Summer’s beauty has gone and now these aging wildflowers go barely noticed. The change of seasons has taken its toll, withering them into woody remains. With little resemblance to their previous delicacy and elegance, one has to look closer to see the beauty in their death. Stems, baskets and pods hold the seeds of a new life. A new life that will give beauty to the meadows and woodlands once again.
The now woody thorny spikes of a thistle flower dance around its slender stem to help protect the seeding flower. The solitary flower, with it own spines, slowly releases its seeds to the open prairie.
As winter approaches, a horse nettle’s demise is clearly visible. Thorns that once covered its prickly stalks have nearly all fallen away. The once green stem slowly turns brown and hardens into wood. All that remain are the beautiful yellow berries, but they too will soon wither and drop to provide the seeds for a new life.
A single aster seed lays itself on a drying aster’s petals. The seed waits to take flight into the prairie with the help of a gentle breeze.
The queen anne’s lace still grasps its seeds in its woody umbel nest, patiently waiting for them to mature. Behind the flower, overlapping orchard grasses mark a location in meadow for the flower to drop its seeds.
Slowly unzipping, a milkweed pod opens its seeds to the prairie. The seeds, with their leathery pouch and silky hair, line themselves inside the pod ready to float into the meadow.
With half of its seeds blown adrift, a blazing star provides a home for dried oak leaf. Partially impaled, the leaf leans against a cushion of remaining light and airy seeds.
Alone in the open prairie, a thorny thistle flower is softened by morning’s orange glow.
To protect its seeds, a woody umbel of a queen anne’s lace forms a nest around its drying fluffy embryos. The queen anne’s lace is guarded by orchard grass and another wild carrot in the open meadow.
Split open to show its textured profile, a milkweed pod delicately balances itself on a wooden stem. The fluffy milkweed seeds escape the inner pod, taking flight into the meadow’s sky.