Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Sunday Ride in June ... and of course the Three Great Things

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Rows of corn marching to meet the blue sky
Wind-tickled aspen leaves quaking with mirth
A train whistle calling "Go far ... go far"

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A few miles out of town, I turn onto a favourite road.  A tornado went through this area in 2008 and there are still lots of lopped-off trees like this one:

This road is wildflower alley.  In less than a mile, I see all the following:

Red clover and a white flower I can't identify
(bladder campion perhaps?)


Yellow hawkweed ( a sort of glorified dandelion)
 - very pretty in clusters

White yarrow - thanks Christine for the flower ID!

Real Queen Anne's Lace - or possibly wild hemlock
(they're almost identical)

Orange hawkweed, wild phlox, and white yarrow.
(The wild phlox looks very similar to Dame's Rocket
but they have different numbers of petals)

Hawthorn (thanks to you, Anne, I now know what this is)
Correction - NOT hawthorn.  Will try to find out
the proper name but am scouring the Internet in vain.
Anyone know? Blossom clusters 2-3" across, bush about
5' tall with some vines shooting out like a berry plant.

A close-up of orange hawkweed - gorgeous, isn't it?

Wild columbine still blooming in the woods

Right next to some wild geranium

I reach the end of this short road, and turn on to one of my favourite stretches.

Peaceful stream winding under willows.
The willows are much fuller than the last time I shot here.

And directly across from the peaceful willows, some cattle
in a field.  This is the first time I've seen cattle here.
The one in the middle (facing the camera) bellowed at me
and pawed the ground rather fiercely.

Hanging out at the water's edge.
They'd look much nicer without the tags in their ears.
Look at the cute little calf on the right.

And a little further down this delightful road...

Field of grain on the right, old stone fence on the left

I don't know what that reddish shrub is...

But I love the colour of the foliage.
(Update: probably Smoke Bush or Cotinus)

Round the bend, and this comes into view:

There's something appealing about sloping pastures.
This is one of my favourites.

Up a hill, around a few corners, and I hear a tractor in the field to my left:

Making hay while the sun shines.

It smells wonderful.

Today I altered my route and went down some roads I hadn't been on before.  They turned out to be very worth it - now I have ANOTHER favourite ride.

Some of the things I saw...

Not on my route, but I had to turn down this little road... look at the stream.  I love running water.
(This was more like walking water.  Very peaceful
and slow.)

And around a few more corners...

Hay bales in a wide open field - a former acquaintance called this
"keeping 'em in the big barn".

And guarding the hay bales ...  some sandhill cranes.

"I'll give you a profile shot.  The wife is busy grazing."
"Ooh...what's that in the grass?"

17 or so miles later, I'm home, with a face as pink as my gorgeous new jersey.

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  1. I believe the white flowers are yarrow in this picture. The fluffy leaves look right. :) I recognize it because my mother has yellow yarrow in her garden, and the wild variation where I live has a lavender or pink tinge.

  2. Lots more lovely cycle ride photos! The difference I noticed most today is that you're on the wrong side of the road, haha!
    I'm not entirely sure that plant is hawthorn, the individual flowers look similar but they don't tend to be grouped so much in a perfect round cluster and hawthorn leaves are much more divided. Does it have thorns? Is it a small tree?

  3. You're right about the "hawthorn", Ann...the bush didn't look right to me, and the flowers are smaller too. The other hawthorn I've seen - but only at a distance - had flowers distributed all over. But when I checked the close-up of this flower against a Google picture of hawthorn, they looked practically identical. So I assumed it was hawthorn. I'll have to find out what it really is.

  4. And thanks, Christine! You're right, that foliage looks exactly like yellow yarrow foliage. I never knew yarrow came in white before. I really should get a wildflower book (I've been saying that for years but relying on the Internet instead).

  5. Pretty funny! (flower ID techniques) I have books, but sometimes it's easier to look on the internet!

    Love those country roads. Love the carless factor! I'm sure you have cars out there, but how cool to ride where they don't often travel.

    The flower shots are magnificent and make me want to go outside. And... THE JERSEY FITS!!!!!!!

  6. It is nice to ride away from cars. If I go east or west from home I can be in open country in less than a mile. Lots of nice backroads to enjoy. fits! :)


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