While reading the newspaper this morning, I heard a subtle thump at the window and noticed two hummingbirds knocking it as they flew erratically through the air.
They stuck around so long I got my husband, Tommy, to come look and he agreed they seemed more lively and capricious than usual.
I googled “strange hummingbird behavior” and got: “If you get a bunch of hummingbirds fighting over a feeder, sit back and watch a replay of the original ‘Star Wars’ finale.”
They flitted around long enough for me to make more food (1 part sugar dissolved in 4 parts water: no food color required) and I ended up making a video of their whimsical behavior to watch on a cold wintery day.
Although it’s back to school time and the school buses are zipping around it has yet to feel like fall to me. The air just hasn’t felt cool enough.
We went to Knoxville last weekend, and I noticed the sumac leaves are starting to turn red.
I also see that the winterberries in my back yard are beginning to turn red and are loaded with berries. They should be spectacular this year.
We have planted six or seven hydrangeas over the past year but have hardly had any blooms even though we’ve tried to disperse them over several locations.
Even the “Endless Summer” variety that people rave about seem to dissolve into the ground here and the only one that offered any blooms was in a planter on the patio. At least my neighbor Pat lets me pick any I want from her prolific shrubs.
Mother Nature, however, has given us some of the most wonderful gifts from the garden this year that we’ve ever received: huge, fragrant gardenia blooms.
Tommy loves gardenias, and for Father’s Day two or three years ago I bought him a gardenia topiary at a home improvement store. Its performance was lackluster but we put it in our basement before the first frost.
Unfortunately spider mites or white flies almost destroyed it before spring came and although we nursed it back to health it didn’t offer many blooms the next year.
Then son John gave us a second one, and the next winter we left them outside for the most part. Tommy did bring them inside for about two weeks for the harshest winter days but they tolerated the cold.
I guess the combination of cooler weather and rains have been the reason but we have gotten the most beautiful blossoms you could ever imagine. We still count four or five more to come.
This morning we observed two deer rambling across the back yard.
They approached a hummingbird flitting on the pink cleome blossoms and watching them was delightful (mainly because chose not to eat anything in our yard).
Now the spiders are spinning their incredible webs.
It is amazing to see their creations and think of how much work they get done overnight.
While these fall spiders used to intimidate me, I read they are actually quite friendly and I plan to study and photograph their handiwork as I come upon it; another fun activity to observe on a cold winter day.
I noticed a white wooly worm on the sidewalk last week and read that this is an indicator of heavy snows (as is seeing more spiders in the fall).
I feel fortunate to live in a region that has such beautiful changing seasons and plan to cherish each colorful moment of fall until winter rears its threatening head. And I hope you can too.
‘Til next week.