Autumn unfurled itself in the waning afternoon sunlight yesterday, coming to life in the spiraled blossoms of the moonflower vine (ipomoea alba) that opened up to star-kissed flouncy petals. It was as if flower fairies, hidden deep inside the heart-shaped leaves of this magical vine suddenly decided to celebrate the changing of the seasons by twirling their celestial moonflower skirts in the unpredictable breeze coming from the southwest, which usually means rain, here at Blooming Hill.
Billowy clouds in shades from crisp-white to soft-grey skipped across the blue sky in an effort to keep up with the finicky breeze. Dressed in their finest cotton-candy outfits, the clouds greeted the newborn Fall and kept the moonflower blossoms well protected under dappled sunlight through the late afternoon. All the while, the unseen fairies flitted in and out of the vine, for they were just getting started.
Evening came and still, with no rain in sight, more fairy-like moonflowers came out to dance, twirling their skirts as the dark night crept in. The moon, itself, was nowhere to be found, hiding behind the burgeoning cloud cover that lingered to enjoy the company of the twilight gardens. Still, the moonflowers called out by releasing their sweet perfume while dreaming of love, (as their meaning implies in the language of flowers). The flower fairies wrapped themselves in the creamy-sheer moonflower petals with emerald-green leaves for capes, too protect them against the chill of the evening, in preparation for their nighttime Fall Gala.
Moonflowers claim their name because they appear in the late afternoon, showing off their full, round figures, so similar to the full moon and yet, possessing their own beauty. They stay open, dancing the night away through the misty dawn before they fold up their petal skirts, leaving the sunlight to their cousins, the Morning Glories, who while away the quickening days. Each moonflower blooms only once yet, their brilliance requires nothing more than their own radiance to glow in the garden. Again, so much like their mentor, the full moon on a clear black night.
So, caught up in all of their enchanting revelry, I took their pictures by the light of their own silvery-ness and, they smiled back at me in all of their grandeur, basking in the glow of the cool autumn evening and bidding farewell to the long, hot summer.