August, the trail has changed remarkably. Asters (Aster sp.)
have made their first appearances.
of early August's wildflowers are past their peak, and those coming
into bloom, like these Bluecurls (Trichostema dichotomum),
are small and delicate.
inconspicuous flower is this pale blue Lobelia (Lobelia sp.)
- in the same genus as the much larger, dramatic red Cardinal Flower.
of Forget-me-not (Myosotis scorpiodes) as a spring flower,
but I found it blooming in late August beside Grayville Falls.
another small Beardtongue (Penstemon sp.) in bloom.
is Hog-peanut (Amphicarpa bracteata), which I found only once
on the trail - between Old Colchester Road and Grayville Road.
Spotted Jewelweed (or Touch-me-not - Impatiens capensis) is
two-toned bright orange, a single plant among the rest in Raymond
Brook Marsh was cream colored with pink markings. While there is a
Pale Jewelweed (Impatiens pallida), I don't think this is it
- because the flower's spur is too long. Instead, I think it's a mutant
form of I. capensis.
Arrowhead (Saggitaria latifolia) is an emergent plant found
in several places in Raymond Brook Marsh. Note the small Syrphid Flies
(Family Syrphidae) hovering near the flowers. The Syrphids are all
gets its name from the arrowhead-shaped leaves.
(Pontederia cordata) is still in bloom.
seem to be taking a more prominent role as Autumn approaches. This
is Climbing Hempweed (Mikania scandens) with flowers superfically
like Boneset or Joe-Pye-weed but forming a dense pale pink blanket
over large areas of the marsh.
guess is Climbing False Buckwheat (Polygonum scandens). It
reminds me of, and is closely related to, an ornamental vine my father
grew, Silver-lace Vine.
Bower, or Wild Clematis (Clematis virginiana), has gone to
seed. The seed heads earn the plant another common name, Old-man's
more a harbinger of Fall than the Asters, the fruits of many plants
are maturing - so much so that they dominate the color-scape over
the remaining wildflowers.
these are Highbush Blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum), not
quite ripe. (Can anyone confirm, or set me straight?)
Dogwood (Cornus racemosa).
Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis). Looks like the birds got
most of them before they had a chance to ripen.
(Smilax herbacea) has set its globular clusters of purplish-blue
(Rosa sp.) hips are maturing.
the wild Grapes (Vitus sp.).
I noticed ripe Bayberries (Myrica pensylvanica). They must
have been there for months but I missed them. Rub a couple of berries
in your hand and smell the bayberry candle scent. (The gray-white
color of the berries comes from the wax once used in candle-making.)
species of Sumac (Rhus sp.) are in fruit.
Oak (Quercus alba) acorns are maturing.
pretty sight, but worth an explanation. The vast webs enveloping the
tips of branches are those of the Fall Webworm (Hyphantria cunea),
the larva of a small white moth. They do far less damage than you
might think because they are active so late in the season - shortly
before the leaves would drop naturally. Call the caterpillars nature's
pruning shears if you like. By contrast, the Tent Caterpillars (Malacosoma
sp.) of spring attack young leaves, a significant loss. (Note
too, by way of contrast, that Tent Caterpillars make their webs in
the forks of branches, never at the tips.)
afford some protection from birds: the larvae feed within the webs,
expanding the nest to keep pace with their need for food.
look at summer on the trail.
looks like Hobbit habitat. It was taken near Grayville Falls.
after one of our rare summer showers, I caught the mist rising from
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) in a moment of tranquility before
in late afternoon.