Monday, September 7, 2009


As today is Labor Day, I'm going to run a mini series called Last Call. It will be photographs of things we only usually see here  in the fall. The sun is shining bright and hot right now, but not for long. The nights are pleasantly cool for sleeping. The cool will shortly turn to cold. In a few weeks, one of us will look to the sky, sniffing the air like dogs and say, "Gee, it sure feels like snow tonight." And one day, if not that day, it will indeed snow. Summer doesn't feel like it's over, but technically it is. At this time of year, the reality of that is fed to us in dollops every day. My records show that the Ruby Throated Hummingbirds disappear from here for the year about September 18th, my son's birthday. This little lady was savoring the last of the Bee Balm. The Bee Balm, or Monarda, has almost given up the ghost itself with just a couple of tattered flowers left. The leaves of Bee Balm are intensely aromatic. When the leaves are bruised the essential oils which are used to flavor Earl Grey tea are released into the air and onto your hands. I love working around it all summer long. When I'm cleaning up gardens in the fall I can smell it even though the plants are gone. Monarda is a member of the mint family and has many of its annoying expansion traits. Some would call it in fact, invasive. You can tell it's a mint by the square stems. All mints have that in common. These hummingbirds migrate to Mexico and Central America. They make a remarkable 18-20 hour non-stop flight across the Gulf. With that in mind, I keep the nectar feeders full and sparkling clean. So drink up little hummer - it's the last call.


  1. Love your blog. Bill Hoffman

  2. Very nice series. Hummers are easy to catch the way they flit around. You did a fine job here. Summer's over? I can buy that! Looks like snow? I'm NOT ready for that!

  3. Thanks, Bill and Ed - None of us are every ready for snow! And the older I get, the earlier it seems to be, too.