Another common plant along woodland trails is a goldenrod called Blue-stemmed Goldenrod (Solidago caesia). Instead of a series of flowers near the top of the plant as some of the more well-known goldenrods have, they are arranged in small clusters very tightly against the main stem which is more angled than upright.
Less obvious than these flowering plants are some shy critters, the salamanders. Blue-spotted salamanders are fairly common and widespread, but spend most of their time well hidden under something. Before long these cold-blooded creatures will be underground, below the frost line, for the winter.
|Marbled Orb Weaver|
A few dragonflies are still around, but their numbers are diminishing. Here is a Black Saddlebags, one of the most common ones late in the season.
A beautiful, common and widespread wildflower found along roadsides and all sorts of open areas is the New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae). It is a favourite of many insects which are still present at this time of year.
|New England Aster|
Even though many ash trees have succumbed to the ravages of the Emerald Ash Borer, there are lots of young ash trees sprouting up. Whether they have a chance to mature and produce seed to help keep the species around remains to be seen.
This final image is of a young Black Ash leaf, photographed in a slough along Spicebush Trail. Black Ash isn't abundant this far south; it is normally more abundant a little farther north. It is easily identified by the individual leaflets growing tightly to the stem, with virtually no petiole (leaf stem). All other ash species have petioles which are at least 5 mm in length, or are slightly winged. Black Ash grows in very wet areas, unlike some of the other ash species.
|Black Ash leaflet|