The last of the Nasturtiums have finally withered, eking out their autumn orangeness into the landscape, bleeding into our woodland filigree of coppery golden beech, sassafras and witchhazel, punctuated by the maroon dogwoods which are more vivid this year than I ever remember.
For some reason we did not get the Nasturtium “capers” this year, peppery seedheads similar to Capparis spinosa, the true caper bush. Perhaps I picked too many flowers this summer and didn’t leave enough to go to seed, though I always bring them into the house in honor of Celia Thaxter’s An Island Garden, where she describes lining the walls with small vases of Nasturtiums according to their color tones. My mother also grew them in the foundation of our little brick rancher in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, and I tended them in the flower beds of Monticello.
There’s something about bringing flowers into the house and displaying them in the perfect vase and spot that changes their nature into art.
The creek is running high. Robins and as yet unidentified grey bird flecked with pale yellow on its wingtips and breast flocked through, feeding on the autumn olive and spicebush. They splashed in the creek for minutes at a time with the water rushing over them while they bathed, then moved on in their migration.
Welcome to the hollow.