Sunday, September 25, 2011

spider harassment, goldenrods, exploding cattail, and run-on sentences

I told a friend the other day that we were down to goldenrods and asters up here (she’s from the tropics of Massachusetts), but today I was pleased to prove myself wrong:
We have a reprieve of black-eyed susans.

Or, from another perspective…

I had fun bugging the spider.
Next door, a neighboring susan was covered in aphids:

But it’s true: a lot of asters are still blooming. Next year, I’ll start to differentiate between them all. This one’s the “big purple kind”.

As for the goldenrod, we have the almost done cooking stage…

…and the done cooking stage.
Actually, look again: two of the clumps above haven’t opened because the tip-ends of flower stamens haven’t completely dried up and fallen off yet.
The cattails are engaged in a competition to see who can explode the most, the fastest. Current contenders include:
P1150670 P1150676
P1150678 P1150677

Bittersweet nightshade does this awesome thing.
The flowers, as you might recall, are purple. The leaves are normally green. By now the flowers are long gone. It’s as though the plant was like “oh wait – something needs to be purple here – you! leaves! turn purple, stat!”
We still have some soapwort (Saponara officinalis) blooming.
But a lot of them look like this now.
Can you see the bug hiding out in the post-bloom at lower left?
Something else still blooming: japanese knotweed, a roadside invasive the stalks of which are apparently edible.
Such teensy flowers. It’s curious: some plants get their flowers going first thing, before even generating leaves (think, coltsfoot. Flowers show up first thing in spring, and right around now, their huge leaves dominate roadside ditches). And this guy, the knotweed, isn’t bothering with flowers til the very end of the season. Hm. I wonder if the fact that japanese knotweed is apparently so good at propagating from even cuttings (to such an extent that I’ve been advised, should I be so brave as to eat it, not to put any of it into the compost pile unless I want the side of our hill to be taken over by knotweed) (end of sentence: coming soon) …that it can afford to do the seed game late in the season. There’s a study in here somewhere, probably.


  1. Great title for a post.

    Your goldenrods are mostly done and ours are barely getting started, but then we haven't had black-eyed susans since May: what a difference the latitude makes.