Let The Season Begin!
Autumn started this afternoon! Yay! I love to experience the seasons — each and every one — all four, to their fullest potential! As always, autumn is starting slowly. Yes, we’ve had cooler weather, but the leaves are slow to respond and are waiting for the days to get shorter and shorter. I have to really look to see any leaves turning. The patch of Red Maple leaves, above, being true to their name are a beautiful scarlet, but I had to hunt for them. Most trees are still green.
Dogwood is an exception to that rule. If you’re really observant, you’ll notice that the Flowering Dogwood begins, ever so subtly, to turn from green to red, in early July. I noticed this a few years ago and it sorta blew my mind, but every year since, I’ve noticed the same thing happening. Not every Flowering Dogwood tree goes by this pattern, but most that I see here on my mountain do.
Asters, Asters Everywhere!
On my daily hikes Asters are the most abundant flower. Snowy white asters with sunshine yellow centers that turn to warm burgundy as they mature. Lavender asters – small and even smaller ones. And my favorite – grape purple asters with the name Clasping Asters or Late Purple Asters. The flower of this species is a tiny bit larger than most of the Asters I’m seeing. It’s the smashing grape color that really gets my attention though. I’m really a sucker for a yummy, rich color.
I cannot leave out the Goldenrod that greets me each time I hike up the mountain. Beautiful yellow Goldenrod that is such a cheery sight. Oh dear! So many different species (over 50 in North America) that I have not begun to try to figure out which I’ve been running into. I think I’ll leave that to those long winter days when there are no flowers to identify as I hike!
Brilliant Yellow In Insects Too
A frequent sight on the Goldenrod — the adult Locust Borer enjoys the pollen of the Goldenrod. The species gets its name from the larvae that bore into Black Locust Trees.
One plant in the Solidago (Goldenrod) genus that I feel confident identifying is Silverrod. I just saw it for the first time a few days ago and it fascinates me, looking like a Goldenrod but it is white with just the smallest hint of yellow. Nice to have something with no question of what it is!
Colors To Come!
As the days get shorter, the leaves will respond, shutting down their production of chlorophyll, which will bring about the change in colors that I’m waiting for. I’ll keep you posted!