The cool evenings and cooler days are having an effect on the rail trail. Some of the shrubs like the alternate leaf dogwood, trees like the Maple and vines like the Virginia Creeper are beginning leaf color change. Most of the berries on the Grey and Silky Dogwoods have colored up (white and deep blue) and are being eaten. The berries on the Maple-leaf Viburnum are a vibrant red. The seeds of many of the Ninebark are also a brilliant deep red and the Sumac flowers and seed pods are from scarlet to mahogany in color.
More of the Sunflowers are out. The Woodland Sunflower is a little shorter and the ovate pointed leaves are opposite. The Tall Sunflower is usually very tall (can be over 6 feet) and has alternate leaves and often a purplish stem.
Also all the Black-eyed/Brown-eyed and Showy Coneflowers are blooming–especially along 6-8 mile (from Averill Rollway to Meridian bridge.)
Notice the difference in the leaves.
Brown Eyed Susans have shorter and broader rays
In addition, I found another flower that I had watched for but never seen. Along 10-12 mile, Northern Bugleweed are now blooming.
These are often confused with Motherwort, which blooms earlier (late June into July) and has a different shaped leaf-plus is a much bigger plant.
The Late, Early, Tall, Smooth and Lance-leafed Goldenrods are still blooming. The Canada Goldenrod is ready to bloom. It’s flower size is much smaller than the Late, Early and Tall Goldenrods, though the leaf structure and plume structure are very similar. Since it is the most prolific, we will be noticing mostly Canada for the rest of the month. Look for the more unusual and less colonizing varieties–Blue-stemmed, Old Field, Showy, Stiff and Hairy. If you find them send a picture to me!
The Asters are starting to show as well. The Big Leaf and Heart Leaf woodland Asters are blooming as well as the Smooth Blue and Flat-top Asters. I have see a few Calico Asters and am waiting for the Heath Aster to bloom. I saw the first of the New England Asters blooming near Averill. That means the road to Coleman will be full of color with them soon. It is worth the drive–assuming the flooding didn’t discourage their growth.
At 11 an 12 mile (closed this week for paving) the Joe Pye, Boneset and Swamp Milkweed are outstanding.