The empire of heat

August 3, 2013 

This month named for the Roman emperor Augustus Caesar is the majestic autocrat of the seasons. Its heat commands the northern earth to ripen. In North Carolina, the harvest season starts in the high western country.

As the days shorten and the nights cool, farmers do their final cutting and bailing of hay and strip the fields of rye, wheat, soybeans, corn, and barley, leaving behind golden stubble, awaiting another season.

It would not diminish August’s bold magnificence to call it the flower month. Stately hibiscus, akin to soldiers wearing leafy helmets, stand at attention, their bright, flowery plumes in shades of white and red line roadside and driveway. Scarlet sumac and daylilies nod in the sun.

August brings a riot of wild flowers. Asters and poppies thrive with the heat and summer showers.

We see the hummingbird-sized sphinx moths uncoiling their proboscises, probing sweet nectars in the evening while by day a rainbow of butterflies dance amid the butterfly bushes.

Summer reaches its height as August reigns over a blooming, bountiful empire of heat.

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