Goldenrod and Soldier Beetles

In autumn, the landscape is dotted with the vibrant golden-yellow blooms of goldenrod, a wildflower that grows in fields and along roadways.  One insect that is commonly attracted to goldenrod is the goldenrod soldier beetle, or Pennsylvania leatherwing.  Adult soldier beetles feed on the pollen and nectar, and forage along the flowers for insect eggs and aphids.  The flowers also serve as a place for them to meet and mate.

“There’s something about autumn that wakes up our senses and reminds us to live … ”  ~Unknown

Wildflowers

Here are a variety of wildflowers which pepper the fields and country roads in our area during the spring and summer months.  Wildflowers not only brighten the landscape, but also provide habitat for birds and insects and food for many animals.

“Flowers are the music of the ground
From earth’s lips spoken without sound.”
~Edwin Curran

A drive along the levee

A leisurely drive along the Mississippi levee at this time of the year never disappoints.  One of my favorite sightings this month was several Ruby-throated hummingbirds darting in and out among the red clover.  We sat and watched their playful activity for some time.  No photos, but clear, beautiful images in my mind.

“Memory … is the diary that we all carry around with us.”  ~Oscar Wilde

A sea of yellow

Bright-yellow Bulbous Buttercups are in full bloom in the fields and along the roadsides of West Tennessee.  These non-native plants are considered wildflowers by some — and invasive and noxious weeds by others.  Although they add beauty to the landscape, they also  compete with native plant species and are mildly toxic to livestock.

“I’ve learned … that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.”  ~Unknown

Along the walking trail

One afternoon this week we enjoyed a pleasant stroll along a greenway near our home.  Part of this trail goes through land upon which a railroad right-of-way once ran, including an old railroad bridge.  Here are a few shots of the rural scenery that were taken along the way.

“Somewhere between the start of the trail and the end is the mystery why we choose to walk.”  ~Unknown

Busy pollinators

Presently, the fragrant flowers of the White Snakeroot plant can be seen along the edges of the road, especially flourishing in the filtered sunlight of the tall oak trees.  Being one of the last wildflowers to bloom in the autumn, it provides a valuable source of nectar for a variety of busy insects.

“It’s not so much how busy you are, but why you are busy.  The bee is praised.  The mosquito is swatted.”  ~Mary Flannery O’Connor