WiseAcre Gardens

north of the adirondacks – wildflowers & perennials that survive winters colder than my wife's feet

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Posted by WiseAcre on Sep 11th, 2009

Wildflowers Beside the Grasse

Sep 11

September hasn’t yet seen any real shortage of wildflower blooms along the Grasse River. While the average first frost date is only a couple days away the riverbank’s inhabitants continue to enjoy warm sunny weather. But the inevitable is coming. Leaves are turning colors, seed is being set and visitors from the north are resting before continuing their journey south. Autumn is here and predictions of Winter are already being made.

Here are a few more wildflowers that continue to bloom.

Skullcap – Scutellaria

I hesitate to say this is Common or Marsh Skullcap – Scutellaria epilobiifolia
I’m afraid I’d never get my tongue untied.
Common Skullcap

Scutellaria epilobiifolia

Sneezeweed – Helenium autumnale

I know I posted a photo of Sneezeweed the other day but I think this one came out better. At least there’s no fly on it. All I can ask is, where was this spider when I needed it?

Sneezeweed and Spider
click image for wallpaper version

Turtlehead – Chelone glabra

I don’t see it but the flower is supposed to look like a turtle head.
Turtlehead flower

Maybe the shell but I think they named it after the wrong end.

Turtlehead - Chelone glabra

Gone to Seed

Swamp Milkweed Seed Pods

This is one of the reasons I went to the river. I was looking for Monarch butterfly caterpillars. Since Swamp Milkweed is on their menu I figured I might see one. As usual (but not always) I was right.

Swamp Milkweed Seedpods
Monarch Butterfly Caterpillar

Jack in the Pulpit Berries

Not exactly on the riverbank but the orange in the woods lining the shoreline caught my attention. I just couldn’t resist posting the pic.

Jack in the Pulpit Berries

Oh yea, I did mention a Winter prediction. It doesn’t look good.

Woolly Bear Caterpillar

I think this Woolly Bear Caterpillar is telling me the only way to keep my ears warm is to stick my head up my you know what.

Meanwhile it looks like the visitor doesn’t want to get his wet.
Canada Goose

9 Responses

  1. Ratty Says:

    I’ve never seen the pods for this kind of milkweed before. I saw some of the plants with the blooms, but everything disappeared after a huge rainstorm.

  2. tina Says:

    Hello there, Your photos are gorgeous. I do like native wildflowers and I am trying to learn more about them. It usually happens when volunteers appear in my garden and escape the wrath of a constantly weeding hand and finally can bloom so I can kind of look them up. My wildflower books are so out of date though.

    I so see the turtle’s head in the turtlehead. I have chelone and love it. I think it is more rounded than a turtle’s shell and the opening seems to be the mouth. This is one of my favorite plants for the fall because of its long period of bloom.

  3. Sweet Bay Says:

    I really like the Marsh Skullcap — so fuzzy and such a lovely shade of powder blue.

  4. rainfield Says:

    I love your turtlehead, and I love your Woolly Bear Caterpillar.
    They are what I have never seen before.

  5. Joy Says:

    Dear Mr. WiseA**
    Great pictures as always .. and I have not seen a Monarch or a “cat” anywhere in my garden ..maybe they are hiding from me ? .. don’t answer that one please !
    I have seen the wooly cats around plus a ZILLION serious spiders with webs to match .. I also think this winter is going to be harsh to say the least !
    Joy : )
    You keep daring me and I keep taking you up ? 😉

  6. Monica the Garden Faerie Says:

    Love the caterpillar and milkweed pods! 🙂

  7. Tatyana Says:

    Great images. The striped guy is very elegant!

  8. elephant's eye Says:

    How big would that monarch caterpillar be ? Since I don’t know the plant either. It looks big?

  9. Jon Says:

    The photos of the Skullcap flowers are terrific. But, based on the hairs on the flowers, and the coloration on the lower lip/petal, and the characteristics of the leaves, you probably have “Hairy Skullcap” (Scutellaria elliptica), not Common/Marsh Skullcap.

    (You dared me to “submit comment”, so here it is.)

    I’m glad you dared, how else will I learn.

    I went back an looked at the original set of photos of that day and now I don’t think it’s either 🙂 It just might be Downy (S. incana) orMad-Dog Skullcap (S. lateriflora) because of the flower stalks coming out of the leaf axils. I’d go Downy over Mad-Dog since there seemed to be so many branches. Except for the flower pics – nothing was quite good enough to really base any ID on with any sense of certainty.

    I also know there’s more than one species around. This year’s ‘common’ is different than last years – the flowers emerge right from the leaf axils and not racemes, either from the axils or at the top of the plants.

    Bottom line – when I get to the Bridge of Death I’d rather be asked what’s the the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow rather than ID a skullcap.