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Late summer


Those of us who live in southern climates are usually glad to see cooler weather return after a hot summer. But there’s also something melancholy about the idea of summer’s end. As Shakespeare wrote (sonnet 18), “… summer’s lease hath all too short a date.”

The abelia bush is in full bloom. The bush is huge. I could hide my Fiat 500 inside it. And though the bees don’t seem to be all that interested in the thousands of little trumpet flowers, there often are a dozen butterflies at a time working the bush. Meanwhile, the fig trees in the orchard are looking good. But the true bumper crop of fall tree fruit here comes from the persimmon trees, wild trees that volunteered in the yard 12 years ago and that now are producing lots of fruit. There will be many persimmon puddings this fall, and, I hope, enough persimmon pulp to freeze.

Abelia is a relative of honeysuckle. It’s an old-fashioned shrub that one doesn’t see as often anymore. I wish I had entire hedges of it. Unlike honeysuckle, it doesn’t climb and choke things. It grows quickly, and though I have never pruned my abelia bush, I think abelia doesn’t mind being shaped a bit.

September is the season of yellow flowers. Soon — and almost overnight — the rural roadsides will be lined with yellow flowers. We’re starting to have nighttime temperatures in the 60s (F), a sure sign that September is on the way.

Green persimmons, four to six weeks away from ripening


  1. Jo wrote:

    I enjoy the fall flowers too. Your Amelia bush is awesome. I have noticed a couple of odd things in this part of South Carolina lately. (50 miles east of Columbia SC.) Usually the lantana plants are full of blooms. Not so this summer. Fewest blooms I can ever recall. Same for the red canna plants in the neighbor’s yard. There are only a few blooms on well over a hundred plants. Just a strange summer.

    Saturday, August 21, 2021 at 6:27 pm | Permalink
  2. daltoni wrote:

    Hi Jo: It has been a strange summer, and a strange spring it was, too. I’ve told a couple of people that I have something like survivor’s guilt, because, while so many parts of the world are literally on fire, summer here has been strangely cool, as was spring.

    Saturday, August 21, 2021 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

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