Fall Flowers and Butterflies

On need not travel far to see the wonders of nature. I find them all around me, as Summer comes to an end and Fall begins. Butterflies and bees are still enjoying what is left of my flowers. Wildflowers that were blooming a few days ago are now just seed heads. My Zinnias have stretched all the way over my head to over eight feet and are still putting out blooms. They like we are not giving up.

Nature’s beauty shines

All around flowers still bloom

Butterflies’ delight

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Beauty in the Aging

Today a lone monarch visited my flowers, sucking out the last drops of nectar. I was excited to see it, since I didn’t see any all summer. The Yellow and Black Swallowtails were here, but no Monarchs. I got my camera and snapped away, as it enjoyed what is left of my Zinnias.

Summer has finally come to an end, and a lot of my flowers grew fungus and mildew on their leaves. The leaves deteriorated and dried up starting at the bottom and going up. But, with a couple of late summer rains, and a little watering from my rain barrels, my Zinnias continue to grow. I also have been cutting off seed heads as the flowers petals fall off. This stimulates them to keep putting out new buds. Although the bottom half of the stem looks dead the top continues to bloom. Some have now reached a height of almost eight feet! I see beauty in the flowers and also in the drying stems and leaves. It reminded me of the stages of life we all go through and that beauty can always be found even as we age and come to the end of life.

In the Fall of Life

beauty is found in aging

Blooms shine above pain

Photos taken today – Dwight L. Roth

Butterflies Buffet

Every summer Butterflies arrive to enjoy my blooming flowers. Like travelers on the interstate, they stop and refresh themselves with nutrients to sustain them on their way. Leaving their eggs and chrysalises behind they carry on year after year. They are a joy to behold, as they flit from flower to flower probing for nectar in each tiny yellow stamen. All the while they pollinate my Zinnias for next years planting.

Nature’s bright colors

Displayed in shining glory

Butterfly buffet

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Bees and Butterflies

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Bees and butterflies visit my flowers as summer heat soars into the mid 90 F.  As they float and flit from flower to flower, I amazed that nectar from a flower can provide enough food to create such beautiful creatures.

Natural beauty shines

Thriving on minuscule drops

Lightness of being

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iPhone Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Last Blooms of Summer

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Outside my kitchen window a sunflower keeps blooming
Not worried in the least about predicted frost.
Zinnias continue to bloom as well, overcoming mildew;
A great lesson for all… Bloom through to the end;
Frost is inevitable in our lives, but beauty can remain.

Photo: Dwight L. Roth
Kim at d’Verse asked us to write a Quadrille of 44 words using the prompt keep.
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Last Taste of Summer

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Cool air creeps in along with shortening days
The sun is still warm but the nights are cold
Tastes of fall manifest themselves
The grape vines are almost bare
Garden tomatoes still hang on to the very end
No statement of an early demise signed here
Zinnias and Cosmos feed the last of the monarchs
Honey bees collect pollen in the early morning sunshine
To my surprise I see a remaining orange jewel
Hanging on the vines
The last ripe tomato just waiting for me
I picked it today and had it for lunch
Last but not least it still had the flavor
Of earlier brothers and sisters already eaten
What a wonderful way to bring closure
That one last taste of summer makes it all worthwhile
All the work and toil ending in one last jewel of flavor
As fall closes in with colors of every hue
I enjoy this one last offering
Thankful for the simple blessings of life

Photo:  Dwight L. Roth

 

 

Bees & Butterflies of Summer

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Butterflies and bees are back again, enjoying all my colorful zinnias. Even the humming bird could not resist. It is wonderful to see them flitting from flower to flower, not worried in the least that I am standing among them taking their photos.

Flower magnets draw

Summer bees and butterflies

Beauty on beauty

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

 

 

What Most People Miss

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Today I sat under the trees
watching the buzz of activity
that most people simply overlook.
The big black ants were running
up and down the bark of the willow trees.
On the knock-out roses, a black tiger tail
flitted from flower to flower;
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A humming bird drank deeply from
my red crape myrtle and zinnias.
And then // as I sat in wonder,
a beautiful blue dragonfly
landed softly on a long dead stem
on the other side of the stream.
He kept going away and coming back
to pose for me, while I took his picture.
His gossamer wings, barely visible,
shimmered in the sunlight;
Bugeyes bulging out of his head
seemed to be the biggest part
of his fragile stick-like frame.
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All this, while birds sang
and flowers bloomed
among the grass and weeds nearby.
Life is Good!

What an amazing creation!

 

Good to the Last Drop

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I found this bumble bee on my zinnias yesterday. He was working intensely gathering nectar from the flowers as he moved from one to the next. I had to ask my self, “How many drops of nectar does it take to make a bumble bee?!
Beautiful bumble bee
Oblivious to his surroundings
Draws nectar from each little yellow flower
Doesn’t realize he is part of an ecosystem
Simply wants to stay alive
Gathering and shedding pollen as he eats
Continuing the food cycle from year to year
Sweet nectar brings life
Good to the last drop

 

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iPhone Photos: Dwight L. Roth

 

Second Year Mutations

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Gregor Mendel was a pioneer in studying genetics in peas. It is amazing how far the study of genetics has come. You can send off and order a DNA test that will tell you your origins and also, people who have the same DNA who might be your long lost relative. But, the genetic changes that take place in people and flowers has never changed. When two flowers come together through pollination, the genetics and DNA are mixed and altered. Sometimes odd mutations occur. I love exploring the genetic changes in flowers by saving the seeds and replanting them the next year. The mix of genes in these zinnias from last year are evident in the new flowers produced this year. Most are still the same, but these few come through missing some petals and parts.  I will save the seeds from them and see what comes out next summer. Enjoy my odd flowers.

Zinnias full bloom

Summer sun accents beauty

Mutant genes revealed

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Hope you enjoyed my little botany lesson!