Monday, September 23, 2019

The Grand Finale

Hairy Blazing Star
The end of the summer season has come.  Fall is here. You can see it everywhere in nature. The days are getting shorter. The sun has a lower angle in the sky. Some leaves are beginning to change. And the native wildflowers? Well, they are looking spectacular! It’s what I like to call the Grand Finale, the final blooming period of the season when there seems to be an explosion of flowering plants, particularly in the Aster family, Asteraceae. Plants in this family include Asters, Goldenrods, Bonesets, Sunflowers, Rattlesnake Root and Liatris.

Fields and roadsides come alive with the colors yellow, purple and white. Actually, it’ not a sudden thing. There are many species of late summer and fall plants, some blooming early, some later and some in between that overlap and the show seems to peak in mid to late September. Then there are those which bloom in October, which keep the color coming. One of those is Seaside Goldenrod, which happens to bloom around the time of the Monarch butterfly migration and is a valuable food source for them along their journey.
Seaside Goldenrod
Early species which start in mid-August include Sweet Goldenrod, Slender Aster, Woodland Sunflower, Silver Rod, Bog Aster, American Boneset and Round Leaved Boneset.

Mid species include Showy Aster, Wrinkle Leaf Goldenrod, Slender Goldenrod, Hyssop Leaf Boneset, Hairy Blazing Star, Flat Topped White Aster, Maryland Golden Aster, Blue Mistflower, White Snakeroot and Rattlesnake Root.
Later species include Stiff Leaved Aster, Heath Aster, New York Aster, Late Purple Aster and Seaside Goldenrod that bloom well into October. These plants are an important late nectar source for our pollinators.

New York Aster
As the days get shorter, and the weather becomes cooler, it’s a great time to get out for a nature walk and enjoy this one last spectacle of nature’s beauty for the season.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Earth Day Celebration 2019!

It is time once again for the annual Earth Day Festival at the Atlantic County Utilities Authority in beautiful Egg Harbor TWP, NJ. This year the event will be held on April 28, from 10am - 4 pm. Looking at their website, it appears there will be even more to see and do this year.

One thing I am doing different this year is that instead of giving a workshop in the amphitheater, I will be giving a guided tour of the native plant gardens that were installed a couple years ago. I did a few of these last summer  and folks enjoyed them so I am excited to do it again. Although it is early and not everything is on bloom, there will be photos posted in front of the plants that reveal what they look like in bloom. I will be talking about the benefits and natural roles of each plant. My tour is at 1:30pm and the garden in located in front of the Geo building near Delilah Rd.

As always there will be food vendors, crafters and live music and a tent with regional non profits including the Pinelands Preservation Alliance. lots to see and do for the whole family. Hope to see you there.

More info  here:

ACUA Earth Day Festival
Sunday, April 28, 2019
ACUA Environmental Park
6700 Delilah Road, Egg Harbor Twp.
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  |  Rain or Shine