Bottle gentians, among the late-bloomers of prairie and marsh, mark the turning for me from late summer into fall. So I set out to stalk them last evening --- the eve of big-bang season as duck and goose hunting opens today in Iowa's southern district.
On the way to a familiar colony, I passed late-blooming boneset blowing in the wind (top).
And asters, too.
Then there they were, sheltering in tall grass.
After that, I walked back up the trail and parked myself on a bench with a view across the marsh pond water as the sun set behind me.
It was a lovely way to end a day.