It was strange to see woolly bear caterpillars in late July. These inaccurate prognosticators of winter usually make their appearances in late August or early September as a first brush with cooler winds reminds us that fall is just around the corner. But this buggy memento of changing weather was not the only hint that things have been different this month. Two weeks ago I started to find golden rod in full bloom. The Virginia creeper has started to turn red. The flowers on the hostas have come and gone leaving hollowed out, dead stems with pods of seeds. The asters are in full bloom.
Perhaps the reason for this has been the cooler weather of the last few weeks where daytime highs have struggled to get to the mid 70s while nighttime lows have been in the mid 50s with one night getting into the high 40s. Part of the trio of temperature, water and light that helps plants determine when to turn is off-sync.
So with late September morning dews occurring in August, certain things haven’t changed: like my large tomatoes. They sit on their stems fat and green for the last month waiting for a hot stretch so they can turn red. My lawn is lush requiring mowing every week given the temperate nature of the month. The crab apple tree has started to set its fruit and the leaves have started to turn and wilt a bit.
Perhaps it didn’t help that July was the hottest month on record in Connecticut with tons of rain and now it has rained barely an inch in the past three weeks. I’m confused as I’m sure are the plants.
So with the cool, dewy and damp mornings, an al fresco breakfast is but a fond memory. But I have started to think about splitting wood and how the few leaves that are falling from the trees will soon start to blanket the lawn and back woods hopefully not too ahead of schedule.