My image of the changing seasons over the summer is composed of several things, the colour in the garden, the maturing crops in the fields, and the changing species that dominate our meadow. The big signal that we're getting into late summer is the spreading yellow of the Goldenrods which is now just starting.
If there's a dominant colour in the meadow right now, it's the white of the Queen Anne's Lace or Wild Carrot.
Parts of our meadow are looking white indeed.
Bird's Foot Trefoil, a widely escaped pasture and forage plant, brightens parts of our meadow, many roadsides, and a few front lawns with its yellow pea-like flowers.
If you wonder how it got its "Bird's Foot" name, this is its seed pod, looking indeed like a big bird's foot.
I have to go out in the early morning to catch the Yellow Goat's Beard in bloom. It opens in the morning sun, always turning to face the sun, and closes again by noon. I have the impression that these blooms are smaller than usual, due to the dry summer we're having (and our sterile clay soil).
It's seed head is like a giant Dandelion.
The Evening Primrose is sharing its yellow flowers. I once took a botany course where we had to pick a wild plant and grow it from seeds under different experimental conditions. I chose Evening Primrose and gathered the seeds down in the floodplain of the Thames River in London, Ontario, where I went to university. It was more about learning experimental design than about the plant!
I even found a Sow Thistle in bloom, just outside the front door. How it escaped my attention when I was weeding I don't know.
Along the driveway I spotted this Bush Clover, an unusual very dark purple colour, a plant I don't actually remember seeing before
One that Idon't really like is the Spotted Knapweed, which is pretty, but is a vigorous weed, with tough wiry stems that are hard to walk through. It often forms dense patches along the trail and is somewhat invasive.
I wonder if you'll recognize this one. One of our most common burs, those pesky small balls of stick-ums that grab your clothes in the fall, this is the flower of the Common Burdock, actually very pretty when its in flower.
But this one is the one that made me think of the changing seasons, one of the goldenrods. By mid-August our meadow will be a sea of yellow as these all flower, and it means that summer is coming to an end. I'm never too happy to see the first goldenrod bloom!