Letter: As fall nears, goldenrod blooms, hummingbirds linger

Posted 9/3/20

To the editor:

I have been trying to ignore the yellowing fields, both the “south 40,” and the one outside the house. But when tall sunflowers on slender stalks joined the goldenrod I …

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Letter: As fall nears, goldenrod blooms, hummingbirds linger

Posted

To the editor:

I have been trying to ignore the yellowing fields, both the “south 40,” and the one outside the house. But when tall sunflowers on slender stalks joined the goldenrod I have to admit that fall is on its way. 

As I think I tell you every fall, there are so many different kinds of goldenrod that I don’t try to identify them but at last I know what the sunflowers are – Jerusalem Artichokes! 

I am indebted to  David Attenborough for explaining the derivation of the name. As the plant was discovered in South America by Europeans and the root tasted like the artichoke with which they were familiar, they translated the Spanish “el girasole,” meaning turning with the sun, to “Jerusalem.” 

The roots really are sweet and crunchy and can be used in place of water chestnuts. BUT be careful where you plant them as they will take over as they have here, from a tiny patch to a whole beautiful field. The goldfinches will like them too.

Hummingbirds will be around until October so keep those feeders going. I note that mine love the cardinal flowers ( Lobelia cardinalis) which grew very tall due to the constant flow of water from my birdbath, but only early in the morning. 

So far I have not heard a Blue Jay. I really regard them as the voice of doom as they herald frosts and leaves turning. So fill your eyes with green while it is still here. 

Sidney Tynan

Little Compton

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Scott Pickering has been on the East Bay Newspapers team for more than two decades, since starting as a reporter for the Sakonnet Times. He's been editor of most of the papers, was Managing Editor of all the papers for many years, and became General Manager in 2012. Today he can be found posting to EastBayRI.com, steering news coverage, writing editorials, talking to readers, working with the sales team, collaborating on design, or helping do whatever it takes to get the papers out the door. Reach him at spickering@eastbaynewspapers.com.