September Meadows, 2019

September meadows showcase a lengthy sequence of bloom and the nectaring insects  attracted to the floral display. Goldenrods dominate early, followed by a beautiful palette of asters. This season, monarchs and red admirals were the most common butterfly visitors.

Monarch on goldenrod

Red Admiral on goldenrod

By mid September, the goldenrod bloom begins to fade as flowers go to seed and earth tones replace the golden yellow of fresh blossoms.

Sulphur on the fading bloom of goldenrod

The aster bloom seems to occur overnight, magically, in places where you didn’t even know there were asters. It is a fitting finale to the summer wildflower season and a timely food source for countless insects.

Aster, standing tall in a sea of goldenrod

Monarch approaching an aster to feed

Monarch on aster, with a background of goldenrods

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Dew-covered aster on a chilly September morning

An anglewing on aster

Photos by NB Hunter. © All rights reserved.

Flowers Along the Way

Every so often we see wildflower planting projects along highway corridors, state and federal programs aimed at the beautification of “scenic byways”. Mother Nature does this too, but in a cheaper, more sustainable manner. Ironically, I took most of these photos on a rainy Sunday in an attempt to stay one step ahead of the road maintenance crew.

Locally, Queen Anne’s Lace and Chicory dominate roadside ecotones. Knapweed is a prolific associate. All are extremely hardy aliens that colonize the most inhospitable places!

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Queen Anne’s Lace and Chicory

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Roadside corridor dominated by Queen Anne’s Lace

Unfortunately, these flowery scenes can’t be fully appreciated from a vehicle. Close examination reveals an impressive variety of flowering plants and associated wildlife activity.

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Queen Anne’s Lace and daisies

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Daisies

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Chicory

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Birdfoot Trefoil (surrounded by Knapweed)

Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.

 

Mid Summer Nectaring

Fritillaries on Milkweed

Fritillary on Milkweed

Fritillary on Monarda

Tiger Swallowtail on Day Lily

Tiger Swallowtail on Day Lily

Photos by NB Hunter 20July2015. All Rights Reserved.