Late summer beauty

Late summer isn't usually touted as a great gardening time. But it has its own kind of beauty. This was on my mind yesterday as we hiked the meadows and woods of the Schuylkill Center in upper Roxborough. Not a soul was around, and no wonder, given the humidity. A human soul, that is. The place was literally abuzz with critters. If you stood still amidst the sea of Eupatorium serotinum or late boneset, you could see and hear bees, wasps, flies, beetles, moths, butterflies and birds drawing nectar, collecting pollen, eating seeds from the big heads of these natives. Often, several of each of those things would be on the same stand of flowers. It was an amazing sight. If you look closely at this photo, you'll see a bee. Not just a bee ... we saw honey bees and bumble bees and all sizes of wasp. And if you need any convincing that native plants draw and sustain wildlife, please. Visit and hightail it over there. Try a Sunday afternoon when the place is deserted. See you there.