Wednesday, August 31, 2016

An August Alphabet

August was varied and lovely this year. There were days of storm, with skies of charcoal and grey; sticky days when the sky seemed bleached of colour; refreshing days with skies of a deep clear blue. There were spells of glorious warmth when the heat of the sun was like a blessing on your back; there were cool misty mornings and fall-hinting nights. There were winds blowing hot from the south or the west, and winds blowing chill like a breath from the north. There were swallows on the wires holding silent convocation, and cranes in the pastures making winter flight plans. The goldenrod marched from field to field, executing its annual takeover, while along the verges the smaller flowers kept their heads down in hopes of escaping the county mower.

If August were an alphabet, here's what the letters would stand for....

A is for Aster (flat-topped), sure sign that summer is on the wane:

B is for Barns under bounding white clouds:

Bee with a bounty of pollen on its legs:

Birds on mullein stalks and birds on wires:

B is for Blossoms too, like this Buttercup (with Bug):

Blue Vervain:

Birdsfoot Trefoil:

Black-Eyed Susan:

Bladder Campion:

and Butter-and-Eggs:

C is for Clouds:

Cows (with more Clouds):



Canada Hawkweed (or possibly Canada Lettuce):



Crown Vetch:

and Creeping Dogwood (or should that go under "D"?)

D is for Daylily, growing wild on the verge:

E is for Evening Primrose:

F is for Fleabane:

Flowering Spurge:

and Feed Mill (with Flag):

G is for Goldenrod:

Great Blue Lobelia:

and Green-Headed Coneflowers:

H is for Herbs that grow at my doorstep:

J is for Joe-Pye Weed:

K is for Knapweed, invasive but lovely:

M is for Mullein:

P is for Purple Loosestrife:

Q is for Queen Anne's Lace:

R is for Rough Blazing Star:

Red Clover:

and Ragweed (achoo!):

S is for Silo:


Sedum found growing wild on the roadside:

Spotted Jewelweed:

Sunflowers and sunflower look-alikes:

Soapwort (or Bouncing Bet):


St. John's Wort:

and Sandhill Cranes, gathering for the long flight south:

T is for Trees:


and Thistles in three colours (with and without Turtle):

U is for Unkown:

and Unidentified:

W is for Winding Roads (my favourite kind):

Wires crossing a stormy sky:


Water Hemlock:

Wild Cucumber:

Water Smartweed:

and White Sweet Clover:

Y is for Yarrow:

and Yellow Sweet Clover:

At the end of August, every ride, every walk has a valedictory feel. The trees and fields look tired, as though they're ready to give up the fight. But the flowers seem bravely and gallantly gay, like soldiers dancing on the eve of a winter's battle, making a last colourful stand in the face of the killing frost to come.

(Dear me, what a somber ending! Rather Byron-ish now that I think of it.)


Here's to a happy September. :)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


  1. Thank you for sharing such gorgeous sure photos with us. I am looking forward to cooler temperatures being forecast for this summer although winter can take it's time arriving. :-)

  2. Cheers to September, and a farewell to August... it will come again.. and again..

    such beautiful photos, made me feel good :) thanks for sharing!

  3. What a delightful post I love the beautiful photo's, I'm sad that August has come to an end, lets hope that this September will be a good one. :) xx

  4. What a great A-Z! (It is A-ZED in England, I am sure you know!)
    We have most of the wildflowers but I have never heard of Butter & Eggs, was that the name? Delightful!
    Really great photos, I really enjoyed them. I am glad that your August was comfortable for you, must be nice! LOL.

  5. A beautiful alphabet and, it showed me the name of the plant in your header, such a lovely thing.

  6. The abundance of wild flowers in your area blows me away.

  7. Thank you, Sue! Wishing you a happy September, too. xx

  8. Fabulous alphabet! Juliex

  9. Hi Sue, this was such a lovely post. I think your rides look wonderful and you have such a keen eye for interesting things that you see along the way, whether plants or shadows or clouds. You clearly find a lot of solace and joy in the outdoors. Thank you for sharing your alphabet.

  10. Fantastic! I love all of these pictures. And all the names and close up looks at these little flowery amazements and phone wires to boot. I was particularly struck by the name "butter and eggs"--that botanist flower namer guy was right on and probably hungry. Also--cattails. Kids around here call them corndogs!

  11. Very fun and cute post! Nice photos ♥

  12. What a great recap! Photos are, as always, so very lovely!

  13. What a lovely alphabet of photos! I've never heard of creeping dogwood. It's beautiful.Is that a downy woodpecker on the mullein? Interesting.

  14. You've found them all A to Z. How are you? I've got mail. :-) Thank you very much. Hugs, Regula

  15. How's things going with you missus? Been thinking about you - hope all is well.

  16. It's been a while since you've posted a blog, I hope everything is ok.

  17. Gosh, has it really been this long since I've been on the internet??? I can't believe I missed out on this spectacular post! But, good to have visions of the season past now that the white stuff has taken up residence...


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