Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Wild Wednesday ~ Late August

Now that wildflower season is winding down for the year, I thought I'd change the name of this post to "Wild Wednesday," so that I can share other wild things going on in the neighborhood.
This is the time of year when dewy mornings make spiderwebs especially visible, and when we see more of our eight-legged friends (indoors and out), such as the yellow argiope, or garden spider (Argiope aurantia). Argiopes are orb-weaver spiders; their webs are of the classic spiderweb shape, with a zig-zag stabilimentum in the center. There are many theories regarding what purpose this structure serves, from camouflage to warning birds away to attracting insects to sunblock.
Tall white aster (Doellingeria umbellata, Aster family) dominates our fields right now.

Most of them are from hip to waist-high on me, but this plant, one of a cluster of them growing in  a shady corner of our back field rises over my head.

Several other species of aster have come into bloom in the last few days. I had thought that these were calico aster, but now I'm not so sure. I think asters may fall into the category with goldenrods--enjoy but don't worry about what species they are--at least for the rest of this year.

I did manage to i.d. one easy goldenrod; growing on an island in the ocean, with thick, waxy leaves, it's seaside goldenrod (Solidago semperivens, Aster family).
But otherwise, goldenrods growing around my house have me stumped...even with I thought I had correctly identified last summer, I'm finding reason to doubt my conclusions.


This flower came as a surprise to me--it's growing all along our driveway, but I don't remember seeing it last summer when I was surveying plants for my naturalist class. It's called red fast brassier (Odontites vernus, Broomrape family), and is a non-native, but a pretty little one.


Garden evening primrose (Oenothera glazioviana, Evening primrose family) is also blooming now.
Finally, one of my favorite driveway-side flowers,  which GoBotany calls purple orpine, but Newcomb calls live forever (a name I much prefer) (Hylotelephium telephium, Orpine family). It's a succulent (formerly known as sedum), and so brightly incongruous growing among all of these tall, yellow and white flowers.
What's blooming in your neck of the woods?

3 comments:

  1. We saw a web the other morning that went all the way from the street to our neighbor's house. It was huge! The spider in it had caught breakfast, too.

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    1. Wow! That sounds huge! Amazing critters.

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  2. Beautiful pictures Andrea, thank you for sharing. Our goldenrods are fading now, most of them turning more brownish yellow. Like you, we have aster of all kinds everywhere. We still have quick a bit of chickoree, black eyed susans, daisies and hawkeye everywhere. But mostly, it looks a bit like spring out there : dandelions, clover... It's been hot and humid so september has been feeling more like august.

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