August 19

Vernonia noveboracensis

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Tall purple bloom of New York Ironweed

Perched atop towering stiff eight foot stalks

Up at the level where butterfly feed

Safe far above where the deer family walks

Providing so much that native bugs need

Putting small birds near the pathway of hawks.

Vernonia noveboracensis

Flower clouds loom over garden fences.

The perennial grows wild in fields

Flowering in late summer’s shortening days

Feeding migrating butterflies and birds

Pollen and nectar this native plant yields

And seeds upon which the songbirds will graze

Useful and pretty describe in two words.

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(An Italian Sonnet)

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