Sky-blue Aster and Wood Ducks at High Park: September 17, 2020

The beautifully named Sky-blue Aster is not a common aster in the Toronto region.

Sky-blue Aster (Symphyotrichum oolentandiense)

It is found in savannas of oak and sassafras.

Sky-blue Aster (Symphyotrichum oolentandiense)

This means dry open sandy ground .. just what is found east of Grenadier Pond.

Sky-blue Aster (Symphyotrichum oolentandiense)

Here there is a great deal of it flowering in September each year.

Sky-blue Aster (Symphyotrichum oolentandiense)
Sky-blue Aster (Symphyotrichum oolentandiense)

Other botany:

New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae)
Panicled Aster (Symphyotrichum lanceolatum)
Purple-stemmed Aster (Symphyotrichum puniceum)
Purple-stemmed Aster (Symphyotrichum puniceum)
Purple-stemmed Aster (Symphyotrichum puniceum)
Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa)
Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides)
Turtlehead (Chelone glabra)
Groundnut (Apios americana)
Himalayan Balsam (Impatiens grandulifera)
Cup Plant (Silphium perfoliatum)
Huckleberry (Gaylussacia baccata)
Pale-leaved Sunflower (Helianthus decapetalus)
Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii)
Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium)
False Solomon Seal (Maianthemum racemosum)
Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis)

In most locations, wood ducks are spotted far away and are quick to flee.

Wood Ducks (male)

After decades of human contact in High Park, the wood ducks have become uncharacteristically tame and even beg for food like their cousins the mallards.

Wood Ducks
Wood Duck
Wood Duck
Wood Ducks

During breeding season, male wood duck are among nature’s most glorious creations.

Wood Duck (male)

At this time of year, males are difficult to distinguish from females at a distance.

Wood Ducks

Other flyers:

Mallard (female)
Mallard (female)
Mallards
Canada Geese
American Goldfinch (female)

Species list: great blue heron, double-crested cormorant, Canada goose, mallard, wood duck, red-tailed hawk, blue jay, black-capped chickadee, red-breasted nuthatch, northern cardinal, American goldfinch. (11 species)

Cabbage White Butterfly with Dandelion
Monarch Butterfly
Monarch Butterfly
Japanese Beetles
Green Darner
Green Darner

Park views:

Today’s group:

NATURE POETRY

“Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get.”     – Mark Twain (1835–1910) 

Miles Hearn

2 thoughts on “Sky-blue Aster and Wood Ducks at High Park: September 17, 2020

Leave a Reply to rosemarie fischer Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *