(There will be some free patterns posted soon. I hope.)
Meanwhile, here are some photos from recent rides.
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Sunday, 2 weeks ago - An evening ride.
There's a fugitive sweetness in the air that I can't identify. It doesn't seem to belong to any of the flowering trees I'm familiar with. Perhaps it's the sweetness of summer-to-come - the earth breathing out thoughts of warm days and balmy nights when the garden plants grow an inch or two before morning, and flowers blaze like small suns from every roadside.
Tonight I am riding down several side roads I usually pass by. Dead-end roads - though each and every one turns out to be longer and more interesting than that name would imply.
On one of them, a flurry of feathers. Relics of an avian battle? I wonder:
Up the road, some new-to-me white flowers are glowing in the shade of the trees and shining out from the verge. I think they may be hawthorn! (Which may not seem exciting to those of you across the pond who see it all the time - but this is the first time I've come across it.)
The last of my dead-end roads ends here, where grey clouds are massing over the lake in dramatic fashion:
Then I turn and head back in the other direction, towards skies that are still mostly blue, with peachy-white clouds piled like mountains on the horizon:
Here there is a long marshy pond edged with wildflowers - some showy, some not. The most easily spotted is the vibrant Dame's Rocket:
Not so easy to see is this tiny Pineapple-weed, a close relative of wild chamomile:
Its blossoms look like chamomile flowers without the petals, and its leaves when crushed give out a pleasant, pungent scent that reminds me of chamomile tea.
Also blooming here are the miniscule white flowers of Common Chickweed, or Stellaria (their much lovelier Latin name):
And Common Cinquefoil, with its delicately lovely heart-shaped yellow petals:
These small and insignificant plants (Pinapple-weed, Stellaria, Cinquefoil) are common to roadsides, gardens, and lawns. Often they're treated as weeds, and plucked up to make way for the more favoured plantings of grass or nursery annuals. But they have a beauty of their own that is worth recording. Someone has to hymn the humble flowers....
Speaking of humble flowers, here is one that I've been misidentifying for a few years now. I thought it was Mouse-Ear Chickweed, but turns out it's actually Hoary Alyssum. Toxic to horses, invasive, but ravishingly lovely all the same (especially when viewed up close):
Tuesday, two days later. A bright and beautiful day, abounding in wildflowers.
Yellow hawkweed and wild grass under the blue sky:
Flowery plumes of Meadow Rue, just beginning to open:
The extraoardinary colours and delicate beauty of dock blossom shading from green to red:
Golden Alexanders, the cheeriest of tiny umbellifers:
The exotic beauty of a simple red clover:
And another new one for the list, Northern Bedstraw:
The first Orange Hawkweed of the year (and it's a good thing I photographed them when I did, for the next week they had been mown down):
A fascinating patch of reddish grass contrasts strongly with the green field behind it:
Anybody know what this is?
The rest of this Tuesday ride is spent in actual exercise (as opposed to flower photography). :)
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The following Sunday, I'm back on the bike for an afternoon ride. The Meadow Rue is now in full bloom, with multiple tiny stamens tossing in the breeze:
And as a change from looking down, a red-winged blackbird on a wire:
A lovely barn and outbuilding (the barn has a new roof since I've seen it last):
The last of the Winter Cress:
When we stop for a snack, Tallulah takes a whiff of banana, but decides to give it a miss:
Miles on, I fall in love with this adorable barn that looks like something out of a story book:
Here's a more upstanding barn, rugged and weathered:
And one last shot. The Meeting of Two Turtles:
A glorious ride on a warm sunny day.
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The 2015 wildflower count is up to 67. (At this rate, I may end up with more wildflowers than miles.)
Now that I've nearly caught up on cycling posts, maybe I can work on one of those free crochet patterns.... :)
How are you?
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