Yellow!

Today was a brilliant day. The skies were clear. The air was warm – yet I could still tell it’s was no longer summer. There’s a feeling that says harvest and get your cozy sweaters ready!

As I looked around under the cloudless blue sky I saw a sea of yellow. The goldenrod is in bloom. In every direction that I look on the property, I see goldenrod gently waving in the breeze. Yellow is such a cheerful color. It’s hard to be sad around yellow.

To be honest, I didn’t know anything about Goldenrod until I did a bit of research. Quite curiously, the very first hit on Yahoo was a WebMD page. Apparently, this plant is often referred to as an herb which has some medicinal qualities. Who knew? A Healthline page states, “The herb’s Latin name is Solidago, which means ‘to make whole or heal’ and reflects its use in traditional herbal medicine. Goldenrod is most often used as a supplement for improving urinary health and reducing inflammation.” These sites offer both the potential benefits and also the required precautions of using the herb. Do your homework if you want to ingest it! But, apparently it has been used for hundreds of years as a health aide.

At a couple of home and garden sites I found information about how to utilize it’s bold, yellow color in a perennial garden! What? I thought it was a weed a.k.a. wild flower. Apparently, some people actually purchase and cultivate it. That makes me feel fortunate that Mother Nature provides it to me for free! Through the power of the internet, I also quickly learned that it is a native plant and that there are over 70 species of the autumn blooming plant found in North America.

Without the assistance of any outside reference, I learned today that Goldenrod attracts honey bees! I have filmed a few different species of bees and wasps in the past couple of years. I did a bit of research to find out that there are 77 bees, ants and wasp species in Illinois. The bees that I have captured on film are the Common Eastern Bumble Bee and the Eastern Carpenter Bee. I was very excited to see Honey bees today. And, I saw quite a few buzzing around the sea of yellow! When you examine Goldenrod up close you can see what attracts nectar seeking insects. They appear to be a compilation of hundreds of little flowers.

Goldenrod and Honey Bees were not the only yellow beauties I observed today. At the south end of the West Hay field yellow butterflies were flitting about in large numbers. I was in that area to film a new Bluebird Nest box that we put up, yesterday so that it will be avaiable in early spring, before we may want to slough throught the mud and cold weather to put it up. In this photo, you can actually see one of those lovely, yellow butterflies captured flying by the box.

I believe this butterfly is called a Clouded Sulphur.

I also saw a Common Buckeye butterfly that clearly has seen better days. Yet, framed by the goldenrod, it looks perfect.

Even this spent wild flower, upon closer inspection, was flaunting a golden hue.

Surrounded by splashes of Goldenrod, these cattails pop.

Apparently, allergy sufferers often confuse Goldenrod with Ragweed because they bloom at the same time. However, the two plants are clearly quite different in appearance. So, let me dispel that rumor – which, to be wholly honest, I never knew existed until today!

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