Aster seeds

A stem of heath aster seeds and filaments, the same aster as the last post:

This stem caught my eye because each cluster was still intact, the wind hasn’t done its part yet. There’s a lot of beauty in this stage, and the later stages as the seeds disperse and reveal the sepals and innards of the flower.

Heath asters

Heath aster is the common name for a small white aster that blooms in late fall in my area:

There were an amazing number of tiny blooms – it was wonderful to see all that white. These were blooming last month – I should go back to take closeups of the seeds.

Butterfly milkweed seed

A single milkweed seed dangling from the pod:

The seed had a bit of late afternoon light, I had to wait for the breeze to stop to get an image or two. From the same afternoon when I found the small milkweed but on another plant.

Ferns

A group of ferns I found in late afternoon light in mid-September. There were still a number of flowers, goldenrod was blooming abundantly, but the tree leaves hadn’t turned yet:

Today we had out first snowfall – three inches, though it will probably melt tomorrow.

Pipewort

A new flower to me that I found on a lake shoreline on Cape Cod:

For the identification, I have to thank Linda (shoreacres.wordpress.com). Linda recently posted another flower in this genus, Eriocaulon, and I saw the similarity. This flower is likely the common E. aquaticum or possibly the rare endemic E. parkeri. The flower is just a few millimeters across. It’s always best to bet it’s the common species – I’ll ask a botanist.

Milkweed bug

A small milkweed bug (Lygaeus kalmii), on the pod of butterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa):

A colorful bug found on milkweed pods this time of year – it’s the first time I’ve seen one on butterfly milkweed.

Captured

A milkweed seed caught in the web of a Banded Garden Spider (Argiope trifasciata):

On a walk in a field, I saw a group of common milkweed plants with open pods, spreading seeds. Some of the seeds were floating in the grasses, suspended. A web? I found the web and a number of caught seeds first, and then the spider. I had to wait between gusts to take this image, with the benefit of a passing cloud to soften the light. Not what the spider hoped to capture, but an unusual combination of two fall favorites.

Composite center

A closeup of an opening composite:

This is the same composite as the green bud in an earlier post – the flower center turns yellow, and the florets open and sprout anthers. This was taken at 2x or 3x magnification.

Paine’s Creek Beach

Last week I got away to Cape Cod, and visited this spot in Brewster at sunset:

The beach has tidal flats with saltmarsh grass seen here. The beach area was off to the right, and with an inlet and broad pool to the left of this image. I also found a few interesting flowers that I’ll save for another post, and perhaps some other views of this beach and the glorious midday clouds. I haven’t been to the Cape in a number of years, I’ve never seen it more beautiful.

Blackberry looper

I’ve seen this caterpillar before, and despite the name, I’ve always seen them on a composite, such as a Black-eyed Susan:

Another image from my favorite meadow, not far from where I live. The caterpillar held this pose for a long time. It might have sensed me, and used this pose as a defense. Many of the caterpillars in the Emerald moth group are twig mimics.