Slipping Into September

August 29, 2016 Parkway 022


For an area surrounded by rivers, marshes and creeks, you wouldn’t expect us to need rain so badly.  But we’ve not had even a sprinkle since August 9th, and less than 2″ of rain for the entire month of August.  Forgive me if I’m a little giddy that rain finally fills our weekend forecast, beginning sometime this evening!


August 29, 2016 Parkway 011


Never mind that it is a huge tropical system, which will soon cross Northern Florida before slipping up the East Coast, bringing with it all that a tropical system brings.  We watch the Weather Channel, wistfully waiting for those blobs of green on their radar to make their way to our garden.

Hermine is coming, and will bring us the gift of rain….


The bald Cypress trees are already turning brown and will drop their needles soon. It has been unusually hot this summer, with very little relief from cloudy days or rain.

The bald Cypress trees are already turning brown and will drop their needles soon. It has been unusually hot this summer, with very little relief from cloudy days or afternoon rain.  This is the Chickahominy River at the Southwestern edge of James City County


Waves of deja vu remind me of all the other Septembers which hold memories of approaching tropical systems.  Just as we’re all celebrating the last long weekend of summer and preparing for school to start the day after Labor Day; we’re also watching the storm clouds gather and making our storm preps.


August 29, 2016 Parkway 006


Early September finds us feeling a little anxious and expectant, a little off-balance maybe; as we know that our immediate future remains a bit uncertain.

Only survivors of storms past fully understand this feeling of mixed expectation and dread.  We’ve entered the heart of our Atlantic Hurricane season, school is about to start, and its election year to boot.... There’s enough heartburn for everyone!


August 29, 2016 Parkway 012


There were hurricanes and threats of hurricanes many years during the first month of school,  when I was still teaching  school in Tidewater.

Isabel hit on September 18, 2003, when we had been in school for less than 2 weeks.  I was still learning my new students’ names when we had an unplanned ‘vacation’ of more than a week while power was restored, flooding subsided, roads were cleared and repaired, and we slowly returned to our normal routines.


August 29, 2016 Parkway 014


It was a tough time on us all, but we managed.  And we grew a little savvier about what to expect from these tropical autumn storms.  Once you’ve experienced the storm and its aftermath once, you take care to stock water and batteries, to keep a little extra food on hand, and to watch the ever-changing forecast.  It’s smart to keep a charge on the cell phone and gas in the car, too!

I still flash back to Isabel whenever I eat a bagel.  I bought 2 dozen bagels early in the day when the storm hit, and we ate bagels and fresh oranges over the next several days while the power was out.


August 29, 2016 Parkway 004


But September, like April, brings dramatic and positive change to our garden.  Summer’s heat melts away into cool mornings and comfortable days, when one is happy to stay outside working well into the afternoon.

The sky turns a particular intense shade of blue.  Summer’s haze and humidity blow out to sea in the brisk September winds which bring us the first real hint of autumn.

There is rain.  The trees recover a bit of vitality.  Fall perennials and wildflowers blossom.  Huge pots of Chrysanthemums appear on neighbors’ porches.


Sweet Autumn Clematis has begun to bloom this week, here near the parking area by the river.

Sweet Autumn Clematis has begun to bloom this week, here near the parking area by the river.


And the best of summer lingers.  The ginger lilies bloom, filling the garden with their perfume.  More and more butterflies arrive.   We settle into a gentler, milder ‘Indian Summer’ which will linger, and ever so slowly transition into our bright, crisp autumn.

September reinvigorates us, too.  We bring fresh energy to the garden as we plant new shrubs, divide perennials, buy Daffodil bulbs and begin to plan ahead for winter.


Spider lilies, also called "Hurricane lily" by some, reward my faithful watering with their buds this week.

Spider lilies, also called “Hurricane lily” by some, reward my faithful watering with their buds this week.  These Lycoris radiata come back each year from bulbs in late August and early September.


Yes, it is September first; and we’re watching a potential hurricane, knowing it might start slipping up the coast, headed towards us and our loved ones within the next couple of days.  We trust that everyone will come through OK, once again.

And we’re also looking past the coming storms towards the rest of September stretching before us, full of beauty and promise.  We’re content to leave summer’s heat behind, and  slip into September once again.


August 26, 2016 spider 009


Photos 4, 5 and 6 for Cee’s Oddball Challenge

Woodland Gnome 2016


August 29, 2016 Spider + Lily 008

About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

6 responses to “Slipping Into September

  1. Great odd balls for the week. Thanks for playing.

  2. Hope you get the rain you need. It’s predicted to rain here on Sunday – unfortunately, that’s when our family potluck is planned 😦 Oh, well, the rain will be welcome, regardless – we really need it!

    • Have a wonderful time at the potluck , Eliza . Surely everyone will have fun , rain or shine . No rain here , yet….maybe overnight . ..😕 Tomorrow morning may find me still on the business end of a hose. Thank you for your good wishes 😊

  3. What a great post and I love your images. I love the fall as well…the gentler heat and the colours.
    Stay safe and well in the approaching storm. X

    • Thank you, Dorne 😉 it was a magical evening when we visited the river earlier this week. What golden light! Thank you, too, for your good wishes. I’m barely thinking of the storm… just watching the gathering clouds and dreaming rain…. ❤

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