Despite sultry August days, subtle signs of changing seasons are all around. Summer days are noticeably shorter. There is a cooler rush to the evening air. Down on main street the shopkeepers are displaying their Autumn flowers, and the feel of changing seasons is afoot. The Summer's Gold Lantana blooms heartily, as if it knows Summer's loveliest smile, is fleeting.
Despite a lovely wet spring, our summer months have been dry.
Rainfall has been scarce and the trees are showing early signs of Autumn.
Tennessee has some of the most spectacular Autumn palettes, I can't help but imagine this year the leaves will have already fallen off the branches, once the cooler weather arrives.
One of the sure signs, that Summer is waning, is the return of the Passion Flower..
Resembling something of an underwater sea-creature, the Passion Flower resides far from the ocean, in land-locked Tennessee.
It was first named as the official state flower in 1919 and then in 1939 the iris was also named the state flower. In 1973 legislation was passed designating the passion flower as the state wildflower and the iris as the state cultivated flower.
Also known as the maypop, wild apricot and the Ocoee, passion flowers grow wild in the southern United States and South America. Ocoee is the Indian name for the passion flower (also used in the name of the Ocoee River and valley in Tennessee and the city of Ocoee in Florida). American Indians considered Ocoee the most beautiful of flowers.
I can't help but agree.