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Sunday, August 28, 2022

A Late Season Wander Close to Home


Pale touch-me-not in early morning light

one jewel

I posted on my Books in Northport blog about the "wilderness" that surrounds me at home. This is an expansion of that theme, with some closeups. The flowers above are also called jewelweed, and this large colony is at home in an old silo base I use as a compost pile. It is surrounded by staghorn sumac, which is also multiplying gloriously.

Milkweed forest at sunrise

Because of a meadow filled with milkweed, I am greeted upon each August afternoon return home with fluttering monarchs in the driveway. Earlier in the season, milkweed flowers (so unobtrusive in appearance) perfumed the air; now some of the leaves give testimony that September is near. 

Fall color, milkweed

Although I say the meadow is a milkweed forest, Queen Anne's-lace in great number is a companion to milkweed in the open stretches. Camera jiggle while I was shooting on HDR setting kept the three exposures from lining up exactly in the photo below, but I liked the effect. The second milkweed image shows more drying flowers curling up into their late-season birds' nest look.

Queen Anne's-lace with camera jiggle

"birds' nest" look of late-season Queen Anne's-lace

The northwest corner of the meadow is where I seeded native grasses and wildflowers years ago, and both have been doing well ever since, with no further attention from me. In a week or two, purple coneflowers will be blooming along with these. Later still, myriad asters.

Tall grass prairie grasses and wildflowers

I am happy to see the tall prairie grasses spread ...

... along with the little grey-headed coneflowers.

Can anyone identify this volunteer?

Very welcome Joe Pye-weed volunteer

Over on the very south edge of the meadow, just before the cherry orchard begins, an enormous patch -- more than a patch, more like a forest -- of blackberries has grown up. I don't harvest these because of the proximity to orchard spraying. If one small section of three rows of cherry trees were to be removed, the rest would be far enough away that I wouldn't worry as much -- but oh, well!

Wild blackberry forest

Ripening berries, turning leaves

This is a part of my beloved home ground as we near the end of August.

But oh, no! I almost forgot -- 

the modest little soapwort!


  1. I love this. So much to see so close to home. When I was up in the UP this week and a couple weeks ago I noticed how thick and beautiful the wildflowers were. Goldenrod, and Queen Anne's and Joe Pie all mingled along the road. So beautiful, but the end of summer does make me sad even though I love fall too.

    1. I know what you mean. Summer always flies by too fast.