There are two powerhouse native plants that hide in gardens and meadows across the Northeast all spring and summer, only to emerge in the fall. They are Asters and Goldenrod! The first two pictures above were taken on September 23rd, and the last one on October 15th. These plants undoubtedly seeded themselves in the yard, and have probably done so in your yard too. The reason most people don’t get to enjoy them is because they look like weedy little nothings all spring and summer, leading people to pull them out or weed whack them.
If the fall show and bee buffet isn't enough to lure you to preserve these plants, Asters and Goldenrod (not to be confused with ragweed with actually causes allergies) are also hosts for dozens of moth and butterfly larvae. These caterpillars in turn feed birds, creating a healthy ecosystem.
I will update in spring with images of these plants before they flower.