Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Last Signs of Summer

Orange-barred Sulphur on Red Impatiens

It won’t officially be fall for another week, but the weather has cooled off, the days are shorter and the leaves are beginning to turn their beautiful hues of red, orange, yellow and gold. Spring and summer are full bright colors and warm days. Fall does let me rest from watering flower beds and mowing the grass but I will miss the beautiful flowers and butterflies as they disappear for the long months of winter.

As I walked out on my back porch, I saw this beautiful yellow butterfly as he flew from plant to plant. As far as I can tell, he is an orange-barred sulphur. They favor plants with red flowers, which was rather obvious as he only visited the red impatiens I had in pots on the back porch.

Beautiful yellow flowers of the goldenrod.

The bright yellow flowers of the goldenrod which is often blamed for hay fever in many humans. The pollen causing the hay fever is actually produced by ragweed, which blooms at the same time. The goldenrod pollen is actually too heavy and sticky to be blown very far from the flowers and the plant is mainly pollinated by insects.

Leavenworth's Eryngo look like little purple pineapples.

Leavenworth’s Eryngo is also a late summer blooming plant found mainly in the central parts of the US. It is a prickly plant with a beautiful purple hue. It stands tall over the dried grasses and is broadly branched. Its flower resembles a pineapple with a small tuft of purple spikes at the top of each flower head. I like to combine these with some goldenrod and bring into the house for some last of summer color.

Snow on the Mountain

I can’t leave out the Snow on the Mountain. This is a common late summer blooming wildflower that is native from Minnesota to Colorado and Texas. It is also a tall growing plant with oblong light green leaves with broad white margins.  The flowers are actually small white blooms in the center top of the plant and don’t really compare to the color and beauty of the leaves.

As the days grow shorter and the nights get colder, these are all beginning to disappear for this year, but I wanted to appreciate them before they took their rest for another season. 

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