.

.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

WALK ON THE WILD SIDE -- AUTUMNAL EQUINOX COMMON WILDFLOWERS

MY BACK HILL PATH
Lately it has been sunny with chilled mornings. The kind of chill in the air that signals to your senses that Fall is approaching -- no need for the calendar to tell you so. My path, in the photo above, is an old tractor trail that no longer serves as such. It is filled with the till of the mountain -- rocks of limestone, small to large. It is private and if one meditates on it -- rather mysterious. Here is where I take my private walks to observe nature.

Today I am walking in observance of the coming of the Autumnal Equinox, or Fall season, which begins on September 22nd on my calendar. I am looking for changes and for common wildflowers that bloom during this late summer transition.

WILD ROSE HIPS ALONG MY PATH
Various types of wild rose hips grow along the path ranging in different sizes and hues of red. Rose hips are not poisonous and can be made into tea, jellies and jams. they are rich in vitamin C, D, and E. Plants produce rose hips from the declining blooms of roses.

Many folks pick them and put them into natural dried arrangements.

There are two good sources of Native American use of wild rose hips

JOE PYE GROWING IN A FILTERED SUNNY SPOT ON MY BACK HILL
Growing like giants of my native wildflower world is the above Joe Pye or botanically known as Eupatorium purpureum. Reaching heights of 6 to 8 feet on wand-like stalks with bloom heads that are akin to rosy-purplish heads of cotton candy when seen from afar. They exude a strong sweet floral smell to the nose.

Named after a Native American for his use of the plant as a fever reducer.

This plant attracts scores of swallowtail butterflies and bees during this late growing season of the year.

TICKSEED SUNFLOWER GROWS IN ABUNDANCE IN THIS AREA
Sunny yellow booms distinguish Tickseed Sunflowers. They fill many spots in the woods where there is sun. They seem to enjoy the changing light of the earth and so remain in bloom for long periods.

Bees particularily seek them out as a food source that produces a dark honey.

THE COMMON BUT BEAUTIFUL GOLDENROD ADD SPLENDOR TO THE FIELDS
Newcomb's Wildflower Guide is one of my favorite guides for identifying wildflowers. They have 34 species of goldenrod listed! Somewhere I read that even experts have a difficult time identifying a particular species. That lets me off the hook! I'll just call it goldenrod and be done with it.

Goldenrod attracts swallowtail butterflies and bees. Goldenrods (botanically known as Solidago) are used as food plants by caterpillars of a number of moths and butterflies. Goldenrod honey is produced by bees.

Blooming season is a sign of the start of the school year in the U. S.

This flower is Kentucky's state flower as it is for Nebraska and South Carolina.


Taking a walk on the wild side this Fall may bring you new observations about nature.

No comments:

Post a Comment