The Lazy, Crazy Days of Late Summer

Bumblebee on Gaillardia in the fall garden.
Bumblebee on Gaillardia in the fall garden.

There’s a frenetic energy in the garden now. When I open the gate, the air is abuzz. With their voracious appetites, caterpillars munch to attain maximum girth before pupating. Adult Monarchs gather strength before continuing on their journey to Mexico. Where only weeks ago, the bees, wasps, hummingbird moths and butterflies moved methodically around the flowers, they now hurry and seem harassed.

Do they know the days are already shorter? Is there a hormonal signal switching on and telling them there’s only a little more time?

The flowers, too, seem aware. With the rain and slightly cooler weather, they are reinforcing their blooming efforts. The annuals are almost crazy with new blooms.

“Set seed before you die,” they seem to say.

I, however, am slowing down. The urgency of spring is past. The heat of summer is waning, and I’m just enjoying the fruit of my labors.

Ha! If you believe that, I’ve got a bridge for sale . . . .

For more Green Thumb Sunday posts, please see the GTS page up top. To do more Sunday Strolling, please visit Aisling at The Quiet Country House.


  1. Right, where did you put that bridge? LOL Of course you’re not slowing down as there is still so much (too much?) to do in the garden. Lovely picks Dee, particularly the first one. Here there’s bees and butterflies everywhere and they all seem to be in a frightful hurry. Autumn is coming even though it’s officially still summer and the plants and insects know it.

    Over here it’s been mainly wet this summer. Wish I could send some of that rain to places where it is much needed as there is plenty to spare!

  2. Karen says:

    Lovely pics! They must know something’s up, since there are fewer hours in which to collect nectar/pollen or munch on leaves.

    Happy late summer gardening!

    – Karen

  3. Aisling says:

    Gorgeous photos, Dee. My gardens are “abuzz” with activity also. I just love the flurry of life in the garden at this time of year.

    Sorry I am so slow to comment on your Sunday Stroll post. With internet connection problems this weekend and college classes starting this week, I’m not getting much play time!


    Aislings last blog post..Sunday Stroll Invitation

  4. Dave says:

    I would like to be slowing down, but it seems like there are too many projects ahead! Great shot of the monarch, we haven’t seen any but we have swallowtails by the dozens. The bumblebees do seem to be on a mission to get what they can before the fall.

    Daves last blog post..Muskmelon Madness!

  5. CurtissAnn says:

    Ah, I, too, am really slowing down. I’m glad to be reminded that this is my generally norman rhythm. I get so excited in spring, but by mid-August, the plants are on their own.

  6. I get all excited when I see the first Monarch headed south to Mexico! They are a sure signal that summer is almost over, and cooler weather is just around the corner…

    nola, of the alamo norths last blog post..Where Bloggers Create

  7. Gail says:

    Good post title and post! They are lazy and crazy days in the garden. The flauna is active and so is this gardener! It’s a good energy! I stopped by my favorite Garden spider’s web…she has been camped out in the garden for the entire summer…and she was busy, too! Not as attractive as butterflies sipping on nectar but important tot he cycle.

    Take care, Dee.


    Gails last blog post..Beauties and the Beasts

  8. Anna says:

    Gosh Dee–I ran for cover when I first came in to your garden today. I was ducking and dodging. So much going on it made me dizzy. Word got out that your place was the best hang out for miles. It shows!–kinda like you mentioned…a last ditch effort to make life keep going for a few more generations of bugs and critters.

    This was a fun post.

    Annas last blog post..My first little gift to you!! All of you!

  9. Curtis says:

    I hope for the most part. The heat wave has gone for the season.

    Curtiss last blog post..My Cartoon alter ego

  10. Brenda Kula says:

    Those photos are gorgeous, Dee. I tried my best the past couple of days to get a good photo of bumblebees nibbling at a bud. But as soon as I get the camera (and I’m pretty quick!) aimed, off they go. Guess they are in a bit of a hurry to do their thing and go on.

    Brenda Kulas last blog post..Where Bloggers Create Tour

  11. The approach of autumn is starting to be seen in my garden. My first New England Aster opened today, some of the wild Geraniums have foliage that is taken on red tones, and things that have been blooming all summer are beginning to slow down. Your garden has really responded to all that rain you’ve had. It looks great.

    Mr. McGregor’s Daughters last blog post..Spot the Naked Ladies

  12. Angie says:

    Beautiful shots! Your plants still look so healthy too! Mine are suffering. I’ve been trying to keep up with watering, but I’m about sick of it. It hasn’t rained in weeks. My poor hydrangea may not make it, I’m afraid.

