Thursday, October 1, 2009

Garden Muse Day: October

Autumn Diorama

Early morning
Crisp Air

Grey ridged bark
Green lawn, leaf clutter underfoot

Wisps of fog off the pond

Green trees
Orange trees

Splash of sunlight

Clouds pasted
For accent

Backdrop of blue
unblemished, unbroken

Screens, curtains, stage sets
Transparency overlays


Scene set

Raymond A. Foss

September has sung its swan song, and October has arrived with the unmistakable feeling of autumn. Cool and rainy today, it is sweater weather despite the hints of summer in the green grass and full green branches of trees. A few leaves have begun to put on their autumn finery in shades of orange and gold.

Ears of corn are ripening in the field, almost ready for harvest.
The once proud stalks bow in the midday sun,
their crepe-paper leaves now brown and brittle.

The gaudy colors of the summer garden are muted now in deference to the season. (Photo of the Master Gardeners' Idea Garden in Urbana, Illinois.)

Some flowers have waited all season to finally have their hour upon the stage.
(Hydrangea "Tardiva")

Instead of flats of brightly colored annuals,

garden centers sport tables of jewel-toned mums.

Or other sure signs of the season.

Bees take their last sips of nectar.

As do the late butterflies, though they may be feeling a bit tired and out of focus.

The Monarchs are migrating southward. We will have to wait until next summer for the perfect photo of this elusive beauty.

And we will have to wait many months, too, for that ideal photo opportunity of the camera-shy hummingbirds. (If you look very, very closely and/or enlarge this, you might just see this green fellow with the fluttering wings. I didn't even realize he was in this photo until I enlarged some files for this post yesterday.)

Autumn has arrived.

Autumn is a second spring, when every leaf is a flower. --Albert Camus

I want to congratulate all the winners of the 2009 Blotanical Awards. I was so excited to see so many of my favorites among the nominees and the winners. This was certainly an impressive group to choose among! And a heartfelt thank you to all of you who voted for me for Illinois blogger. I was honored to even be nominated, with all the wonderful bloggers in this state, and coming in at #2 in such great company was a complete surprise. Thank you--you are all winners to me!

For more Garden Muse Day posts, please visit fellow Illinois blogger and nominee, Carolyn Gail at Sweet Home and Garden Chicago.


  1. I love the quote by Camas. There is much to be enjoyed in this season!

  2. How lovely and perfect for October Muse Day, Rose. Love that you are a 'most deserving' finalist on Blotanical. We've been friends for a some time now ... a gift I treasure. October Joy!

  3. Congratulations on coming #2 in the Blotanical awards!! Well deserved!
    Your post truly speaks of autumn. Those mums are sparkling in their beauty.
    I did see the little hummer at the feeder - thought it was a leaf at first. And good for you capturing two butterflies at this time. Ours are gone. And I didn't even get one pic - they move too fast. Ah well, there's always next year.
    Enjoy October! Pumpkins around the corner!

  4. I was hoping you would win Rose, surprised you didn't.

    I enjoyed your pics much. We are still seeing hummingbirds here but they are slowly starting to disappear. I always to see them go.

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend Rose!

  5. Congrats. Your muse is all "autumny" tonight, and makes me think of eating popcorn and drinking hot chocolate for some reason...

  6. HI Rose, love the colors of leaves changing. We are a little later than you, so I expect we will have our fall colors later in the month.
    The MG Idea Garden is really nice, thanks for sharing.

  7. Simply wonderful autumn poem Rose. I really loved this beautiful post, and the gorgeous photos.

    Congratulations on the well-deserved Blotanical nomination. What a wonderful honor!

  8. Rose, I'm only hoping that this fall lasts as long as last year's, which was absolutely beautiful.

    Joey, Thank you, and it's been a pleasure getting to know you. I hope one day we can meet in person.

    Wendy, I didn't try hard enough this year to get a good hummingbird photo; I certainly had many opportunities. So glad you could see the tiny speck:) Not so many opportunitites for butterfly photos, though.

