Sunday, August 26, 2018

Flowers of August

For sheer abundance and variety of roadside wildflowers, July and August are probably the best months of the year in my part of Wisconsin.

Here's a sampling of flowers (and a few other things) I've seen on my August rides....

Cloudy Sunday Evening Ride

Hairy vetch, a member of the pea family that deserves a prettier name:

A field of Canada goldenrod:

Delicate flowering spurge:

Hare's-foot clover going to seed:

American Lotus growing on a nearly-hidden backroad lake:

On that same backroad I often spot feathers lying on the ground:

Glowing thistle brightening a cloudy day:

Alien-looking horsemint blooming at the edge of the woods:

A favourite barn under grey skies:

Deer standing in a twilit shade (I passed this deer four times trying to get a good photo, but the light was too poor):

A cheery woodland sunflower shining above dark leaves:


Cloudy Morning Ride to Work

I've been trying to ride to work once a week, as weather permits. Though I don't usually stop for photos, on this particular morning the temptation was too much.

First there was a field of chicory mixed with red clover:

The last two miles of my route to work are along a river trail, where wildflowers sometimes* grow with abandon. In the space of a mile I saw baby coneflowers:

And hoary alyssum:

Large patches of Butter-and-eggs, or yellow toadflax, in the grass beside the trail:

And fleabane:

Ragweed (bane of my existence and the cause of many a sneeze):

And minuscule cinquefoil:

A regal spiderwort stood aloof from the other flowers:

Bright birdsfoot trefoil made spots of gold:

Spotted knapweed waved dainty lavender petals:

Everybody knows the next one, right? I rode past clouds of it nodding in the breeze:

Goldenrod grew on the river side of the trail:

And prairie onion, a new-to-me flower:

A glorious jumble of orange milkweed and late-blooming crown vetch:

At the water's edge, gorgeous swathes of purple loosestrife:

*It's a good thing I photographed the trailside flowers when I did - the next week the city mowers came along and cut them all down. Grrr.


We interrupt this flower-laden post for a brief photo of Lunch from the Garden:

Isn't summer delightful?


Sunny Morning Ride to Work

No flower photos on this day (thanks to those darn mowers), but I did see twin fawns next to the trail:

View of the river:


Partly Cloudy Saturday Evening Ride

This ride was made memorable by the most painful insect bite I've ever received. I don't know what bit me, but it felt very like a jellyfish sting I once got. The pain persisted through the ride and into the night, but (thank God) was gone when I woke up the next morning.

Photos were few that evening, but here's the best of them:


Sunday Late-Afternoon Ride

The next day's ride was much better - no insect bites, and plenty of flowers.

Blue vervain growing next to a marsh:

Joe-Pye weed nearby:

Swallows have been gathering for weeks now. I passed a group of them on a wire, with a single mourning dove in their midst:

Summer-heavy trees lining a favourite bend in the road:

Wild sunflowers and goldenrod supporting a rustic fence:

Gratuitous bike shot, with turtle:

It's been a good year for whorled milkweed, the tiniest of the milkweed species. Here's some I found growing at the edge of a field:

Nearby were some small flowers (fleabane, I think) going beautifully to seed:

And salsify, looking magical and ready to fly:

Around the corner, a huge patch of Pennsylvania smartweed grew in a damp spot:

While wild cucumber tried to take over the road:

A few miles later, I passed a small patch of stiff goldenrod (much rarer around here than the ubiquitous Canada goldenrod seen above):


Sunny Saturday Afternoon Ride

This short ride happened yesterday, and yielded only one photo - a coneflower surrounded by some rather interesting buds:

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August has been mostly cloudy this year, with plenty of rain - in some places, more rain than we could well handle. I wish we could share the surplus water with our friends in the dry west and northwest.

Has your August been cloudy or sunny? Rainy or dry?

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