It's strange how my yard has begun to measure life for me as surely as a calendar, only lovelier. My argiopes (garden spiders) are one such marker, my spider lilies are another. And my spider lilies have come up. They appear out of nowhere in early to mid-September and they're gone as quickly as they came. They're fairy. Oriental. Perhaps it's their shy, lovely glances that so attract me. There is nothing boisterous about them, nothing demanding. They're tucked away under the shade of my river birch, almost hidden by its branches, almost lost. They bloom and they die, and if you miss them, you miss them. They're satisfied to be nothing. That is their glory. Like morning mist over the water, they mark summer's end.