Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Flowers of August and July

It's been an odd summer. Torrential rains in July, followed by a cool August, made for plenty of wildflowers on the roadsides, but hardly any tomatoes in the garden. Miles have been sparse too, but there have been a few rides (literally just a few). Of course I can't take a bike ride without taking wildflower photos, so here are some of the blossoms I saw in July and August....

Mid-July, clockwise from upper left - salsify, wild sunflower, Queen Anne's Lace, yellow coneflower, and wild bergamot:

(Wild bergamot is like the Phyllis Diller of flowers. The petals and stamens look as maniacally dishevelled as the divine Miss D's hair.)

Next up, clockwise from upper left - crown vetch, spiderwort, birdsfoot trefoil, hare's-foot clover (charming name!), and spotted knapweed:

I do occasionally drag my eyes from the wildflowers to look at other things, like sandhill cranes in a soybean field. There were three that day, but as soon as they saw me get out the camera, they split up and began evasive maneuvers. So here's a shot of one of them:

Wildflowers are much more accommodating - unless there's a high wind, they mostly sit still for photos. Below, clockwise from upper left - curly dock gone to seed, hoary verbena, lesser centaury (new flower for me this year!), rough-fruited cinquefoil, fireweed with fleabane, and Turk's Cap lily:

Late July - Mr. M and I participated in a local MS ride. It was a damp and foggy morning, not very conducive to photos, but I had to snap these flowers and outbuildings (the barn on the left has two barn quilts, though they don't show very well in this photo):

After we got home and did our laundry, the sun came out. Guess which jersey is mine:


Early August - a short solo ride along roads that seemed to float on a billowing sea of Queen Anne's Lace, wild chicory, and hawkweed. It's hard to do justice to the amazing quantities of QAL that bloomed this year:

A doe and twin fawns crossing another, less-flowered road:

Other wildflowers seen that day included, clockwise from top left - wild bergamot going to seed, whorled milkweed, exotic-looking horsemint, the first lavender asters of the year, and the very beautiful lesser purple fringed orchid (another new flower for me this year):

Mid-August - Mr. M and I did another short charity ride together. I believe I set a personal record that day by not photographing any wildflowers (the exception that proves the rule?). Instead we have, clockwise from upper left - self-portrait with water weeds, Mr. M on a country road, shadow shot, a new use for a cycling helmet, and Iris the bike reposing on a rustic bridge:


Summer is the time of year when every ride or drive brings continual glimpses of beauty, and the list of flowers rolls like a litany off my tongue as I recite their names to myself.

"But beauty vanishes; beauty passes." There's frost in the not-too-distant future; let's savor summer while we can.


Prayers for the people of Texas who are seeing not flowers but flooding right now.

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  1. LOL - The Phyllis Diller of flowrs!!! I wonder if your younger readers "get" the reference. I immediately pictured her in that bright pink outfit with the cigarette in the long holder.

    Awwwwwwwwww...the deer! You caught there little white bums perfectly!

  2. As always loved your wild flowers. We had a rainy summer, but it grew weeds not flowers.

  3. As always, your flower photos are lovely, but lament not the frost! There's beauty there as well.

  4. Wow.. you have so many wildflowers still in bloom there! It's been so hot for so long here we don't have much in bloom at all. We call that spotted lily the "Columbia Tiger Lily" here. I also enjoyed the bird and deer.. you rock! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  5. Your best wildflower post this year! I also love the beetle in your header. Phyllis Diller - love it! Wild Chicory always startles me with its blue.

  6. Loved all your wild flowers pictures, Sue! Our summer has been very different to yours! We had heat-wave after heat-wave and a little storm here and there which cooled the temperatures the tiniest bit! Now September is here. Such a wonderful month!

  7. I absolutely rely on you for wildflower i.d !! a friend brought me some coneflower. I best go water it. I love spider wort. I should plant some. Love your cycling jersey! Haven't been on my bike since May, but Firemans riding a lot up here in the country! Saw a dead baby fawn on the side of the road sad.

  8. Still a few weeks until frost. Still more flowers along the roads. I wish you many! Regula

  9. Be still my heart, those wildflowers!
    Richard calls the spiderwort by the scientific name: Tradescantia. I think he just likes to show off his English accent by saying it! LOL!
    Happy trails to you!

  10. I love your little apple hat and I am going over to JoAnn to see if I can find the magazine today!
    When I was in Kentucky, I saw many barns with those quilt designs on them and I wasn't sure what exactly they were about--aside from lovely decoration. I was driving on narrow roads with people (locals) behind me so I didn't stop to take photos and make them more impatient.


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