Twilight Zone Of Summer

“There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call…..the twilight zone.” (Introduction to “The Twilight Zone” TV series)

…and that’s where my garden is right now — in the twilight zone of summer! It’s in a place “between light and shadow”, striving to survive the hottest and driest part of the year in North Texas, and it’ll remain that way at least through the end of August if not longer. It’s a time when most annuals have already withered away, perennials are struggling to survive and the greens of spring are rapidly disappearing.

Since my garden and I are currently in this zone, I decided to post a montage of some of the flowers that graced my landscape during the spring along with a few that are still blooming, albeit somewhat reluctantly! Just a bit of nostalgia…sigh.

Our strange gardening year continues, weather-wise. Oh! If we were only blessed with periodic rain showers instead of one and done storm events! The month of May brought us 17 inches of drought-busting rain in a seemingly continuous onslaught. June brought us 4.19 inches, slightly above the monthly average, but most of it fell during one week in the middle of the month. So far in July we’ve received 2.59 inches, a full inch over our monthly average, but again most of it fell during a brief period earlier this month. Even with this rain huge cracks mottle the ground, which is parched and concrete-hard though moisture lurks below.

Will we have a wet Autumn? Hopefully. I’ve read that the effects of El Niño will continue through this Winter and may actually last into early Spring of 2016. Of course, that prognostication could go by the wayside at the snap of a finger, but it’s cheering to the soul to think we might enjoy an above average abundance of rainfall and slightly colder cooler less hot weather well into next year.

What a difference four years makes. The 2011 calendar year (the first official year of our drought) saw 12.97 inches of rain and 100 days of temperatures reaching at least 100°F. This year, through July 18, we’ve received 31.89 inches of rain and have had 0 (zero, zip, zilch) 100°F days. Texas weather. What can I say?

Hummingbird Visiting Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans)
Hummingbird Visiting Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans)

A pair of hummingbirds have been hanging around the neighbor’s Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans). They ignore my feeders but they love these blossoms. Can you blame them? I’m going to hazard a guess and say this is a female Ruby-Throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris).

Here’s a close-up.

Hummingbird Visiting Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans)
Hummingbird Visiting Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans)

She doesn’t seem to mind the twilight zone my garden has disappeared into. I don’t really mind either, as I’ve become accustomed to it over the years. I just miss the daily enjoyment of getting out amongst the plants, digging in the dirt and watching nature take its course. But the dog days of summer won’t last forever — only 67 days until the first day of Autumn!

19 thoughts on “Twilight Zone Of Summer

  1. Well at least you are having a summer, summer has is very absent in the northern Hebrides, and you have some beautiful blooms to look back on, my daylilies and honeysuckle haven’t even buds yet, I enjoyed seeing your blooms and imagining sun and warnth, thanks, Frances


  2. Gorgeous photos! I’d be nostalgic too!

    It has been a wily and wooly year in its own way, welcomed rains or not! It looks to me like plants are setting seed earlier than usual this summer and some of my plants that never bloom until August are already gearing up. Have you noticed anything like that?


    • I agree! Some of my wildflowers had a very short growing season. They were up and growing well in May, when all the rain came, and I think the dampness and lack of sunshine did something to them. They should still be flowering well at this point but they are already dried up and have dropped their seeds. I usually have a sea of coreopsis but they were few and far between. I think the seeds rotted in the ground. I’m actually going to have to buy wildflower seeds to plant this fall!


  3. An interesting post and wonderful pictures. I’m not keen on July and August but cheer up in September when gardens thankfully recover from the summer frazzle. xx


  4. I’m glad to see that the drought has started to lift across many parts of the south. I love your Salvia greggii: we recently had frosts of about 12F (which they survived – some of the only salvias in the garden to do so) but then a huge snowfall snapped all of the stems!


  5. That’s so funny you have started a countdown. Just this morning I was giving myself a pep-talk saying something like — well, we are almost finished with July so there is only about a month or so of this left. hahahahaha Only a month or so of parched soil and deadly sun … (beautiful flowers and seriously cute hummer)


  6. Here the weather has been on the cool side, though there are days that are uncomfortably hot or humid. This has delayed and extended bloom times, which is mostly a good thing. I love the pictures of the hummingbird with the trumpet vine!


    • We hit 100F for the first time this year yesterday, but our summer has been quite “mild” so far! I think our humidity is finally creeping downward, but the dewpoints have been abnormally high, in the mid to upper 60s and into the low 70s at times, which is really out of the ordinary. Blame it on the May rains! As for the hummingbird, I wish the pictures were a little more clear, but she was quite a ways up and away!

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