    Angies last blog post..Green Thumb Sunday — Ditch Flowers

  13. Aiyana says:

    Beautiful photos. I’ve often wondered what triggered plants to know that fall is coming on. With the temperatures remaining so high, it’s surely not that! Even my indoor plants know. They stop producing new leaves about this time of year, and by next week, some will turn yellow. Not so in my garden. Everything is just sitting there, waiting for cooler weather so they can have their second spring in October.

    Aiyanas last blog post..Banned Down Under ~ Green Thumb Sunday

    Aiyana, I love that term “Second Spring.” I heard it first on a gardening show. Now, you’ve used it too. We have a kind of second spring here too, but not as long as yours probably. Here’s for cooler weather.~~Dee

  14. Great piccies and I am also seeing the benefits of the change in the weather up in NW Okieland too.


    Brit’ Gal Sarahs last blog post..Out of the mouths of babes!

    Hi Sarah, thanks for coming by. I know you’ve been busy going back to school. It’s fun to see the changes in the year although winter is coming.~~Dee

  15. Pam/Digging says:

    “I, however, am slowing down. The urgency of spring is past. The heat of summer is waning, and I’m just enjoying the fruit of my labors.”

    Ha! indeed! I didn’t believe it for a minute, Dee. Now that you’ve finished your front sidewalk, I’m sure you have a new project underway.

    Pam/Diggings last blog post..First oxblood lily

    Hi Pam, it sounded good though didn’t it? We did finish a couple of other projects, and I’ll write about them next week.~~Dee

  16. I was out watering this evening in the vegetable garden (we need rain!) and saw a gold finch flitting about the sunflowers and then watched for several minutes as a hummingbird darted among the zinnias. I wish I had taken my camera out with me! I do like this time in the garden, it’s that inbetween season when it it is too late for some planting but too early for fall planting. Might as well just relax and take a nice Sunday Stroll.

    Carol, May Dreams Gardenss last blog post..Sounds of Late Summer

    Carol, I do that too. Then, when I want a photo of the butterflies, they all go elsewhere. I want a macro lens for Christmas to capture all the winged creatures better.~~Dee

  17. Thanks for visiting Green Zone, and glad you dug the Pvt. Snafu. If you liked Snafu, you’ll love Barney Bear’s Victory Garden (posted in july on my blog). Up in RI, the summer’s winding down too. Powdery mildew all over the squash leaves, cherry tomatoes splitting, me praying for a fall crop of raspberries…all signs of fall.

    Sarah (Green Zone)s last blog post..Another ‘toon: Private Snafu in The Home Front

  18. I love bug and butterfly photos in blog posts of flowers. Remember the discussion last summer about how we don’t all include people in our photos? I love bug and butterfly photos (and dog, chicken, cat, etc.) just as much. Great shots.

    Robin Wedewer
    Gardening Examiner

    Robin Wedewers last blog post..Want local foods? Hire your own backyard farmer

    Hi Robin, I do remember that. I don’t put my children in photos because of internet danger, but sometimes I should take more photos of them.~~Dee

  19. perennialgardenlover says:

    I’ve noticed the crazy buzz in the garden lately too. Everything is slowing down and preparing for the next season of rest.

    perennialgardenlovers last blog post..Tropical Surprise

    PG, I guess it’s time, but this year, I’m not as ready as those years of drought.~~Dee

  20. I have noticed the garden gearing up for fall too. However our garden is struggling with lack of rain. Only 1/2″ this month.

    I’m so sorry about your drought. No drought for us this year, but perhaps next year. We never know. I hope you get some rain.~~Dee

  21. linda says:

    How true Dee. The winged creatures seem to be on missions around here too these days. And I’ve never seen so many swallowtails around here before. They’re gorgeous, and very busy.

    On top of the usual suspects, we have a year-late crop of 17-year cicadas noisily, frantically searching for opportunities to mate before they die, which can’t be soon enough for me. The noise from them is deafening. Two summers in a row of the din is beginning to drive me nuts!

    lindas last blog post..Random Saturday Morning Garden Musings

    Hi Linda, I heard those 17 year cicadas when I was in North Carolina at the Biltmore. Awful sound. About drove me nuts. I bet you can’t wait for winter.~~Dee

  22. MA says:

    Hey darlin’, those photos are wonderful. tell me again what kind of camera gear you have. I looked at it in Austin but brain is full of holes. Like a colander. I particularly like the apricot next to the red in the rose pic. Two roses or just one?

    Good mornin’ MA, my brain is like Swiss cheese, so I understand. I use a Nikon D40X. It’s a jewel. You can set it to do automatic things, or use it manually. If I were to buy a new camera, I would probably move up to the D80. Faster and more features, but I love my D40X. That photo is of only one rose. Almost all of my roses are darker while in bud than in flower. The rose is ‘About Face.’ It was Bear’s First Communion rose.~~Dee

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