What is purple, gold and viewed by cheering fans in the fall? The Minnesota Vikings? No. Baltimore Ravens? No. If you said fall wildflowers then you’d be correct!
In the spring I took my two children ages 12 and 14, along with their two friends, to look at spring wildflowers. We walked along the Scenic Loop Trail in North Chagrin Reservation as part of the Wildflower Tour contest. We had so much fun I thought it would be a good idea to check out the fall wildflowers. Spring wildflowers are found in the forests, but fall wildflowers are found in meadows.
On the September Sunday we went exploring, it was a beautiful, sunny - but cool - fall day. It seemed just about perfect for a fall wildflower walk. We walked around the North Chagrin Nature Center and Sunset Pond to see what we could find.
We saw lots of goldenrod.
New England Aster
Milkweed, fuzzy cattails and ironweed
We also found delight in some other fall sights. Lots of honeybees and bumblebees gathering pollen. Squirrels scampering through the leaves on the ground seeking and hiding seeds and nuts for the winter.
We spotted several Monarch butterflies preparing for their long fall migration to Central Mexico.
We discovered that creek walking is as much fun in the briskness of fall as it is the heat of summer. Why stand around and try to guess what the water temperature is when you can creek walk and find out for yourself. Right?
We also met a golden retriever named Molly and saw lots of other adorable four-legged friends enjoying a fall walk in the park… lots of sniffing in the fallen leaves. We also hunted for snakes, but didn't find any… this time.
We couldn't walk by one of the physical fitness stations along the Fitness Trail without giving it a try.
And, what's a trip to North Chagrin Reservation without visiting Squire's Castle. So we stopped for a quick visit before heading home and stumbled upon a wedding! That was a first for us. Could there be anything more romantic than getting married at Squire's Castle in the fall?
All in all it was a great afternoon. We celebrated autumn by witnessing the beauty of fall wildflowers especially the stunning yellow of goldenrod and gorgeous purple of New England asters, bees gathering pollen, Monarchs fueling up for their long migration and even a bride and groom beginning a new life together on a beautiful September day.
I think American poet and author, Helen Hunt Jackson (1830-1885), described it best in her poem, “September.” …By all these lovely tokens September days are here, With summer's best of weather, And autumn's best of cheer.