SAPS – Southern Appalachian Plant Society


No September SAPS or Herb Saplings meetings are scheduled.

Gazing Toward Autumn

I find a certain joy in the last days of August. No matter if summer has been miserable I can look down the month of September and see au- tumn patiently waiting. The days are growing shorter, the sun is less in- tense. The promise of cool nights and days still warm hovers there in au- tumn. The animals that migrate or hibernate are finding the food sources they need for the transition.

The birds have different songs. The babies are grown and gone from the nests. Territories aren’t as important so the calls and songs are quieter and less assertive. They still come to the feeders but there seems to be less urgency when there aren’t chicks to feed. It seems that everyone is taking a breath before the hard work of winter begins.

As the humidity drops the night sky becomes crisper, with stars increas- ing in brilliance each succeeding night in a tradeoff for the fireflies of summer that seem like a mystery when they appear every year. The ser- enades of katydids and cicadas still sound but are a little more muted as the days pass until finally they fade away.

Gazing through the days I can see the trees preparing to share all the colors of autumn. I know there are well thought out scientific explana- tions, but it feels like a miracle waiting to happen just for us.

Each season has its own beauty and we rejoice in all of them. I think of a kaleidoscope. The tiniest motions change the mosaic bringing a succes- sion of beautiful designs that are ephemeral. We look forward to the next revelation while regretting the loss of the previous beauty.

Something Told the Wild Geese

by Rachel Field

Something told the wild geese It was time to go.
Though the fields lay golden Something whispered,—‘Snow.’ Leaves were green and stirring, Berries, luster-glossed,

But beneath warm feathers Something cautioned,—‘Frost.’ All the sagging orchards Steamed with amber spice,
But each wild breast stiffened
At remembered ice.
Something told the wild geese
It was time to fly,—
Summer sun was on their wings, Winter in their cry.

Southern Appalachian Plant Society

September 2020

August 31

UT Gardens Fabulous Fall Plant Sale online ordering be- gins. The sale will open to the public on August 31 and ends September 7; purchases will be available for pickup on September 11 – 12. UT Gardens staff will follow contact- less pickup procedures. A catalog of available plants will be listed on the UT Gardens website, including perennials, un- common evergreen, dwarf and full-size shrubs, and trees of different sizes.

September 1

The Botanical Gardens at Asheville 2020 Fall Plant Sale will be held online this year. Plants will be available for pur- chase through their website beginning on September 1. All plants purchased during the sale will be scheduled for pick up on Saturday, September 12. Plant pickup will be done through no contact, curbside pickup to ensure the safety of our staff, volunteers and customers. Shop early for the best selection. A link to Shop Online for Native Plants will be provided on the website beginning on September 1. https://

September 12

Roan Mountain Fall Naturalist Rally is modified this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the featured speak- ers, Jerry Greer, will provide his program, Forest for the Trees, online, available starting on September 11. This year all trips are free and there is no printed brochure. For more info see: October 10

SAPS Annual Plant and Seed Swap. Bring plants 10:30 am. Swap 11-12. Eastman’s Bays Mountain Recreation Area. Start potting up plants and gathering seeds to share. We will meet in a large outdoor shelter and observe precautions to safely swap our plants and seeds. Under current guide- lines we will have to restrict attendance to 50 people. Eve- ryone is asked to wear a mask and there will be no potluck lunch. Details in the October Wheelbarrow. Meeting host: Earl Hockin 423- 817-5473.