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Category Archives: New England Aster

Every year the last flower blooming in my prairie is the New England Aster. I’m not sure where they came from but about five years ago I started seeing them in the prairie. I mow the prairie every fall so they are spreading. Generally the asters in the area bloom earlier but I live on a hill and have heavy soil so mine bloom late. Since it is the only flower blooming it is visited by butterflies and bees on a regular basis.

Yesterday there was a Monarch Butterfly feeding. It better get moving south because today is snowing out. There were also a few Painted Ladies hanging around.

The thing I look forward to this time of year is photographing the Honey Bees. With the cold nights the bees overnight on the asters. In the morning they are hardly moving so it is easy to photograph them. One morning they were covered in frost.

Frost Covered Honey Bee

 

The last flower to bloom in the fall is the New England Asters. It is often possible to find bees clinging to the asters on a cold fall morning.

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In ┬ámy small prairie on the farm the last wildflower standing is the New England Aster. I don’t have many of them in my small prairie only a couple of bunches. Several years ago I went out to photograph them on a frosty morning and found the blooms covered with bees in suspended animation. I ended up photographing the bees rather than the aster blooms. Every year since I have gone out looking for the bees early in the morning. Unfortunately, conditions have to be just right. The asters need to be in full bloom, there needs to be a nice overnight frost and there can’t be any wind. Here are a few photos from those rare days.

 

Frost Covered Honey Bee

Frost Covered Honey Bee

Frost Covered Honey Bee

Frost Covered Honey Bee