Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Monday morning prairie detour

The turn from July into August brings some of the most colorful displays in Lucas County's prairie remnants as yellows and golds emerge on every front as counterpoint to spikey Prairie Blazing Star, just now coming into full bloom. 

The big yellow faces of Compass Plant flowers (top) are beginning to emerge as the stalks shoot skyward. These plants can and do reach eight feet.

Maybe I'm just imagining it, but this seems like an especially good year for Gray-Headed (yellow) Coneflowers, which seem to be everywhere right now. I've even spotted a dusty clump next to the entrance to the dump in south Chariton --- where we take downed limbs and lawn and garden refuse, also staging point right now for the Highway 14 resurfacing project.

And then there's Rosin Weed.

And Sweet Black-Eyed Susans, too.

That paving project was why I ended up poking around along the Cinder Path early yesterday morning, accompanied by what seemed like every songbird within 20 miles.

It was supposed to be a quick errand at Pin Oak Lodge, but before full awareness kicked in I was stalled behind a pilot car beside the cemetery and it took 15 minutes --- with frequent stops to dodge big trucks --- to reach the marsh driveway a mile south. Poking along, it occurred to me that if I turned in it would take even longer to get back into town --- so I just kept driving on toward Derby, a prairie detour.

Wild Bergamot is among our most common roadside, pasture --- and prairie --- natives. So there was plenty of that to see.

High winds and heavy rain late Sunday had kind of tumbled many of the Prairie Blazing Stars, but they were gradually righting themselves.

Showy Tick Trefoil blanketed an embankment headed in from the blacktop.

There was plenty of Purple Prairie Clover.

And hiding here and there in the grass, Hairy Wild Petunias.

Lots of Selfheal down there in the taller grass, too.

Looks like it's going to be cool and partly cloudy today, but there will be plenty of prairie sunshine --- so go take a walk. You'll be a better person for it and do your bit for world peace, too, just by calming yourself down.

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