The last of our summer flowers are in bloom, Chrysanthemum, Fall Crocus, Asters, Rose of Sharon, Goldenrod, Autumn Joy Sedum...
Walking through the city and along nature trails, the evidence of flowers which bloomed weeks or months ago remains. While the flowers were pretty, the seeds produced after the flower died are far more important to the survival of the plant after the cold, cold winter.
The smallest Monarch caterpillar I collected in my garden at the end of August finally became a chrysalis three days ago. It can take up to two or three weeks before it ecloses into a Monarch Butterfly and I wonder at the possibilities of it surviving a trip at Mexico at this late date.
Left on its own, nature is bountiful. The seeds produced by one plant are abundant and are able to feed birds and animals with enough left over for germination next year. This has been a poor year for butterflies in our area, but I don't doubt they are able to make up for the losses in another season.
The biggest hindrance to this bounty is not weather, but human activity as we change and control the natural environment around us.