Where to Look for Late Blooming Goldenrods During the Changing Seasons
“When the mind is festering with trouble or the heart torn, we can find healing among the silence of mountains or fields, or listen to the simple, steadying rhythm of waves.
The slowness and stillness gradually takes us over. Our breathing deepens and our hearts calm and our hungers relent.
When serenity is restored, new perspectives open to us and difficulty can begin to seem like an invitation to new growth.
This invitation to friendship with nature does of course entail a willingness to be alone out there. Yet this aloneness is anything but lonely.
Solitude gradually clarifies the heart until a true tranquility is reached.
The irony is that at the heart of that aloneness you feel intimately connected with the world. Indeed, the beauty of nature is often the wisest balm for it gently relieves and releases the caged mind.”
– John O’Donohue, Irish poet and philosopher
It’s happening slowly. A little more each day. The pulsing pace of summer and all her activities are slowly giving way to the more subdued rhythms of autumn. We are entering the season of harvest and gratitude, dewy mornings and lazier afternoons. The cooler air is a welcome relief to the humidity of the summer months. The brilliant greens of warmer days are now replaced by the vivid and pleasing colors of gold, brown, magenta and violet that signal fall.
At Belwin Conservancy’s Stagecoach Prairie late blooming goldenrods, (Solidago speciosa) are putting on a spectacular color show right now. From lemon and honey to canary and gold, all hues of the yellow spectrum are represented in these important plants.
Goldenrods are often misunderstood and falsely blamed for fall allergies, when in fact the true culprits are the ragweed plants! Where ragweed pollen is lighter weight and transported by the wind, goldenrod pollen is heavier and stickier and therefore transported by a myriad of insects. As other flowers begin to die back the goldenrods become a vital food supply for bees, wasps, flies, and beetles.
The genus to which goldenrods belong is Solidago, which, in Latin, means “to make whole”. This makes perfect sense when you look at the medicinal value of these plants. They contain chemicals that are helpful in treating inflammation and minor skin irritations. They can also be a healing balm for the eyes and mind as you watch the colonies of plants bob and weave in the breeze.
As John O’Donahue suggests, it is in the natural world and mindful time spent within it that allows us to find the peace and serenity that we so desperately need to live to our fullest potential.
On your next hike at Stagecoach Prairie, Tallgrass Trails or any other place that you love to hike, allow yourself to pause and take one deep breath and then another. Look with soft eyes at the surrounding landscape and begin to allow the tranquility of the natural world to envelope you in its soft embrace and bring peace to your soul.
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