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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Finally, 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!