But first, the three great things:
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Honey locust trees breathing clouds of sweetness
Rockets shooting orchid and white from the ditch
Mysterious charm of a bend in the road
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
We had thunderstorms this morning, which left the air a bit hazy. Between waiting for the weather to clear and breakfast to digest, it was 11:00 before I set out.
Five miles down the main highway, with noise of constant traffic, I turn onto one of my favourite roads. The silence is immediate and such a relief.
Some country roads are rough, but this one is in wonderful shape - smooth and inviting. Just after I snapped this picture, a cardinal flew across the road and into the dark pines on the left. Of course the camera was turned off when that happened.
The air is full of sweetness right now - the honey locust is in bloom. Entire hillsides are covered with the blossoming trees:
Stands of them peek out from behind farmhouses and barns:
They drift like clouds on every horizon.
Plenty of wildflowers are also blooming, but Dame's rocket is the most predominant. Ditches and roadsides everywhere are filled with these flowers.
They come in three colours: Pink...
And my favourite, a bright orchid purple.
They've been designated an invasive species. But they're awfully pretty.
One bad thing about taking pictures in the ditch on a hot day is that the stinging bugs all zoom in from nowhere for a free lunch. I picked up a few bites getting these shots.
Turning on to a different road, one I haven't been down for years, I crossed over a stream and paused to take this picture:
There's a mysterious charm to a bend in the road. Especially one that's overhung with trees.
It was getting really hot by this time, and I wasn't even to the halfway point. I tucked the camera in my shorts (really need to get a jersey with pockets), determined to make progress before I melted. I passed by lots of lovely photo opportunities of sandhill cranes and pine forests and tree-covered hilltops and lonely oaks, pausing only to snap this marsh...
And this red-winged blackbird sitting on a cattail.
It was time to head home. When I reached the village outskirts the electronic thermometer read 90°.
Back at the house, Mr. M said, "Wow, your face is red. Make sure you take some potassium right away. I hope you drank enough water." It's nice to be loved.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~