Breaking Ground (Take 2)

Hi River Roaders,

The first Grounding blog, “Breaking Ground,” was published in April 2020. The objective was to help River Roaders stay connected to our grounds while the building was shut down. Five hundred and sixty photos and about 70 blog posts later, I stopped publishing the weekly blog the week we re-started in-person worship in September of this year.

With this post, I’m restarting the Grounding blog, this time on a monthly basis. The objective will be to help River Roaders stay connected by sharing images and stories of the amazing inter-connected web of nature that exists on our grounds. All photos will come from our grounds, typically from the month the blog is published.

September is a busy month, with the final flowers of fall coming into bloom; and pollinators and birds taking advantage of the nuts, seeds, and fruit. Lets take a look.

Be careful if you park in the handicapped parking beside the new building, as the oak tree overhead is producing a bumper crop of acorns this year.

The garden beside the RE tent in the back has multiple colors this month, such as the obedient plant (purple), blue-stem goldenrod (yellow), and white snakeroot. There are several locations on our grounds to see this fall palette.

A poster for the new Addam’s Family movie? No! The seedheads from our native Clematis virginiana.

I was very pleased to see this New York ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis) blooming in a shady area of Springsview Garden. One of my favorite plants!

Our paw paw grove produced several small fruits this year. It appears they were all eaten by wildlife before they fell to the ground. On a related note, I made several batches of paw paw ice cream this year from the trees in our backyard. Yum!

Goldenrod, such as these plants on the Fireside patio, gets a bum rap from people who think it causes allergies. The problem is that goldenrod (bright yellow flowers pollinated by insects) blooms at the same time as ragweed (non-de script green flowers pollinated by wind). The ragweed, not the goldenrod, is the problem. Goldenrod is one of the most valuable plants for pollinators.

What I think is a clouded yellow butterfly at the bridge garden. I posted this image to iNaturalist, a citizen science website, where I expect a lepidopterist will correctly identify this for me.

Seed heads from the green headed coneflower by the fire hydrant. These are some of our best sources of bird seed.

Time for a bath! When I need a pick-me-up, I sit on the bench that overlooks the pool in Springsview Garden, and wait for the bird show. This robin appeared quite content to just sit motionless in the water for a long time.