    Susi, Thank you for those kind words! The hummingbirds were around until this week. I'm not surprised if they've left--it's gotten quite cool this week.

    Carol, Did you mean my muse is "autumn-like" or "a-tummy"?:) Definitely hot chocolate weather!

    Janet, The leaves are just beginning to turn; looks like a few weeks till full color here. I took quite a few photos of the Idea Garden, but I don't know when I'll have time to post more.

    Linda, Thank you! So many good Illinois bloggers; not sure how I even got on the list:)

  9. Such lovely pictures. I always think of October with blue blue skies so I'm glad your poem said that.

    Congrats for being a winner in my book just for blogging and being such a good blogging friend Rose. I am so not surprised you made the list. That is indeed an honor.

  10. Lovely poem, Rose, and great capture of the hummer! Congratulations on your #2 spot. It is a well deserved honor.

  11. Wonderful autumnal post Rose. I just love this time of year. The sweaters, colorful leaves, pumpkins, the last sightings of bugs and birds. Aaahhhh. R&R after a busy summer of garden.

  12. Rose girl ! This was a perfect post and you know right off the bat my favorite picture was the pumpkin field ? LOL .. All the pictures were wonderful .. I am so jealous you had Monarchs to take pictures of .. my garden was monarch-less ? this year .. I just don't know what is going on .. but I'll really hope for next year to see and capture with pictures ..
    Rose .. you have a wonderful blog so well done no matter what awards happen ?

  13. Lovely poem and even more beautiful photos. Yes, the crisp feel of Autumn is in the air. Leaves are already turning here and it's a bit early. Wonder why.~~Dee

  14. Rose, I love this post! Great autummn images, nice quote. And thank you for all your comments on my blog.

  15. That's a very thoughtful and pognant post, rose.

    The heating has come on in our house tonight - the first time this autumn.

    Congratulations on your placing!

  16. Rose, your photos are so nice. I'm just having a difficult time being pulled into autumn mindset...I'm resisting all the way! It doesn't help that I'm not at all attracted to oranges and yellows, hard as I try;-( I loved the photo of the 'idea garden' looks beautiful. And, your blog is a winner to me--there just isn't ONE 'best blog' out there!

  17. Rose, your photos, and header shot in particular are magnificent! Everything about your blog looks wonderful and fresh. Love the blue font too. That pumpkin patch really caught my attention, love the variety! I will be looking for the cute blonde with the orange shirt at the football game! ;-)

  18. Rose, I'm glad you recieved some well deserved recognition for your blog! I've been so remiss in commenting lately, but I read and enjoy every post. It's especially nice to have someone who is experiencing basically the same weather, weeds, and plant selections I do, just to keep things in perspective. Add to that a love of poetry! Thanks for taking the time to write such great posts!

  19. Your photos and poem for fall are really just the thing. Perfect.

  20. I love the Camus quote. And I recognized the idea garden (!!!!). Finally, thank you for saying "choosing among" not "choosing between"--that's something I always notice as an editor. Do signs that say "12 items or less" also bother you? Trader Joe's and a local-ish chain, Meijer, get it right with "12 items or fewer"! :)

  21. I love all of these gorgeous shots, but the corn against the sky must be my favorite. I love that quotation from Camus. Congratulations on coming in #2!

  22. Rose, wonderful post! Your muses are perfect to welcome October as are your pictures. I am thrilled to see a hummingbird phot from you. I know it is not the dreamed of close up, but a great picture just the same. :)

    Congratulations on your spot in the Blotanical awards. Well deserved! (and I can say that without prejudice!)

  23. Dear Rose....such a delightful and whimsical post.....

    The garden you displayed is picture very sort of landscape.....

    Lovely to see your bees and butterflies......and the added bonus of the is sad to say goodbye to those that bring our gardens to life.......

