September is like March in its capacity to shift from lion to lamb… and back again. Lately it has been leaping from jacket cold to shirtsleeves warm each day.
But warm or cold, it is the season when frost asters (Symphyotrichum pilosum) come into flower here. Some four feet tall, a myriad of dainty flowers on wiry, woody stems, they fill the old pasture just now. It needs a good mowing or perhaps some goats to trim it down and make the grass grow instead. But the asters are an autumn delight in their own right. They spread a delicate white sheen over the hilltop.
There is white on the pasture where frost asters blow,
There’s a sparkle of silver with green grass below;
As September is waning, first warm and now chill,
There’s a glimmer like winter on top of the hill.
Still the sunshine is bright and it’s warm at midday,
Though at night the coyotes and owls are at play
While the breezes shift northward and moonlight moves south
And the trees are fast thinning from late summer’s drouth.
A slow tinting of yellow--September’s own gleam--
Lies across the bright fields and the trees, while they dream
Of the storms of midsummer, of winter’s pale cold,
While the sunflowers waken and blink in bright gold.
There is white on the pasture; the cold is not here,
But the asters are whispering winter is near;
Now the sunlight lies warm on their silver and white;
They will bloom till the mornings rise clear and frost-bright.