Oops, It's Late Summer - Aug 20

Oops, I missed almost the entirety of the summer at the Witchwood - a mistake I will not repeat in 2023! Late summer is a busy time though, especially along the brook, and there's tons to see

On the showy side, cardinal flower (right) is blooming alongside monkeyflower (left):

And alongside a favorite of mine, blue vervain (right). The hummingbirds were enjoying the cardinal flower even more than I was - it's a great nectar source for them, and in return they pollinate the flowers. 

The flat-top white aster and broadleaf arrowhead flowers also stand out:

And here's an exciting new find! This is the first giant goldenrod I've found at the Witchwood. Unlike its cousin wrinkle-leaved goldenrod, which I've found numerous times, giant goldenrod's stem is smooth and glaucous (covered with a waxy coating or "bloom" that is easily rubbed off).

On the tiny and subtle side, the water-pennywort is flowering along the wet edges of the brook. You must look closely for this one as it's low with small leaves, and the miniscule flowers hide underneath. 

These St. John's wort flowers are not quite so tiny and a good deal easier to spot:

And then there are the bugs! Look at this beautiful eastern calligrapher fly on arrow-leaved tearthumb

And this mating pair of ambush bugs

It was a bad year for the bottle gentian. I only know of a single small population, and all the flower heads were nibbled off. No seeds this year :-(

And that's just a sample of the ~56 species I observed on this trip!


Note: this post was written long after the fact on Feb 26, 2023, but I've backdated it to August 20, 2022 which was the day of the visit so as to preserve the flow of the blog posts.