Along a Country Road

Along a country roadside...It couldn’t have been a much lovelier day for a drive than it was this past Sunday.  We drove to my parents’ home, about an hour away from where I live, and all along the route were sure signs that Summer is, indeed, starting to wane.  This field was just one of many that was aglow with a wash of Goldenrod.

The surrounding trees still lush and green...I’ve never thought Goldenrod to be a particularly pretty plant, but when you see it in very large groupings, interspersed with the occasional white asters or chicory and splayed against a backdrop of emerald green, it really is quite striking.

goldenrod_close
This looks like Canada Goldenrod, but there are over 20 species of Goldenrod in Nova Scotia and I wouldn't ID this conclusively. Folklore says that "young leaves may be used as greens and the dried, older leaves and flowers can be used to make tea."

Goldenrod and other late summer bloomers always make me slightly melancholy as they seem to signal Summer’s end.

Flat-topped white aster
I am reasonably certain that this is a Flat-topped white aster, although there are many species of asters that are native to Nova Scotia, as well.

These Flat-topped white and Calico asters are striking against the still-green foliage.

Calico aster
This Calico aster is slightly easier to identify because of its pinkish center and burgundy coloured stem. Their petals can be white to mauve.

And this purple aster that saturates every roadside this time of year.

Wild aster
Aptly named, aster means "star" in Greek. These lavender lovelies will bloom until the frost kills them, usually into November.

Another common wildflower that is considered a “noxious weed” in most circles is Knapweed.  It looks like a thistle bloom and I think they’re quite pretty, though I might not like a bouquet of them!

Knapweed
This pinkish-purple plant was once used as "a medieval wound salve; used to soothe sore throats and bleeding gums. Also acts as a diuretic."

Everywhere, there was Queen Anne’s Lace.

Queen Anne's Lace
This plant was thought to have come to North America with the Pilgrims. Lacy and beautiful to look at, its leaves are considered poisonous if consumed in large quantities.

In various stages, from the delicate, just opened blooms…to the immature and tightly furled, waiting  for their day in the sun.

Immature Queen Anne's LaceFinally, two old apple trees, still producing fruit after decades of neglect.  These trees were both discovered on the grounds of an old farm.  They surely speak of Autumn.

I absolutely love the texture of the branch that reaches out to this apple -- those moss-covered fingers look positively arthritic!

I hope you enjoyed our drive along a country road.  I did!

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Author: nancybond

A writer, photographer, naturalist from small town Nova Scotia, Canada.

19 thoughts on “Along a Country Road”

  1. I love the signs of Autumn and the chill in the air. The apples are almost ready to eat. So glad you featured the goldenrod because I saw it all over on my recent trip to VA. It seems to be especially abundant this year.

    As much as I hate to see the Summer go, I also look forward to the crisp, clear days of Autumn, especially after the hot, humid weeks we had in August. This seems to be a banner year for Goldenrod — the surrounding fields are a veritable sea of gold.

  2. Thanks for the drive. You have a few different wildflowers, such as the calico aster – which is very pretty. :-) We have lots of goldenrod blooming here, too. Looks more like September all the time!

    I’m glad you came along! It does, indeed, look like fall. And feels like it, too, with that distinct crispness in the air. The full moon has helped with that lately, I think. Very cool nights here.

  3. Nancy girl .. there is nothing quite like Autumn in Nova Scotia .. I remember how gorgeous it was in Debert .. those walks were soul quenching .. so quiet except for crickets .. it was heaven to me .. I miss that, but you bring it up front and beautiful to me as I read your post and enjoy those pictures .. thank you !
    Joy : )

    Ah, Joy — we’ve got to get you back here for a visit sometime. :) Yes! The crickets are ever-present, non stop. It’s like background music. It’s still warm enough here in the daytime that the cicadas are still “whining”, but the nights have grown cold. Quite a contradiction. I’m glad you enjoyed the drive.

