Fall has already cooled its heels, shrugged and politely backed off, as once again temperatures in the 90's bring a summer reprise. In fact, we set a record high today, hottest since 1982. The rhododendrons had been picking up a bit as the temperatures slacked off, but all the summer's faithful heavy performers are now in the grip of wilt and bloom fatigue in my late garden. Hardly any monarch butterflies at present, although the purple butterfly bushes hardily persist. The dogwood are dropping their red pips everywhere, actually quite pretty, but the bombardment of beech nuts sounds like a local fusillade. The squirrels are in a frenzy to hide the plenty for later.
In the herb garden, the basil is going to seed, the Italian parsley is flush but top heavy on long stems. Of course, the sturdy rosemary holds up, but even the lavender looks peaked. At least, if this keeps up, my grandson will not be chilled when he visits my haunted halls for trick-and-treating.
Meanwhile, the raven collection I assembled for my Sweet and Sinister Swap partner Donna should be in her hands soon. Most intelligent among birds, ravens are her favorite. Ruling the roost in the collection, this sinister but sweet Mama Raven and Baby (in the nest) are guarding the collaged box, while inside are more handmade birds suspended on vintage seam binding but ready to take flight. The Big Mama raven is securely wired through the box lid; the baby is wired into her nest. No late night Halloween flight for them. Other raven items round out the swap collection, but the real treat is the raven card -- it sings beware!