Some Autumn Blooms, Folliage and Predators
The Ryan's Pink Chrysanthemum are at peak right now and really brightening up the garden. I can see them out my kitchen window and they are really putting on a show.
The Swamp sunflowers (Helianthus angustifolius) are still going strong. Towering over 6 feet high they tend to fall over with heavy winds and/or rain. They are now leaning amongst the sumac which are just beginning to change into their fall coat.
We are still seeing the stray Monarch and a good number of Cloudless Sulphurs fluttering through the garden on their way to warmer winter climates.
Painted Ladies, various skippers, Buckeye, Checkerspots and Gulf Fritillary are still busy in the garden. Some mornings they are slow to rise with the onset of the cooler temperatures making it even more important to have good spots for them to perch and warm themselves near nectar plants. We even spotted a hummer this weekend at the Pineapple Sage. I am keeping the feeders up for those stragglers.
We also spotted a hawk on the shepherds hook of one of the bird feeders (he must of been feeling really cheeky). That time it caught something moving amongst the azaleas. It was difficult to see what it caught as I was focused on grabbing my camera. This shot was taken through our embarrassingly dirty windows. Even zooming in on this shot I can't make out was caught. Typically they like going after the mourning doves. Probably a little more meat on them than the songbirds.
The foliage is just starting to show signs of change in our garden so we took a ride to the North Georgia Mountains the other weekend to take in the colors of autumn. This was the road coming down from Brasstown Bald, Georgia's highest peak at 4,784 feet. It was very foggy at the top so we didn't get a view of the mountains on this trip.
A final note: I have been very busy with several volunteer obligations these past few weeks. There are some big events coming up that need my attention and sadly they have kept me away from our garden and reading all your wonderful posts. Hopefully I will be back to reading and commenting soon.