As the nights evolve from cool to cold, the woods have become flowerless – except for the good old reliable wild Aster, which comes into its own in late Autumn. “Aster” means “star” in Greek and the flowers’ purple-blue and yellow starbursts do seem to explode throughout the dying vegetation.
These flowers are the last wild refuge for small insects trying to lengthen their lives on a day-by-day basis as it gets colder. If you’ve got good eyes, you’ll be able to find a desperate Spotted Cucumber Beetle in the image above. Below is one of the last Meadowhawk Dragonflies resting on an Aster.
The plant, actually a member of the sunflower family, also is known locally as the “frost” flower. Maine Native Americans used Asters to treat headaches and colds. (Brooklin, Maine)