This tattered and worn Cloudless Sulphur Butterfly on a tattered and worn zinnia flower seems an appropriate symbol for current conditions in my world. Nature is winding down for winter.
We've only had a couple of light frosts thus far, but soon a major blast of Arctic air will come barreling down from the north and all the bugs and flowers will be gone. Or will they?
While I won't see nearly as many insects until spring, they will still be here. Most will be hiding in leaf litter or underground in their larval forms. A few will overwinter as adults and surprise me with their appearance on warm winter days. All will be waiting for spring to begin again their life cycles.
In their own way, the zinnias will also still be here. All the genetic information needed to produce new plants and flowers is stored in their tiny seeds. Were we good gardeners, we'd deadhead each flower after the bloom is spent. Were we even mediocre gardeners, we clean up all the old plants after they freeze. But if history is any guide, the dead zinnias will remain in the garden for most of the winter if not all the way into next spring. Our excuse is that the zinnias need plenty of time to reseed themselves. Also, many times I've seen Goldfinches feeding on zinnia seeds. Regardless, the zinnias are still here.
Nature will soon take a winter's rest, but insects and flowers still abound and are just waiting for spring to begin again.
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