Don Torino’s Life in the Meadowlands: DeKorte’s Last Flowers

Photos by Don Torino. Left to right: Aster, Trumpent Vine, Obedient

It’s beginning to feel very diffrent at DeKorte Park now. Despite the above normal temperatures one, can feel summer slowly fading away. The leaves are slowly beginning to show their autumn russets, reds and yellows, the morning breeze is a little crisper, and even the clouds now take on their fall shades, putting us on notice that change of the season will soon be here.

The very last blossoms of the Purple Coneflowers and Rudbeckia still hang on to the last in anticipation of the butterflies and Bumble Bees that still depend on them . The many dried seed heads that will remain erect for the months to come will also provide food for birds like Goldfinch and Song Sparrows as autumn arrives and winter sets in.

The Ruby-throated Hummingbirds continue their amazing, grueling journey searching for flowers that still hold sustenance like the beautiful orange blooms of the Trumpet Vines. These blooms continue on with their beautiful yet stubborn flowers that still refuse to give in to the coming season.

The Goldenrods now glow like a gilded oasis against the greens and browns of September. The Goldenrod is a vital nectar source for migrating Monarch Butterflies as well and many other pollinators. The insects that are attracted to the Goldenrods will help birds like Common Yellowthroats, Phoebes, and Redstarts on their long migration south.

The Asters hold on to their beautiful purple flowers when most all other flowers have long disappeared – the purple flowers surround Jill’s Garden for the many species of Skipper Butterflies that are attracted like a magnet to the brilliant, nectar rich blooms. The Bumble Bees and Honey Bees utilize this splendid little flower until fall turns too cold for them to continue.

The Obedient plant is still standing strong and vivid, waiting patiently for the last hummingbirds of summer just as the last blooms now begin to fade.

The last flowers of Summer hang on as an acknowledgment to the wildlife that has endured. They stay to embrace all of the Bees, birds, and butterflies together as one ecosystem, they allow them to survive and flourish, and create a new generation while inspiring us to believe that life will always continue.

The last flowers of summer give us the faith that what remains will bring new life even after they are long gone. Soon the last flowers of summer will be just a memory, but they will bring the Goldfinch through the long winter, allow the Monarch to return in Spring, and help remind us that in every season what we achieve now will help life begin once again.

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