Nature Photography: Coexistence (No. 43) – Wildflower Meadow in Summer’s Shadows

09 September 2019


Wildflowers at Summer’s Finale; All Rights Reserved 2019 Sally W. Donatello

Click onto image to enlarge. Let me know your response to this image. Prints are available upon request. 


We live in time, through time, trying to grab it or even ignore it. We can pretend, but it’s one of life’s fluidities that cannot be fully understood, manipulated or stopped. It is an ever-flowing continuum of living progress. It plays and taunts our reasoning. And Einstein’s ability to comprehend its physical qualities and workings are beyond my mind’s skills. Still, as summer begins its finale, time passes through me in visual dynamics. I almost, almost feel its cadence.

Every day a few more leaves scatter across the landscape to become blankets and compost for wintering gardens. Every day a few more annuals and perennials bare the unmistakable signature of spent flowers. As the warmth and markings of summer begin to recede, most living things embrace and prepare for the glorious days ahead as autumn approaches.

These changes begin to forecast inevitable moods of the winter season, moods that shift our perspective and inner emotions. That’s exactly why I strive to honor each stage on the seasonal continuum, seeing more clearly the majesty of every form of nature’s bountiful expression of life. To witness her ability through redefinition, dormancy and renewal is to be held captive to WHAT NATURE REPRESENTS.

At twilight this week the wildflower meadow in my upper garden was ablaze in small flashes of colors. They called for me to linger and enjoy how the light played with each annual and perennial. This dreamy eye catcher is an addition this year, and it has been a source of quiet calm and tranquility. It pulls me into its ability to produce continual splendor, even as rain has avoided our region for the last few weeks. I do not water this garden, leaving it to Mother Nature to tend to it needs. It has not been deterred.

As the sun sets in summer’s shadows, the flowers are given a reprieve from the day’s heat. And that allows them to bounce back if necessary. Still, the masses of seeds (about 5,000 and germination rate was high) that I scattered seem to be in the right location to live out their longevity and bring me dazzling moments of serenity during autumn and next spring.


I am awaiting this month’s publication of Isabella Tree’s Wilding: Returning Nature to Our Farm (2019). Here’s a description from Amazon that gives you enough spice to understand my enthusiasm.

“An inspiring story about what happens when 3,500 acres of land, farmed for centuries, is left to return to the wild, and about the wilder, richer future a natural landscape can bring.
For years Charlie Burrell and his wife, Isabella Tree, farmed Knepp Castle Estate and struggled to turn a profit. By 2000, with the farm facing bankruptcy, they decided to try something radical. They would restore Knepp’s 3,500 acres to the wild. Using herds of free-roaming animals to mimic the actions of the megafauna of the past, they hoped to bring nature back to their depleted land. But what would the neighbors say, in the manicured countryside of modern England where a blade of grass out of place is considered an affront? In the face of considerable opposition the couple persisted with their experiment and soon witnessed an extraordinary change. New life flooded into Knepp, now a breeding hotspot for rare and threatened species like turtle doves, peregrine falcons, and purple emperor butterflies.”

Those who follow this blog you know that this story of nature’s reclamation is an example of what gives me a sense of optimism in the face of climate change: Each of us doing whatever moves us to live a sustainable life, one that takes little from the planet and gives back in order to restore its health and well being. And the story of Knepp fills me to the brim.

This entry was posted in Digital Art, Gardens and Gardening, Mobile Photography, Nature, Nature Photography, Photography, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Nature Photography: Coexistence (No. 43) – Wildflower Meadow in Summer’s Shadows

  1. That is a lovely bouquet of flowers – and beautifully captured. Yes, may nature’s ability to regenerate and reclaim lost habitats be our hope.

  2. I’ve noticed in Austin and vicinity that after parcels of land stop getting farmed or ranched, at least some native plant species reappear fairly quickly. Unfortunately, at least for my purposes, the benign neglect of those parcels has usually presaged sale and development once the land values have risen high enough. Over the past decade I’ve lost probably 30 properties where I once took nature photographs.

    • That breaks my heart. This greed plays a huge part in the forecast for our planet. Every piece of land developed is less habitats for the natural world. I just learned a new word that relates: refugium, which means an area where special environmental circumstances have enabled a species or a community of species to survive after extinction in surrounding areas.

  3. Amy says:

    Beautiful rich colors, so beautifully captured!
    It’s should be in fall where we are traveling, but it’s in 90 F, which makes you wonder…

  4. Gorgeous colors. Feels like end of summer mood.

  5. Tina Schell says:

    What an interesting story Sally, I’d not heard of it. Will look as I leave your blog. Loved your colorful image.

  6. love the intense colour in the image and your words are beautiful and profound. We are so fortunate to see the change of the seasons. I so hope for snow this winter. Other than that sadly, winter’s grey wet weather brings me the blues!!!

    • Cybele, I understand your reaction to wintery months. Winter usually is grey, grey, grey here, and I also react to the lack of light. Somehow nature props me,and I encounter parts of her that keep me shored. Thanks for your lovely comment, I am humbled.

  7. restlessjo says:

    I was going to say how lucky to have this to gaze on, Sally, but it’s not luck but good planning, isn’t it? How very lovely! 🙂 🙂

  8. Lignum Draco says:

    A lovely photo, Sally. Full of vivid life, and shadow. The story of Knepp Castle Estate does offer hope.

  9. We have land in Oklahoma that has been in disputed for half a century so luckily it stands fallow, growing wild!
    Your words and images are inspiring.

  10. Angeline M says:

    What richness jumped out at me when I enlarged your photo. The colors are not only rich, but speak of the glory of this earth.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s