Blanket Flower: the Picture of Autumn

If you've been ignoring your calendar, you may have not realized that autumn began Sept. 23.

We know it as the season between summer and winter, when days grow shorter, when liquidambar leaves turn red, and when the blanket flower lives up to its name.

The blanket flower, Gaillardia (family Asteraceae) has mastered the colors of fall.  It's rimmed in gold and glows maroon.

Wikipedia tells us that the school colors of Texas State University are maroon and gold, "a combination inspired by the colors of the Gaillardia." 

If you're lucky, you'll see a last-of-the-season Gulf Fritillary, Agraulis vanillae, hanging from the blossom, its silver-spangled underwings sparkling.