As the last of the warm summer days come to an end, asters become the stars of field and roadside. This is appropriate because aster means star. The autumn is their time to shine. Asters are a prolific group and there are many different, closely-related species. To differentiate the different species requires a close examination of the leaves and stems. The most common aster around here is the purple New England aster (A. novae-angliae).
When I stopped to take a few photographs of asters, I noticed that one of the plants had flowers that were noticeably pinker than its more purplish neighbours. I’m not sure if this represents a different species or just individual variation.
There were also bushy plants of small white asters. These are likely the aptly named Small White Aster (A. vimineus). All of the asters had something in common, regardless of their colour. Bees. Every bush was alive with bumblebees collecting a late-season meal. It was a bit sad to think that both the bumblebees and the flowers were reaching the end of their days. Only the Queen bumblebees will hibernate and survive the winter.