An inch fell the other night, and when I went out the next morning, I was concerned to see the river birch (Betula nigra) with so many yellow leaves.
The ground is damp, there is enough moisture in the soil and then some. But it is shedding leaves all over.
The round blue spruce beneath the birch is catching the discarded leaves and holding them like little treasures.
Should I be concerned?
Next to the birch is a small pagoda dogwood (Cornus alternifolia) and it has yellow leaves all over. It's hard to photograph because it is so spindly yet, but here it is, looking very yellow.
Should I be concerned about this too?
The river birch has lots of new green leaves in addition to all the yellow, and I think it will be fine. It put on so much growth when there was too much rain, and then had to shed the excess when July temperatures got so hot for so long. It has enough moisture, it just doesn't want all those leaves right now in the middle of summer.
The pagoda dogwood does not have any good green leaves on it. I am more worried about its skinny self. Should I be so uneasy?
While I sat on the patio stewing over these two trees, the hummingbird dive bombed me. His feeder is on a pole next to where I sit, and he buzzed my face and zipped by, asking "what are you doing there? Should I be concerned? What's going on?"
Earlier in the summer the pole is covered by a clematis that hides the sugar feeder from anyone sitting nearby. It is clematis viticella 'Alba Luxurians', and it really is luxuriant in full bloom. The hummingbirds always know I am there, but never mind as long as they can hide from me.
But when the blooms go by the clematis gets ratty looking, so I cut it down, and by late summer it completely regrows and is once again just as flowery and luxuriant. The individual flowers are white with green streaks.
Right now, though, with the foliage gone, the hummer lets me know there is reason to be agitated.
And I am concerned too. Those yellow leaves. I'm worried.
* * (the male ruby throated hummingbird is aggressive and won't be photographed. The female will hold still for a shot sometimes like the one above. They are very expressive birds. The male communicates with me, hovering in my face at times, deliberately buzzing too near my head, and once dipping his wings in delight and looking straight at me as he played in the spray from my garden hose.)