Orange in October

This Monarch spent the entire day feasting on Lantana nectar in our garden.

This Monarch spent the entire day feasting on Lantana nectar in our garden.

Orange takes on a special glow in October as the season draws to its holiday bedazzled close.

October 17 2013 monarch bf 007

Whether seen against a dazzling clear sapphire sky, or against the low grey clouds if autumn’s grey days, Orange jumps to the foreground, its warm optimism radiating confidence that good things are close at hand.

October 17 2013 monarch bf 016

October, in Eastern Virginia, is the last month of summer.

October 17 2013 monarch bf 004

The equinox a few weeks ago was only one of the markers along the path from high summer to Winter Solstice.   Each week of October eases the transition a little more here, near the coast.

October 17 2013 monarch bf 001

Even as daytime temps flirt with the eighties, the night time lows dip closer and closer to the 40s.  We are all on notice that the first frost is close at hand.

October 17 2013 monarch bf 006

And so the garden turns up the volume on orange.

October 13 rain 007

Pyracantha, just beginning to turn color from summer green to autumn orange.

Pyracantha berries, green all summer, brighten; like little light bulbs screwed in until the juice flows and electrifies them.



Flowers intensify their hues, like Kool Aide mix left undissolved in the bottom of a pitcher.

October 17 2013 monarch bf 032

Monarchs and Painted Lady butterflies have taken over the Lantana beds from the Swallowtails, who have gone elsewhere.

October 17 2013 monarch bf 003

More leaves each day crumple into brown.  Powdery mildew claimed the Ageratum during our week of rain turning blue and green to brown and grey.   Skeletons of trees are left behind where leaves take flight in the wind.

October 17 2013 monarch bf 028

Orange shines in the landscape like a beacon shines across a field at night.

Oct. 6 pots 013

  It calls us deeper into Autumn comfort.  It calls us to drink cider; roast sweet potatoes; pile pumpkins on our porches; fill tired pots of annuals with fresh, crisp chrysanthemums.

October 10 2013 garden 018

It invites us to plan weekend walks in the woods, or drives to the mountains to enjoy the brilliant autumn color.

October 17 2013 monarch bf 011

Samhain beckons.  Orange pumpkins, waiting to be carved and lit, tempt us at every grocery store and roadside stand.

October 4 shopping 018

Celebrate October, and embrace every shade and hue of orange.

About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

9 responses to “Orange in October

  1. I always see Lantana here in California but I had no idea it was such a butterfly magnet. Maybe I need one!

  2. NIce pictures,, especially the Monarch. I have not seen any Monarch this year yet which is unusual for us. Each year about this time we have 10’s of 1000’s of lady bugs and our lady bugs invasion has not started yet either.

    • Now that you mention it, we didn’t have ladybugs this year either, Michael. Now that is strange. We have been lucky to have a steady stream of butterflies, and spiders making huge webs everywhere. A big one near the kitchen window this morning, which is fun to watch.
      Did you see the newest story about a huge whale washing up in CA today? The second unusual deep sea creature washing up in just the last few days. I’m afraid we are passing some crucial tipping points, esp. in the Pacific. Thank you for the kind words on the photos- means a lot coming from a kindred nature loving photographer! Cheers, WG

      • We have alot of spiders too. Our back deck is 45 foot off the ground and somehow 4 huge blacka nd yellow garden spiders that have managed to get on our deck abd build a web with the zig zag design.

        I did see that about the huge whale, I read that the whale had a gash on its back more than 8 feet long from being hit by a passing ship. They do say when large whales and other large fish beach themselves it is a sign on potential earthquake coming soon. I don’t know……

        • There was a 6.8 in the Gulf of CA today, a little north of La Paz, and a 4.1 aftershock so far. I’ve heard rumors that something much larger is expected further north, and hope that doesn’t occur. My daughter lives on the coast in OR. I’ve been trying to photograph the spiders here, but haven’t gotten a good shot yet. The ones with the zig zags in their webs are my favorites to find. If you get a good shot, will look forward to seeing it. WG

  3. Forest So Green

    Your photo of the butterfly on the flowers is wonderful.

    • Thank you. We were thrilled to find it yesterday. My husband spotted it, and told me we had a Monarch. I was sure he had seen a painted lady at first- but then, there it was! We enjoyed the watching it all afternoon. Lots of sulphurs today- I’m still hoping to spot it again. Hope you are enjoying the day- WG

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