This little gem was the very last bloom in the garden: the very small and delicate Toad Lily. It is so late to form buds, that only one flower managed to unfold before the severely killing frost zapped all the remaining greenery, and flowers.
Rudbeckia triloba is a "must-have" for me, as it always is the last to bloom, but well ahead of the frost and hence there is lots of time to enjoy it. Also, it is remarkable for its upright and well-branching habit - so it rarely needs staking. The stems are long, light and airy - in some light, at dusk, it appears the blooms are floating in mid-air, dancing in the early evening breeze. Just beautiful, and I don't know why more people don't have this cultivar. There will be more next year to enliven the fall garden.
But, frost has come, and it even snowed last weekend. The cats are grumpy that the weather has curtailed their activities, although secretly, I am happiest when I know all my babies are inside, as a blanket of snow deepens and curls around the house, keeping us all warm and safe.