It was 64 degrees F at about 6:00 am, the sky party cloudy.
Chose this morning’s route (the choices abound!) to be able to see the royal catchfly I glimpsed yesterday while driving east on Main Street. So rode Rhododendron east on Main until I realized I wasn’t wearing a helmet, the retrieval of which added something like three non-scenic miles :(.
But soon forgot that trouble. Focused on the (lush!) grove of oaks across Main for the first photo stop, and was surprised by a red fox!
Rode by Weaver Park and wished I had another day to explore it. Did stop to get a photo of the abundant evening primroses at its northern edge.
And then rode on across University Avenue and through the Beringer subdivision and north on High Cross Road.
Crossed over I-74 and glanced at the place where I knew (from following the process of their de-composition for th past 3+ years) the rather scattered bones of a possum, presumably struck and killed by a motor vehicle, lay among the weeds and trash. I think I t would not have been difficult to find them with a little effort, but decided such archeology was outside the scope of today’s objectives.
Then rode and rode, down at high speed to the bridge over the Saline Ditch and then up on the other side.
Rode past Brownfield Woods and didn’t stop.
Often the part I like best about this route is the trees and other features close to the road, but today I especially liked reaching the open part, where the road jogged on either side of Champaign County Highway 20.
The clouds above reflected the curve of the road below.
Today there was no red-winged blackbird harassing me on the north side of Co. Hwy 20, though thought I heard one a little ways out into the corn. Neither did I hear dickcissels this morning.
Rode all the way till High Cross ended and I turned right.
At the next corner turned left and rode north a little way. It was only the need to be back for commitments that made me turn and head for home.
Did stop at the edge of Brownfield Woods on the way back to catch a shot of the wingstem, being careful to avoid the poison ivy.
Wingstem is another example in the array of golden yellow composite flowers that grace the late summer landscape in central Illinois.
Noticed on the way back that the squeak (“tweet”) in the pedal crank bearings of Rhdodenderon had partly returned. Now I appreciated the not unpleasant sound that kept me company!
Made my planned stop at the “captive” royal catchfly
in their crimson glory.
Was well-satisfied with this almost 25-mile trip!