A hint of winter in the way the dead cattail leaves hiss and rattle. But in the garden, a few coneflowers still brandish tattered suns.
As the heat builds, the cicadas’ electric drills fall silent one by one. Coneflowers wilt until they look like yellow jellyfish.
A shimmer in the air thickens into drizzle, dripping from bedraggled rudbeckia petals, limp tubes of bergamot and the crisp, white soapwort.
Goldfinch in the garden: a coneflower stem breaks under his weight and he moves to another, probing the dark centers for a hint of seed.
A halictid bee pivots in the black-eyed susan, a metallic green mote. At the end of one petal, a deerfly dries those anti-petals, its wings.
Soapwort, self-heal, mullein, Rudbeckia, butterfly weed: my garden exemplifies the messiness of any organization dominated by volunteers.