All week the sunrise has been lovely, although it is still barely light at 7 a.m.
Sunsets have likewise been splendid.
On this Thursday morning, all was pearly grey. We hoped for rain, but there was only a misty drizzle, quickly over.
Looking up the lane I noticed hundreds of birds ranged along the wires.
I walked quietly up to the bend in the lane that designates our driveway.
Birds jostled for space, while still more alighted in trees along the boundary hedgerow to the east.
The air was full of their soft twitterings and the swoop of wings.
Not barn swallows as I first thought, but tree swallows. Our neighbor has placed several nest boxes on fence posts along the lane, which the swallows are pleased to occupy.
Later, walking to the mailbox, I found a single blue tinged feather laying on the stubbly grass.
Bedraggled sunflower heads.
Zinnias are faded.
This one was a brilliant red-orange.
Leaves are drifting down along the drive; the cool air has a tang of woodsy dampness; a faint breeze stirs.
Willis, my ever faithful companion on walks. This has been his 10th summer.
He is still lean and supple, still the overseer of the property.
At the edge of the open-ended barn, a nest had fallen from the ledge above the entrance
It has a mud-daubed base, but has been sturdily wound into shape with fine stems, twigs and bits of moss, lined with soft down.
A balloon flower bud, so intricately veined.
A 'balloon' bud ready to spread its petals.
I miss the autumn proliferation of New England Asters which grow wild on roadsides and in old pastures in my native Vermont. Here, the tiny frost asters bloom, but the purple beauties must be purchased as garden plants. There were no purple ones at my favorite local nursery in the spring, only some of a garish 'hot' pink.
This one, Raydon's Purple came from Select Seeds--the only one in stock when I ordered.
Cockscomb in all its brilliant velveteen glory. There are seeds for a few million plants!
Temperatures are meant to climb again this weekend, but the days are shortened, giving way to cooler nights. The equinox has passed and autumn is slowly moving in.