Early bird asters

As if anyone needs more proof that all those unripened tomatoes in the back yard that the weather this summer is all messed up...the asters are already starting to bloom! This New England aster (Aster novae-angliae) is usually the last thing to pop before the weather gets too cold to play in the garden. Remember New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's eulogy to Brooke Astor? In comparing her to the plant, he said that asters were the last to bloom but among the most beautiful flowers in the garden.

So how come this 'Purple Dome' has some blossoms already? First we had a soggy, cool spring. Since then we've had Dust Bowl meets Jungle Heat. Now, what the heck. Already the nights have a September feel, and the cicadas, which always remind me of the end of summer vacation, are buzzing. The seasons seem all mixed up.

It's not September. Summer isn't ending. And stop the presses (and the asters). I haven't had a vacation yet!