October finally decided to be a proper autumn.
We had a morning mist and cold nights making me think of the bees clustering around their queen and young brood to keep them warm.
Even in the muted light the falling leaves of the Liriodendron or Tulip tree add colour to the scene.
The dull morning light showed up the traceries of spider web linking the buds of the Loquat tree.
The willow leaves are turning yellow and dropping and the young stems are beginning to look reddish.
The bright blue flowers of my leggy Salvia Amistad stand out even in the dull light. This year I tried to control its height and I cut it down in May. It did not appreciate the intervention and has deliberately thrown out shoots just as tall as in other years but with less leaves making it look leggy and not just very tall. In addition, I thought that it was going to refuse to flower as it usually flowers at the end of August to the beginning of September. However, it has grudgingly flowered now and I will leave it in peace next year as it has clearly demonstrated who is charge of plant height.
The bees don’t mind waiting. Perhaps, the nectar is a nice treat at this time of year. I notice though that they obtain the nectar by pushing between the calyx and petals. Earlier in the year they can enter the flowers directly, as well. The flowers might not be so turgid after the cold nights making it more difficult for them to try a frontal entry.
The bees have also got the Mahonia for nectar. I thought that this bee was exceptionally black. She must be from the Poppy hive as those are our blackest mongrels.
The plants are just as confused as I am and the Mullein has pushed out fresh flowers into the sunshine that has arrived with temperatures up to 23 degrees centigrade on the 2 November.
So it was lunch on the patio again but today the outside table has again been carried under cover as rain has been at last forecast for the weekend.