Sunday, September 29, 2013

It made me smile

Oh, how I smiled when I saw the fall garden at Spa State Park this weekend! All of that color!
 
I have written here before about the gardens at the entrance to the park in Saratoga Springs (NY).  Gardener Dan Urkevich does so much with so little.
 With a limited budget and only one assistant, Dan pools his resources to make one big KA-POW! where the Avenue of the Pines meets Route 9.

 You sure can't miss all of that color when you drive by.

But park your car and stroll around this border-on-steroids and you also get the sense of a gardener who wants to make flowers fun.

Everything is so marvelously over-the-top. There is color, texture, massive blooms and enormous leaves.


For this season, Dan has blended in mums and pumpkins among the annuals and perennials that are still putting on a heck of a show.


There are New York natives, too, and the border is alive with pollinators.

In fact, what was that flicker of orange?



Could it be? YES, it's a monarch!

Sadly, this is only the second monarch butterfly I have spotted this fall. In years past, monarchs would have been flying through this area by the hundreds.

Since summer, news outlets from around the northern United States and Canada have been reporting that monarchs are very scarce. Just this week, the Ottawa Citizen wrote that a popular tourist event, an annual monarch butterfly count at Point Pelee, Ontario, has been cancelled. The monarchs are missing.

But for this weekend, I was happy to see even this one specimen dining at Dan Urkevich's brilliant butterfly buffet.

Thanks, Dan, for an amazing seasonal show. It made me smile.