt.

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