Monday, November 05, 2012

Last of the Summer Blooms

My little corner of Roundtop Mtn. feels and looks like late November at the moment . The sky has remained overcast since Hurricane Sandy roared through, and the incessant breeze only adds to the chill. The landscape has taken on that pre-snow, wintry brown appearance.
Juncos appear in large numbers. They have discovered my bird feeders, and it’s no longer unusual to find a dozen or more jockeying for position at the same time. Sparrows, juncos and the occasional downy woodpecker are flocking together again in those multi-species, loose “winter flocks.”
The deer are now the same color as the fallen leaves. And as I am every year, I am surprised again to see just how far I can see now that the underbrush of the forest has withered. The hurricane really sped up the pace of seasonal change in this forest.

And so it was with more than a little surprise that I found a still-blooming brown-eyed susan this morning as I made my morning inspection of the forest. The flowers are more than a little tattered but weren’t ready to give up just yet. They’ve already survived a mild frost, not to mention the hurricane, though today may well be their last hurrah of the year. With lows predicted in the upper 20’s for tonight, I’ll be surprised if I see the blooms tomorrow morning. Still, I am happy to see blooms of any kind one last time, even if, and perhaps especially if, today is their last.


Cynthia M. said...

That's so funny - I just noticed last week that I have a few brown-eyed Susans blooming around the property. I'm really curious to see how long they hang around, as temps never really got much above 40 today, and will only get colder as the week goes on.

Our Juncos have returned as well - they're definitely a bright spot during the winter months.

Cicero Sings said...

Pre snow wintery brown -- I can relate to that! I did see a dandelion still trying to bloom yesterday. After shanook like conditions we are supposed to be back to snow and cold today.

Scott said...


I've had a (non-native) azalea bush pushing out a few tentative blossoms over the last two weeks--I guess it's the combination of the light cycle and the temperature.

I too, have large flocks of juncos in my woods.

And, really exciting (for me): I had three female (all female) Purple Finches at my bird feeder this week. I never get Purple Finches at my feeder--even during the harshest winters. In fact, they were so unusual I had to consult by Peterson's to identify them when I saw them happily shelling sunflower seeds.