Fall is underway. It’s not quite going strong but it’s getting there. It’s been a joy to go outside with coffee and stand in front of the loquat tree watching all of the little insects flitter about getting their breakfast. Monarch butterflies are migrating and the little beauties are stopping by the yard to get a snack and rest before they continue their journey south.
The cold killing frosts are typically the end of November here and This may be the first year that we don’t have completely bare spots in the landscape. The goal has always been to have a green yard in winter, a primarily edible landscape, and flowers all year round. The edible part wasn’t too hard to figure out with fruit trees and herbs. Last year quite a lot of effort was spent to pull off the green-in-winter part. This year just may be the year where flowers can become the focus (after figuring out and filling in the remaining brown spots).
Most things still look fairly similar in the back yard from summer. The peach and pomegranate tree are starting to turn a little yellow and of course the orange fruit on the persimmons is a dead giveaway fall is here also.
Little native asters are in the grass covering our lawn. I always leave and encourage the wild flowers in the grass in our back yard. Not only are they beautiful, but the honey bees love them. Sometimes I like to lay on the back deck with a drink and just watch the honeybees fly from one flower cluster to another. They help me with pollinating peppers, so the least I can do is encourage other food sources for them so they have a reason to visit frequently and often.
It was unpleasant to think that this year, the first year the loquat tree bloomed, will likely be a harsh winter and kill all the buds/fruit on our loquat tree. But today, watching all the little insects get a meal, I realized that feeding the bees and the butterflies was enough for me this year. Even if we don’t get one fruit out of the hundreds of flowers on that tree I am enjoying providing for the little animals out here. The joy of watching them this fall can be enough if there is no fruit to be had.
There was an iridescent blue bee (google told me it’s an orchard mason bee) and a hummingbird moth that were too quick for me to snap a photo of but here is what they looked like:
All of the little cute insects and animals that visit beautiful flowers we plant is something that gives me so much pleasure. It’s so nice to watch butterflies and honey bees visiting a fruit tree that you have planted and taken care of. It feels wonderful like being a steward of nature. Encouraging the wildlife that you love to come a little closer and say “hi” so you can observe it. It feels like being in a butterfly sanctuary standing next to the loquat tree, at any given time there are at least 12 butterflies flying all around you in the air and resting on a cluster of flowers nearby.
Nothing will ever be perfect in a garden. Nature is not perfect. There is always an unfinished spot in the yard, a work in progress, or a failure to be seen. It’s easy to focus on those things. People that truly love nature and gardening have the capacity to find that flower that’s blooming and focus on its beauty even if it’s sitting in a bed that needs to desperately be weeded. To watch bees fly from one dandelion to the next and smile even if it’s in your lawn. If you love nature, you can find beauty everywhere.