Ladies’ Tresses, Beech Nut, and More: A September Morning

On a recent morning walk in Eliza Howell Park, I documented in photos some of what I am observing at this time of the year.

Here are twelve images of late Summer / early Fall in the park, all photos taken on September 10, 2021.

1.Dew-covered Spider Web

If one walks toward the sun in a flower field early on a dewy morning at this time of the year, there is a good chance to see the details of spider webs clearly. Orb webs are a favorite.

2.Green Darner Dragonfly

This is one of the dragonflies that migrate and, because it is now migration time, they are more common here now. They are usually in flight (they feed on the wing), but this one was at rest.

3.Poison Ivy Foliage

The earliest Fall red leaves found on trees are not tree leaves, but the leaves on tree-climbing vines.

4.Beech Nuts

The nuts of the American Bee trees are ripening now and beginning to fall.

5.Milkweed Bug on Seed Pod

I often stop in patches of Common Milkweed at this time of the year to observe insects, especially the Large Milkweed Bugs that feed on the seeds.

6.Praying Mantis on Goldenrod

Praying Mantises, not noticeable for most of the summer, are now easy to find as they wait to snag insects that visit flowers.

7.New England Aster

Though not quite as evident and widespread as goldenrods, asters are common September flowers. New England Aster is perhaps the most striking of the asters here. This picture was taken in the shade; the flower appears a little different color in the sunshine.

8.Bald-faced Hornet Nest

I typically locate 8 or more hornet nests in park trees each year in the Fall, starting in early September. This is the first one this year, in a maple tree.

9.Staghorn Sumac Seed Cluster

A common stop in my walks is at sumac trees/shrubs, to admire the persistent seed clusters. They remain bright and attractive for many weeks.

10.Ladies’ Tresses

Single-stemmed, short, and scattered in fields, Ladies’ Tresses are easily missed when they bloom in late Summer and early Fall.

11.Pokeweed Berries

Pokeweed can grow 6 feet or more..The pink/red stems and the dark berries that begin to ripen in September are perhaps its most striking feature.

12.Monarch on Red Clover

Monarch butterflies have been common in Eliza Howell all summer, but the noteworthy point about seeing them now is that this is migrating time. Looking at this individual nectaring, I am thinking of its over 2000 miles flight to Mexico — on the lovely but delicate wings.

When I was thinking about referring to this collection of photos as “September Morning,” the phrase seemed familiar. It took a few minutes to remember the “September Morn” song by Neil Diamond, remembering an earlier occasion.

Nature’s calendar is such that all or most of the above observations are possible year after year in Eliza Howell Park. September Mornings are very similar one year to the next.

But nature’s calendar also means that things are constantly changing. October mornings will not be the same

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