Given that I'm spending the fall semester some 175 miles north of where I generally am, there should be no surprise about signs of fall showing up earlier than I'm used to. When I left Parkersburg a week ago, most asters were barely budding (except for the enthusiastic "Purple Dome" and "Wild Romance"), and the "Fireworks" goldenrod was showing no color at all (and I know, because I kept waiting to see it blooming between the "Black Knight" buddleia and the "Dart's Gold" physocarpus, one of the rare planned color combinations in the driveway border). Our dogwood was still in full summer foliage, with no discernible color in the berries. Such is not the case in Toledo.
The weather most of last week was hot, but today feels like fall. We woke to temperatures in the fifties and enjoyed an afternoon in which the high never quite reached seventy. Wandering the parks the last few days revealed surer signs of the changing season than Ohio's notoriously varying temperatures.
The purple lovegrass photographed on August 17th has given up its purple sheen, and the little bluestem has started to show its autumn orange. Some young sassafrass trees (probably drought-stressed, but still) are shifting to their multi-color fall attire. Goldenrod is in full bloom everywhere
while at least the earlyish asters are putting on a show with the berries of the shrub dogwoods. And that invasive but unmistakable sign of fall was clambering over a fence in the Toledo Botanical Gardens' herb garden:
sweet autumn clematis, in all its undisciplined glory.