Earlier this summer I showed you one of my walks and some of the gardens and blooms I see along the way. That's looking up! This post is, for the most part, looking down at the roadside.
The weeds and wild plants we see on the sides of the road are a a sign of summer moving into a new phase, just like the shorter days and earlier sunsets. Things earlier in bloom begin to dry up and we also see new colors or ones that seem to continue much longer.
My walk started with a beautiful patch of knapweed. still looking pretty and purple.
I'm not sure what this is, but it is abundant!
To be honest, I'm pretty bad with plant names. I admire Shoreacres Lagniappe posts where she finds the most remarkable wildflowers in Texas and identifies them. Her photos are spectacular. Me? It's the little orange one that kind of looks like a mini-snapdragon bud.
Another sign of the change is the new proliferation of wild raspberries.
I'm assuming these are fine to eat, though I haven't had any, just to be on the safe side. But I wonder if these are the berries my mom's friend Fran referred to when she spoke of their childhood times at the lake and the day when it came to preserve the berries. Canning day was never fun because the children had to help and couldn't play!
It's a lovely thought, young children in the 1920s, helping mom with making jams and jellies from the berries they picked earlier in the day.
I know these are a weed but I think they look like morning glories!
I don't know what these are either (of course) but they are so sweet and puffy.
These shockingly bright yellow blooms pop out of the woods whenever I see them.
I think these may be the same in an earlier period. Or maybe not.
These pink ones look much the same -- I wonder if they are from the same "family."
In the garden post, I shared one of my favorite roadside blooms, the Queen Anne's Lace. It is still blooming but as the season as moved on, it is beginning to fade.
I find it interesting to watch this -- the fuller blooms began to shrink and it becomes more sparse.
And then it curls up into a soft puff ball. Its dried seeds will scatter for next year's flowers.
Here you can almost see the various stages!
Just as spring has its Trailing Arbutus, Jack in the Pulpit and Lady's Slippers, late summer changes are equally telling. We start to see bits of red that weren't there before....
....and leaves turning an early lemon yellow.
These berries have emerged, an almost greenish-coppery-sandy color. Will they turn red later? I'll have to watch!
The ferns are changing, too. While many remain a deep green, some have become to turn brown and die.
These red ones are new to me. I saw them in the woods but I've also seen them in gardens so maybe they just "traveled!"
This one is a sure sign of a coming fall -- do you recognize it? You may have it in your yard!
Yes. Goldenrod time is here!
Of course, when looking down, not everything is a pretty bloom. I still don't know how this fish made it across beach, cottage yards and a road!
And looking way up, we see the birch from which the branch fell with the interesting patterns, which you can see near the top of the tree here. Thanks to bloggers far smarter than I, I know that these are marks made by yellow bellied sapsuckers and perhaps other woodpeckers who find the sap from the birch a real treat.
I leave you with one of my favorites from my recent walk. This cheery green makes me smile. Big.
So, keep looking up, but if you must look down, look for the beauty. There's a lot of it out there!