In the few moments of sunshine in this past week or so, autumn native bloomers spark light and color-joy. Fall asters, Symphyotrichum oblongifolium, beaten down by heavy rains, turn their exuberance to singular rays of sunshine.
Pollinators reveal themselves, taking advantage of limited breaks in the clouds.
Syrphid fly on a Fall aster.
Plume-heavy grasses, like this Lindheimer’s muhly, Muhlenbergia lindheimeri, add feathery grace to the garden.
Heavy rains weigh down the panicles, which sweep walkways,
…and drape over perennials like the Zexmenia, Wedelia acapulcensis var. hispida.
Zexmenia’s yellow joy is undiminished.
Absent is the Texas sun, which bleaches color in the height of day. Instead, gloomy is de rigueur, highlighting startling color. Crimson Turk’s cap, Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii, and Plateau goldeneye, Viguiera dentata, pair in a color palooza.
These days, sunshine is provided by blasts from blooms.
Plateau goldeneye enjoys its flowering zenith and pollinators (when it’s not raining!) rejoice.
Light in the garden serves as a beacon during dark times. These little perennial shrubs, White tropical sage, Salvia coccinea, and their partner, the still young Mexican orchid tree, Bauhina mexicana, flower intermittently throughout summer. Both plants are in their prime once the cool and rain begin in autumn–and we’ve had plenty of rain, that’s for sure!
Amidst Austin’s emergency water restrictions caused by historic flooding, with silt and gunk slowing water treatment and risking bacterial infestation, we’re boiling water for cooking and drinking.
But water from the sky–pure and nourishing–pleases the garden. Stately Frostweed, Verbesina virginica, thoroughly pink Rock rose, Pavonia lasiopetala, and normally dry-loving Blackfoot daisy, Melampodium leucanthum, are awash in blooms.
Austinites have heeded calls for water conservation, thus allowing our water treatment plants to meet demand. Aerial photos of Lady Bird Lake demonstrate the mess that the treatment plants are rectifying. We have a 90% chance of heavy rain today, but the rain is slated to end. Sunshine is in the forecast and all–people, critters, and water treatment plants–will enjoy a break from the wet. We’ll be boiling drinking water for a few more days, but normalcy is anticipated.
This little Gray hairstreak (and all other pollinators) will be back in full-wing, fulfilling their pollinating drives. No doubt they’re weary of resting under leaves during heavy downpours.
While our blue skies are recently rare, my blue fix is provided by patches of Henry Duelberg Sage, Salvia farenacia.
Syrphid flies also appreciate the blue, working during rain breaks, the blooms of Henry Duelberg
Blue skies are forthcoming. Our gardens will dry, our streams and lakes will clear. Blooms and beasts will return to their daily duties.