Friday, September 23, 2011

The First Day of Autumn

Fall is upon us, or so the radio voice blared. I looked at my husband and said: “Prove it by me?”

I don’t mean to be cynical, but when you live in Southern Florida where the daily temperatures are still in the 90s, and the humidity is almost as high, it’s hard to imagine that somewhere in the country temperatures are dropping and the leaves are changing.

The amazing thing about Florida is that the grass and the leaves stay green year round; unless, of course, winter drought conditions become severe. The Southern Oaks lose their leaves simultaneously while sprouting new ones. You rarely see a bare tree. I’m not complaining, mind you. The changes that occur are nearly undetectable unless you’re watching for them.

My favorite tree in this changing scenario is the Golden Rain Tree. Today we witnessed its first blooms: yellow stalks of flowers that crown the tree with lustre. Later, purple seed pods appear that will gradually turn into a peach colored parchment. Their papery thin casing protects the seeds within reminding me of miniature Chinese lanterns. They hang like tiny wind chimes where once golden stalks grew upward and outward.

We planted a new hibiscus plant a few days ago. Its lovely orange blooms have maroon centers. They only last one day and then the blossom fades to yellow as its life withers to a close. This morning a fresh new flower had been eaten to its maroon center. You could see the bites around the edges. A hungry rabbit had probably enjoyed it for desert. We were left with a nub of disappointment.

Snails are also chomping down on our flowers. “Bugetta” keeps them at bay, but this morning I saw the Mother of all Snails inching down our sidewalk. I have my fingers crossed that she’ll slink into some snail bait and that will finish her off!

Today’s paintings are from my Roaring Twenties Series. I have photographed them in frames as they will appear on my Etsy site. An Etsy icon in the right hand column will direct you to my shop. If you are interested, sale prices on the framed pieces include shipping! Prints are also available.