Photo of the Week: Early Fall Wildflowers

When I walk outside in the morning, I feel a chill in the air that wasn’t there a few weeks ago. The days are getting shorter, and somehow it’s already September. Where did the summer go?

After hot summer days, I always look forward to the mild temperatures, fragrant cider, and just-barely-changing leaves of early fall. Even without these cues, wildflowers would announce the changing season if I’d just woken from a long summer nap. The timing of flowering can tell us where we are in the annual orbit around our star. By comparing the timing of flowering and other natural events from year to year, a science called phenology, we can learn how plants and animals respond to changes in their environment. Pretty cool!

I found some outstanding wildflowers this week while checking on the progress of our habitat restoration projects at Gallagher Creek Park and Stony Creek Ravine Nature Park. Check out these photos to see how nature announces fall, then go find some wildflowers in real life! It’s going to be a beautiful weekend.

IMG_1591[1]
Turtlehead, Chelone glabra, flowering at Gallagher Creek Park.
IMG_1589[1]
Tall sunflower, Helianthus giganteus, at Gallagher Creek Park. The pink joe-pye in the background really makes the yellow sunflowers pop!
IMG_1584[1]
New England Aster, Symphyotrichum novae-angliae, with daisy fleabane at Gallagher Creek Park.
IMG_1605[1]
Great Blue Lobelia, Lobelia siphilitica, in a sunny seep at Stony Creek Ravine Nature Park.
 

 

Advertisements

About Ben VanderWeide

I am the Natural Areas Stewardship Manager for Oakland Township Parks and Recreation in southeast Michigan. I have a doctorate in biology (focused on plant ecology) and I am passionate about protecting and managing natural areas.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s