  4. Having spent most of my childhood there, I can tell you I miss it this time of year.

    Love the photo of the Queen Anne’s Lace and the one of the mossy apple branch. Lovely. :-)

    Nova Scotia is beautiful at any time of the year, but I think she really shines in the fall. I hope it brought back some memories for you. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  5. For us, growing up in Eastern North America, goldenrod, is a weed or wild flower. When I lived in England, they loved it, and would plant it in their flower borders (although probably a cultivar, not the species). It is beautiful this time of year, growing in huge drifts, along with the purple and white. It makes me think that I should have these colours in my garden this time of year. Mother Nature is a very clever woman!
    Deborah

    She is clever, indeed, and has a real knack for decorating. :) I’m very happy to have your visit!

  6. Hi, Nancy,
    I enjoyed the vicarious country drive with you, especially viewing the many varieties of asters . When I see the aged fruit trees where once there was a farm, I wonder about the lives lived there once upon a time…

    Don’t you wish the trees and the fallen fences could talk? My, the stories they’d tell. :)

  7. Ah, how soothing and inspiring, Nancy! Calico asters are one of my all-time favorites, but the whole “road trip” was delightful. Thanks for inviting us along for the ride!

    Ah that it could be for real. :) I’m glad you enjoyed.

  8. Lovely photos of late summer… could be anywhere right around our roadsides too. Those apples look yummy and ripe? Thanks for visiting Flower Hill and for sharing! Glad to have found your world. Carol

    I’m very happy you found my blog, too, and I hope you’ll come back often! Yes, I’d say those apples are ripe as some had already fallen from the tree. I’m no expert when it comes to identifying apples, that’s for sure, but the yellow one looks like what we used to call “August apples”. They’re both very old trees, which makes it all the more amazing that the fruit appears to be in such good condition, and not full of fungus, worm holes, etc. I’m sure they’d make a tasty applesauce!

  9. That calico aster is very pretty — it’s not one I was at all familiar with. I too love to drive in the country.

    I wish that we could take a leisurely stroll through each others’ countryside — I’m sure there would be as many similarities as differences. :) (Daughter, Angela, is now home from AB…arriving later today, actually.)

  10. Beautiful photographs as always and words that make me stop and say “ahhh!” (Nancy, I wrote you a letter over on my blog.)

    Hey J! Thanks for the note — I left you a lengthy comment. :) It’s very good to “see” you again.

  11. Love the knapweed. Scotland choose the thistle as its national flower! They have a delightful shape!

    Knapweed looks very much like a thistle, only without the prickles. :) The thistle is found on many souvenir items and logos here in Nova Scotia (New Scotland) because of our Scottish roots, especially in Cape Breton.

  12. Nancy,
    A wonderful drive. This year I planted Goldenrod for the first time ever… not a plant you see in very many Florida gardens. It was an attempt at adding to my so called ‘wildflower’ garden. They are doing well when some of the other wildflowers didn’t perform so well. You will enjoy autumn so much sooner than us so it is nice to dream of the wonderful sghts while visiting you.

    Meems

  13. Hi Nancy, thanks for taking us on your drive. It amazes me how similar our roadside plants are even though we are so many miles apart. Those same things are in bloom here too, some even in my own garden. No apple trees though, sadly. What a glorious tree. That branch is so full of character, it would make a lovely still life. :-)
    Frances

  14. Don’t you just love the fields of wildflowers in September? Those pictures could have been taken right here in my neighborhood. I have a similiar post coming soon of the wildflowers right here in my subdivision. I spent the morning tramping around the empty lots in the neighborhood with my camera, trying to see beauty where others don’t. As much as I hate to see summer go, I do dearly love September!

  15. Nancy, There is nothing like a drive in the country on a fall day! Goldenrod is surely a rough and tumble looking wildflower, but it looks wonderful in a field! it’s so much fun to see that NS fall asters are much the same as here! I love seeing them covered with bees! Thank you! gail

  16. Thanks for taking us along on your drive, Nancy! I often find myself staring off into the roadsides while driving. Now that our state has cut back on mowing along the state highways, every drive provides a scenic view of all kinds of wildfowers. I do love seeing the plumes of goldenrod waving in the breeze.

  17. I don’t know If I said it already but …Excellent site, keep up the good work. I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, :)

    A definite great read..Tony Brown

    Thanks so much, Tony!

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