Late afternoon; the August sun radiates its heat into my shoulders and back. Ripe beacon apples hang on the tree in our yard bathed in sunlight and smell sweet. Normally, cicada buzzing would be the main sound, but they are mostly absent this year. Mourning doves coo, a young cardinal calls to be fed by its parents, and a few bumble bees drone in red monarda and Russian sage.
The showiest flowers today are garden phlox, black-eyed Susan’s and sneezeweed (helenium). My favorite garden phlox is ‘Katherine’ with its lavender petals surrounding white centers, or ‘eyes’, as they’re called in the gardening catalogs.
I planted the sneezeweed this past spring. The variety is ‘tie dye’. The yellow centers are surrounded by petals that begin maroon and deep gold. The older blossoms have chocolate-brown centers and the petals are fading to a lighter yellow and deep pink as they age.
The perennial blue lobelia blossomed late last week and the first purple morning glory peaked through a tangle of daylily fronds and allium stems this morning. Morning glories always signify late summer for me, and I heard my first cricket of the year a few evenings ago; another sure sign of seasonal change.