Monday, July 29, 2013

Diverted by blazing stars

Blazing stars are coming into full bloom now --- and all's right with the world. Briefly, but in remnants like this of the old tallgrass prairie, surrounded by amazing diversity, it's hard to be too distressed about less consequential stuff --- politics, religion, war, the economy.

Wear sturdy shoes --- and pants (unless your legs are outdoors-hardened). Accept the fact a few ticks are going to adhere. It's been a banner year for ticks --- as well as blazing stars.

Sunday was perfect for walking meditation --- cool, sunny, dry. Look down --- not up. Be amazed.

Consider human folly. There once were millions of acres like this, now only tiny remnants.

Imagine a time when, by that folly, humanity is reduced to a remnant and the prairie begins to reclaim its rightful place, escaping narrow bounds, moving across the landscape toward once-prideful little burgs like Derby (now vanishing) --- and swallows them.

Blazing star is unique because it blooms downward from the tops of its flowering spikes. The show is just beginning. Today, you've got plenty of time.

There's much more to see, but pink and purple caught my eyes Sunday.

Wild petunias. Not many, but this one glistened in the grass.

And lots of prairie clover, not actually clover at all. Looks delicate, doesn't it? Not exactly. Tap roots can be up to six feet long.


The Lucas County Fair, which launched quietly over the weekend, gets serious today as exhibits roll in. You can have all that big-time livestock --- hogs, cattle, still some sheep.

I'm excited about the poultry.

And the sandwiches at the 4-H food stand. And the potential of gooseberry pie. Maybe I'll see you there.

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