    Autumn days are garden is as dry as a bone.....I envy your green grass and full trees.....this year my garden is a shadow of its former self. We never know what weather Mother Nature will serve....but that is what makes gardening interesting....each year is different...each year another challenge....

    Hope you are well and happy my friend........

  24. Lovely Muse Day post. Fall is creeping up on us here too; we still get the occasional hummingbird but most have headed south, and all of a sudden most of the butterflies are gone too. A long mild fall is a wonderful thing, so here's hoping! :)

  25. Tina, Thank you for such kind words! You have always been such a faithful reader here, and I appreciate your friendship. I think of you whenever I see those magnificent orange cosmos in my garden!

    MG, Thank you! The hummer photo is not so great, but I was surprised to find I had one at all.

    Lisa, I'm glad to hear another gardener say she's ready for some R&R:) I did some digging today, and I'm so pooped I'm going to bed early!

    Joy, Now why am I not surprised you liked the pumpkins the best?:) I saw a few Monarchs this year, but not nearly as many as in the past.

    Dee, The temperatures really dropped this week, so there's no mistake that Autumn is here to stay.

    Tatyana, Thank you; autumn provides lots of colorful images.

    Liz, Thank you; I'm still being stubborn about turning on the furnace, but I don't think I can hold out much longer:)

    Jan, Thank you for the kind words. I'm not a fan of orange and yellow either, but I do love them in fall foliage.

    Frances, Thank you! I would have been hard to find at the game--one of many wearing a hood over my hair to keep out the cold rain:)

    Joyce, Thank you for such kind comments! It's good to have someone to commiserate with, isn't it? I was wishing for rain for weeks, then once it came, I wished it would stop:)

  26. Mary Delle, Thank you and thanks for dropping by.

    Monica, You probably saw the Idea Garden just at the height of its season. Yes, less/fewer bugs me, but most of all it's the its/it's or your/you're mistakes that bug me, especially in professional or business publications. I once pointed out such a mistake in a professionally printed sign at a flooring dealer's. I'm sure they thought I was being a picky schoolmarm:)

    Sarah, Funny how something as ordinary as a cornfield can look beautiful.

    Beckie, I didn't try very hard this year to get the hummer photo, but there's always next year! Thank you, and thank you, too, for introducing me to this whole wonderful world of blogging.

    Unseen, Thanks for visiting!

    Cheryl, Glad to have you back! So true that Mother Nature is unpredictable. My first year of gardening here was a year of drought; what a difference from this year! You should have come to Illinois to see our bees:)

    Sweet Bay, I kept wondering how long the hummingbirds would stay; I think the last one I saw was a week ago, and he actually flew up close as if to say goodbye!

  27. Excuse my late visit, Rose. What a lovely selection and photos for Muse Day.

  28. Wow, I am so impressed with the Master Gardeners' Idea Garden! I wish our group had something so fabulous! I love your photo of the monarch. Lovely post and congrats on your finalist status!

  29. Love this post Rose~~the poem and the flower photos are delightful. I love flowers against the sky, but in autumn, it's especially poignant, knowing that this ios their last hurray! Thank you for posting the Banned Books symbol...I am going to dash over to the site and see about joining the 'movement'. have a wonderful week. gai;

  30. ps. Congrats on your Well Deserved nomination. gail

  31. Carolyn Gail, Thank you to you for hosting this each month. I always enjoy trying to find an appropriate poem for the month.

    Jean, Thanks! Last year I visited the Idea Garden several times with Beckie and posted quite a few photos. This year, for some reason I didn't get there very often. It is what its name implies--a great place to get ideas and to see what works well in our part of the state.

    Gail, Thank you for all the sweet comments. "Banned Book Week" is something I always publicized at school. So many wonderful books that have been challenged over the years; I believe it's important to preserve our right to read.

  32. Many congratulations on doing so well in the Blotanical awards Rose!

    The blooms you have shown us here are so colourful and beautiful, a real pleasure to see! of course my favourites are the ones with the butterflies and the Hummingbird ;)


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