Friday, September 12, 2008
Friday Flowers: Closing for the Season
The trails I walk are lined with wildflowers closing their heads and going to seed at the end of the summer. The showy blooms of Queen Anne's Lace have been centre stage in the meadows for weeks now but are responding to change of season, the shortening hours of sunlight and the cool evening air.
Wild oats have grown year after year on this land that used to be part of a farm. Heavy seeded heads droop among the clover. I remember collecting oats like these from a friend's farm when I was eight or nine years old. My brother and I crushed the individual seeds with a rock to make "rolled oats" which we gave to our mother for the porridge pot. I couldn't resist crushing a seed for my daughter.
Not everything is closing though. Some flowers bloom in the cool weather and survive the early frosts of fall. Autumn Joy Sedum is opening in my garden and bees are attracted in large numbers to the blossoms. This bee's pollen sacks are full as it prepares for the arrival of winter.
Woodland Sunflowers are at their peak and the bright blooms of the tall plants catch the sun's lowering rays in the afternoon.
New England Asters are native perennial wild flowers that add bright blue and purple colour to the yellows and oranges of the autumn season. They are just now staging a fall opening and will bloom well into October. By then, the season for all flowers will be closed until the long winter has passed.