Blue Planet
Becky Elder, The Gardener

A spray of water fanned over low growing asters’ purple faces, creating a “lift off” of honey bees and pollinators, like a fleet of little helicopters.  The bees moved away only to return as soon as the spray moved…. happily returning to the buzzy business of gathering pollen and any nectar that may exist in the crispy dry of late summer, it is their winter survival.  The Equinox is coming soon, and the sun rises and sets through different windows of the house now.  Sun catchers send refractions of light through the interior of the house, raising the feeling of lightness and connection to the universe beyond our earthly island in space.

Traveling through the Garden of the Gods, oak trees are already turning or turned to that brassy burnt orange they do so well.  Many leaves are green with orange edges.  It is beautiful!  Seems early to me, but what do I know anymore, with all the changing of all that I know as normal?  Seems all I can do is write it down, put it to the paper.  Perhaps this chain of gardening observations, over so many years, will be useful to someone, somewhere, somehow…  This day I watch as drying winds move through the trees and cause them to dance.  They may dance all night long.  Rain has been predicted, but doesn’t look like the clouds were notified.  Just seems hot and windy.  Typical Colorado meteorology.  Typical September/October day.  The bees know and understand their tasks at hand.  They know the winter comes.

October will be here soon, bringing the Hunter’s moon – my favorite moon and the moon of my birth.  Somehow October has always been a beautiful time of year for me, even when dealing with the sadness of leaving the growing season and the flowers of summer behind.  October promises something less apparent.  

I believe October offers relief from the fast paced chore list and must-dos of the summer long.  A piece of poetry tells it well:  

“Youth is like spring, an over-praised season more remarkable for biting winds than genial breezes.  Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits.”-   Samuel Butler

Autumn colors and the crispy cleanness in the air need no help from written words to be beautiful.  The autumn full moon will outshine all the man made lights in this world.  Our dark skies are a precious treasure to preserve, just like the trees, the waters and the air. Peering through the doorway of the universe, into which the earth constantly spins, is a God-given right to all peoples, and to the little ones especially.  They deserve the right to see and know the skies and the vast heavens above.  I can remember lying on the warm Kansas earth in my youth looking up into the black sky.  In a circle of sleeping bags of my family members, I would watch the night sky.  The Kansas night stretches from horizon to horizon.  Black, it was, but lit by billions of stars, billions of planets, with constellations to create fantasy with.  The swath of the Milky Way would slowly cross the sky through the night.  Constellations would change positions each time I opened my eyes to gaze…  Satellites, and other unnamed flying lights, would traverse the bowl of the sky. Shooting stars would appear and disappear in a heartbeat.  Meteor showers were incredible…  Beyond words. All these nights under the stars helped form a deep love for nature and a connection to the highest power for a young and questioning heart.  The dark skies grounded me and made my questioning of “what we do” in this world strong.  The universe made sense.  Man’s world often makes no sense.

Fall asters are happily blooming in purple abundance, and are set off dramatically with humble marigolds of autumnal oranges and reds.  And the oaks, of course.  Pretty stunning, and especially so with the back lighting of ornamental grass blooms and reddening shrubbery leaves close by.  Autumnal season has already moved in and most gardeners are aware.  Trying to not water too much while still wanting to quench parched soil is a tough rub. ‘Tis a balancing act for all gardeners.  Once the plants lose their leaves and drop their pursuit of growing and blooming, their water needs will drop.  The plants can rest through fall and the winter long, as new buds will form for next spring. Spring feels far away in this moment. The plants will rest, except for the trees…  they must dance tonight!    Peace.  Blue Planet Becky the gardener 

“October is nature’s funeral month.   Nature glories in death more than in life.   The month of departure is more beautiful than the month of coming  – October than May.   Every green thing loves to die in bright colors.”
                                                   –   Henry Ward Beecher


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