Monday, September 16, 2013

Phenology: More Flowers That Like Damp Summers

This weekend was what we've been waiting for, it feels like all summer long--cool nights, pleasantly warm days, dry air, bright sunshine, blue skies.

Gate City's "Grilling at the Gate" festival took place on Saturday. Car show, pet show, live music including Elvis Gibson, crafts galore...and the Humane Society set up a "beer garden" and handed out free beer. You do not want to be on a street in Gate City when some local people, including relatives of mine, have been drinking beer. So I stayed home and wrote a nice snarky article about that, which I'll post the next time I have access to a computer with a floppy drive.

Meanwhile I was out enjoying the weather. I had not forgotten you readers. I took a field guide and looked up the flowers that were blooming very profusely. Several kinds of goldenrod and eupatoriums, including boneset, Queen of the Meadow, and some others whose species identity the field guide said was best left to the experts. Ragwort. Ragweed. Myrtle. And of course a few flowers that flourish in late summer almost every year, chicory, daisies, Lady's Thumb...

Mud-dauber wasps are also flourishing in this series of damp summers. I've been familiar with the queen wasps since early childhood--the ones who actually daub mud on the sides of buildings, and make mud huts for their babies, don't sting--but this is the first time I've ever noticed the males. Male mud-daubers look about half the size of their mates; pairs can fly about together.

However, humans thrive on dry, cool weather. I was hoping it would continue today, but the cloud cover and high humidity are back.