August Days

August 23, 2013

“Nature has, for the most part, lost her delicate tints in August. . . . The spirit of Nature has grown bold and aggressive; it is rank and coarse; she flaunts her weeds in our faces.”
— John Burroughs, “August Days”

Dried ferns

Dried ferns

“August days are for the most part tranquil days; the fret and hurry of the season are over.  We are on the threshold of autumn.  Nature dreams and meditates; her veins no longer thrill with the eager, frenzied sap; she ripens and hardens her growths; she concentrates; she begins to make ready for winter.”
— John Burroughs, “Autumn Days”

We’ve had a drier-than-normal summer so far, so things are definitely weedy and seedy around here.  Here are some images from a recent walk about my neighborhood:

Dried fern

Dried fern

Bindweed

Bindweed

Is this yarrow?

Is this yarrow?

Seed heads

Seed heads

Rose hips

Rose hips

Watercolor sketch of rose hips

Watercolor sketch of rose hips

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking west across Ben's wildflower field

My brother Ben planted a wildflower field next to the farm’s driveway.  It provides a spectacular profusion of mixed flowers during the summer months, but it has its own kind of beauty during the winter.  I particularly like that the seed dispersal structures are so evident at this time of year.

Seed heads in varying states of dispersal

I love the calligraphic lines of these grasses, punctuated by flower seed heads.

Dried flower stalks

This dried cone flower looks like it has a Mohawk haircut!

Dried wildflowers

Dried seed heads

Looking across the wildflower field to the red barn

Ink sketch of Ben's wildflowers in winter

Ink sketch of Ben's wildflowers in winter

Watercolor sketch of Ben's wildflowers in winter

Watercolor sketch of goldenrod

Watercolor sketch of milkweed and pods