Sure, blame it on the rain...and the "late blight" (that came months early)...and the tornados that nobody actually saw, but must have been there, because only wind that wild could explain so many fallen huge trees...
After this link to the story in the New York Times, I'll explain why it's much more than rain, fungus or some bugs...it's the atmosphere, people! I apologize if the formatting that follows is bizarre - it's some kind of software problem and I'm tired of trying to fix the fonts and spacing.
I have written several times that older foliage is more damaged than newer foliage that grew later in the season. This I suspect is because the short-lived gases that derive from emissions of volatile organic compounds are more damaging in the presence of extended UV radiation, which is stronger in early and mid-summer. This viburnum was trimmed in late summer, and the new leaves are still green. Below you can see how the older the leaves are, they become progressively more yellowed. Of course the very earliest have fallen off.
If you click on the photo and examine the geranium closely it becomes much clearer that the older leaves - there is one in the very center and one on the far right - are curled up to almost nothing.
I forget the name of this shrub. It has fuzzy, flat bright pink flowers. Anyway, all of the earliest leaves curled up and fell off, leaving this very peculiar formation where the bright newer leaves look like they are floating.
I have a potted plant whose name also escapes me. It's very tender and tropical so I brought it into the kitchen to overwinter. Leaving aside that it is listing badly and needs to be staked up, it has the identical pattern as the shrubs planted in the ground. The flowers are tiny purple but they come in sprays when it is blooming.
On the left is a really weak older growth, and right next to it is a much more vigorous recent shoot. Many of the older leaves have already fallen off, but enough remain to demonstrate the amazing contrast.
That's all for now! I have been so immersed in many articles recently, about various forms of collapse - economic, military, agricultural - and transitioning to a very different social structure, and how that might occur. I'll put some links after my last, favorite Ivy.
Following is a series of messages with RPauli, Philosopher Extraordinaire, inspired by the post at Desdemona, beginning with a quote there. I've copied it mostly just so I can come back and contemplate it from time to time, because I have always loved mythology, it is so very rich and complex, like the best fairy tales, and RPauli has put in many links to explore. But for anyone else concerned about the topic of hope, they might find it of interest.