Saturday 10 May 2014. Woods and Open Country on High Cross Road.

This morning at 6:40 it was 54 degrees F under partly cloudy skies, the air mostly calm.

It was lovely to be out in the quiet morning with the sun coming up!

Today’s destination was High Cross and Ford Harris roads, by way of Main Street.

Saw a solo mallard drake in the ditch in front of the little oak grove across Main from the Dart plant.

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Farther along, on High Cross Road, stopped to check the possum bones on the northeast corner of the bridge over I-74. Knew they probably were not much different than the last time I was there, but couldn’t resist getting an update photo.

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Saw a deer shoot out from a thicket at high speed to the open field on the other side of High Cross. Hoped there weren’t lots of others, and there were not, except for one.

At the edge of Brownfield Woods were generously scattered blue woodland Phlox, fresh and just before the peak of their bloom. Phlox are the kind of flowers of which one feels compelled to take lots of photos: they are lovely, and it’s hard to capture their beauty.

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Noticed that they grew among stinging nettle and poison ivy an was careful not to hunker down too freely with them.

Also saw some pawpaw flowers on the other side of the barbed wire fence around Brownfield.

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In the way back, especially, noticed and enjoyed the subtle rolling of the spring Illinois fields, most still black or covered with last year’s stubble; a few with tiny corn plants emerging. The clouds near the horizon prolonged the drama of the sunrise over them.

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Liked how stretches of uphill and downhill alternated pretty evenly. I think High Cross is one of my favorite local bike routes.

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