Biennial gaura (Gaura biennis) and honeysuckle vine were both blooming in pink. Interestingly, gaura flowers bloom white and fade to pink, while this non-native honeysuckle starts pink and fades to white and then yellow.
Don’t be fooled by the camera’s perspective. Gaura flowers are very small compared to honeysuckle.
Late August colors came in orange, yellow, purple, gray and green in Frick Park and Moraine State Park.
Above, squash(*) blooms on a fence in Frick.
Yellow daisies without petals are actually tansy (Tanacetum vulgare), native to Eurasia.
The deep purple of New York ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis) is never true to color in my cellphone photos. Instead it looks redder than expected because the Pixel 5 Photo app apparently overcompensates for the camera’s blue bias. All cameras have problems with purple, described in this vintage article: Not Truly Blue.
This velvety bright orange mushroom in Frick deserved a photo on 25 August. Jim Chapman re-found it the next day and identified it as northern cinnabar polypore (Trametes cinnabarina, a.k.a. Pycnoporus cinnabarinus). By then it was already darker orange than this.
Flowers are blooming, fruits are ripening and the sky has been spectacular. Here are just a few things seen outdoors this week and last.
Deptford pink’s (Dianthus armeria) small flower, at top, is worth a closer look. Native to Europe it does well in North America but is disappearing from the UK.
Enchanter’s nightshade (Circaea canadensis) was in bloom last week in Schenley Park, shown below.
Spotted wintergreen (Chimaphila maculata) is blooming in Butler County. This plant goes by several names including “striped wintergreen.” Here’s why it is not pipsissewa.
Wineberry fruits (Rubus phoenicolasius) are ripening in Frick Park. This shrub was introduced from Asia as breeding stock for Rubus cultivars in 1890 but it grows so vigorously that it’s now invasive in Pennsylvania. Unlike native raspberries, wineberries are sticky to the touch. They taste well enough when you eat them in the woods but are boring on cereal. I tried.
Bottlebrush buckeye flowers were at their peak last week in Schenley Park. This closeup shows the feathery stamens.
And finally, we’ve had some spectacular sunrises in the past two weeks. A deep blue sunrise on Wed 6 July (below) and a fiery orange one on the 8th. Click here to see the fiery sunrise.
Most songbirds stop singing around the 4th of July. Others will follow this month.
Birds sing to attract mates and maintain their nesting territories. Those that migrate to Central and South America are on such a tight schedule that they finish nesting and stop singing by early to mid July. Song sparrows, robins, and cardinals are still singing because they have new nests this month.
When is the last time you heard a Baltimore oriole sing? For that matter, when did you last see one? He won’t leave until September but he is far more discreet than he was in May.
(photos from Wikimedia Commons, Kate St. John and Steve Gosser)
This week was pleasant, then hot, and always buggy in the woods. A few flowers were blooming and berries are ripening.
Honewort’s (Cryptotaenia canadensis) tiny flowers are blooming in both Washington and Indiana Counties. The plant at top was along the Conemaugh Trail, site of the lone and rare Swainson’s warbler which was heard but not seen. More mosquitoes than flowers.
As we walked the trail we encountered cow parsnip whose identity I had forgotten yet again. When Dianne Machesney reminded me of its name I remembered blogging about it after another Wissahickon picnic. When was that? 2013!
In the two photos above I am standing next to cow parsnip at Mingo Creek on 1 June 2013 (left) and 18 June 2022 (right).
I have aged in nine years but some things are the same. I’m still using the same binoculars and walking stick and I’m wearing the same pants and shirt, unseen under the jackets. (My hiking clothes are rugged.)
This year’s cow parsnip is shorter than the one we found nine years ago and it has gone to seed, perhaps because we came 2.5 weeks later or because climate change has advanced it.