late summer fields full of gold and iron

A few days of mild temperatures and the return of school buses to local roads sent a clear message this week that we are entering the final stretch of summer.

While we’re still some time away from the traditional fall colors sweeping the landscape, there’s been a noticeable shift in the color palette that blooms on our fields, fences, and stream borders. The kaleidoscope of wildflower colors we saw in the first half of the year has begun to fade, replaced by blooms dominated by two colors: purple and yellow.

As always, there will be a few exceptions, but most of the golden petals that will soon become regulars adorn the fall landscape, such as wing stems, rosin and sunflowers, mixed with violets such as aster, verbena and lobelia. But in this two-color show, the most conspicuous is undoubtedly the daylily and ironweed.

Solidago is one of those wildflower groups that seem to defy the average person’s ability to tell them apart. I conflate them because I never had the time or energy to pour out the intricate details that separate species.There are more than 20 species of goldenrod in Ohio, however, in the middle of the state, if you see a field filled with these tall yellow flowers, chances are you’re looking for our most aggressive type, the Canadian one yellow flower canadian goldenrod.

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