The bugs of summer’s end

Summer insects, flowers and maples

Credit: Barb Rayment

Bugs, Tibetan gentians and maples as summer comes to a close

Suddenly the non-existent summer is over and the maples are starting to turn colour already. What happened to the gardening year?

It has been a good year for some things – there have been more bugs than I have ever seen, and even a few (such as the one pictured above) that I have never seen before. This one looks like she is laying eggs, so I expect I will see more next year. Does anyone know what it is?

It looks and flies like a bizarre dragonfly.

Thistle and bees | GardenWise
The bees sure loved this globe thistle. (Image: Barb Rayment)

The bees are in a feeding frenzy in the garden, ignoring me and focussing on the last of the pollen. This tall globe thistle (Echinops tianshanicum) was a popular feeding spot, but the Tibetan gentian (Gentiana dahurica) nearby didn’t have any takers. Those tubular flowers may be designed for moths. There is so much I don’t know.

The vibrant Tibetan gentian. (Image: Barb Rayment)

Maples, one by one…

I’m trying to keep track of the maples this year, as they turn one by one. It seems early this year, but we have had a few light frosts and that is all it takes.

The Tatarian maple (Acer tataricum) is already flaming red, and the Red maple (A. rubrum) ‘Northwood’ is just starting to go – it will have the best colour of all of them at full flame.

Of the two Amur maples I have here, A. tataricum ssp ginnala ‘USDA Flame’ only has dull red tinges so far, and  ‘Seminov’ is still dark green, highlighted by the clusters of bright red samaras (which they have been all summer – this is a great little tree).

The sugar maple (A. saccharum) has only the slightest hint of red, while the Manitoba maple (A. negundo)  and the silver maple (A. saccharinum) are just going dull yellow. The English hedge maple (A. campestre, which shouldn’t be hardy here but is 15 years old from seed) is still dark green. One could do a whole slide-show of maple colours alone. Maybe one will.