What is this all over my yard!? - red 'seeds' - Eupatorium?
I hope someone can help me figure out what has blown all over my yard. I'm really a newbie gardener who lives on about 9 acres of mostly wooded land in the Concord, NH area. Our house is relatively new and is built on a recently logged clearing within the otherwise wooded land. Since we have essentially a blank canvas, save for the natural woods, I've been working for the last few years to do a bit of landscaping - foundation plantings, hosta, rhododendrons, etc. along with a relatively small (relative to 9 acres) grassy area.
Last year I saw beautiful Eupatorium Rugosum Chocolate plants at the garden center, and bought them on the spot without doing any research. I planted 4 plants in front of the house, interspersed with the dwarf boxwood which I'd planted a couple years before. To my surprise, they grew quickly and their final height was just perfect with the boxwood, and their end of season white flowers on the dark foliage also looked fantastic alongside the boxwood. AFTER planting them, I did some research and realized that they apparently self-sow like crazy and can be very invasive. Others wrote that since they mulch heavily, they've never had problems with self-sowing of the Eupatorium. Since all my planted areas are mulched, I wasn't worried.
Fast-forward to today. I have noticed that something has blown all over a portion of my grassy area, and is even up on the branches of evergreen trees bordering the grass. Oddly, none of it is actually in the area where the Eupatorium are planted, and it is not evenly distributed in the vicinity, but is only on one side of the yard - the area of our land which is closest to a neighboring house. I want to know if what I am seeing could be from my Eupatorium, and if not, what it might be.
What I am seeing (sorry, no photos) looks sort of like tiny red raspberries - it has that sort of segmented look. But, the "raspberries" are opened up, with quite a large number of filaments growing out, and at the end of each filament is a tiny seed which looks like grass seed. These are just ALL over the place in my side yard. I've never noticed them in previous years, but then again, I was never on the lookout for invasive plant seedlings. (I am horrified that they are my doing and my neighbor may have to deal with them.)
Is this anything one would see in spring, following Eupatorium Rugosum Chocolate going to seed the previous fall? These are loose on the ground and up in trees (and even stuck to the side of tree trunk) as if they just blew in from somewhere. Is this how the Eupatorium seed behave, or would those only show themselves as actual seedlings coming out of the ground?
Any idea what these could be if they're not the eupatorium?