She asked: Why do they stand beside each other when they could grow alone? Her conclusion: Goldenrod and aster colors mixed together also are pleasing to the eyes of bees, flies and other vital pollinators. It makes the flowers prime pollinator targets. Together, their blooms receive far more pollinator visits than they would if growing alone.
One would find it hard to argue that point after observing the amazing profusion of bees, flies, wasps, butterflies and other pollinators buzzing about and sipping nectar from goldenrods and asters on a sunny day in fall.
Come first frost, though, their flowers will wither and turn dull brown. Even then, their seeds will provide food for many birds and small animals.
IN THE SKY: From David Dundee, Tellus Science Museum astronomer: The moon is first quarter on Saturday night (Sept. 3). Mercury is low in the west at dusk. Rising in the east are Venus, just before sunrise; Mars, around midnight; Jupiter, just after dark; and Saturn, at sunset.
Charles Seabrook can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.