Brown season

A few images from a meadow in early winter :

The first image is aster in a grassy area (in black and white); the second is willowherb, the last is a plant I haven’t identified.

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November flowers

After our first hard frost, I gave up on flowers in my area for 2022. A visit to a community garden proved me wrong, with these orange calendula and pepperweed blossoms:

Seeing the vivid orange in early November was a surprise, so was the halictid bee. The bee wandered lazily around the flower for a while. The white flower was quite small, I believe it’s in the mustard family, perhaps Lepidium virginicum. If that’s the correct ID, it’s native to North America, and spread to Europe and Asia where it is non-native. So many of our non-native plants are the reverse!
I’m going to have to try calendula in my garden next year – it’s hardier than zinnia.

Paine’s Creek Beach in November

Three views of Paine’s Creek Beach from a recent visit to Cape Cod:

Paine’s Creek is on Cape Cod Bay, with a west-facing shoreline. The bay shoreline has the favorite locations for viewing the sunset. This is my second visit to this spot – I like it because of the pools in the saltmarsh grasses. This time I walked out further and found the sand patterns in the leftmost image. The image on the right was taken last, with the setting sun far off to the left.

There’s no way to tell from the photographs, but it was chilly, in the 40s F with winds at first. I was lucky to get such pretty clouds.

First frost

Just before Halloween, temperatures dipped below freezing, creating crystal formations on rain drops from the day before:

The rain drops were in a shady side of a grassy meadow, this is a small section of one of the grass blades. I found this grassy wet spot on a Saturday, and with below freezing temperatures predicted, I went back on Sunday at dawn to see if the magic happened – and it had. I’ve seen crystals form on frozen drops before, though not in the profusion you see here.

Aster, again

Another view of New England Aster:

The flower was in dappled light, with the near part of the flower in shadow and part of the golden center and back petals in sunlight. I’ve done closeups of this flower before with just the near petals in focus but not in mixed light. It gave an unusual look. The light didn’t last for long.

The flower season is pretty much over now, it’s seed season!

The Milkweed Revue

Another milkweed image, a belated finale to the series of milkweed images I posted recently. The title is Milkweed Revue because these seeds reminded of a chorus line and soloist:

Or maybe a 30’s movie musical.

Sunflowers

Three views of a patch of sunflowers:

I believe they are Helianthus maximiliani, 7 or 8 feet tall. This patch is floral fireworks that goes off at the end my area’s blooming season, along with the fall asters. It really is the end of the blooming season here, this morning was the first hard frost, the morning temperature was around 29F.

Milkweed seeds

It’s that time of year again:

I’ve found a few fields in a neighboring town with large populations of milkweed. With a lot of it, I can pick from different groupings of seeds. The surface of a seed has interesting details, some of these are my latest attempts — using stacking — to capture what you can see close up to a seed. On this visit, I found one group of large milkweed bugs hiding under the edge of a pod. Maybe they were gathering inside the pod for the evening.

New England Aster

In a fall meadow in my area, there are usually a few of New England Aster sprinkled in the white and blue asters:

For some reason, this location had hundreds of flowering New England Aster. Many of them were past peak when I visited, but I found a few that weren’t spent. It’s been a great year for asters.

Northern Blazing Star

Five views of a flower I haven’t had a chance to photograph before:

Liatris novae-angliae is endemic to the northeast and it’s uncommon. I was excited to find it and couldn’t stop photographing it. The yellow flower in the background it is a composite.