Sunday 21 August 2016. Flowerless Cup Plants and On to Tolono

This morning at 7 it was 61 degrees F and drop-dead beautifully clear. The air was much drier than it’s been for a while and just smelled delicious for the absence of distinctive odors. It was an excellent launch on Rhododendron for south First Street and perhaps Tolono.

Passed the apple tree, the seasonal development of which I used to follow frequently but haven’t this year because it has had so few apples. But there were some.

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Below the apple tree were sweet peas,

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bright fuschia with slender, reaching tendrils.

Rode straight out of town on Race Street. On the way looked under the spruce trees for mushrooms but saw none. Would they be back sometime soon? You’ve got to love the mystery of it.

Out in the central Illinois open caught a few shots of the cornfield with pumpkins growing among the corn plants.

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The pumpkin vines and flowers seemed healthy

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(not to mention very attractive with deep pink morning glory flowers for contrast), and “bee-loud.”

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Turned west on Curtis Road and noticed how mature the corn was getting,

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still green but with yellowing ears that were starting to arch away from the stalk.

At First Street went south and got a nice view to the east of what I believe was Airport Road.

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Stopped at the prairie planting where I’d seen royal catchfly in the past. Figured it likely would be too late to see them, but thought I’d check. Was surprised to see so many cup plants without flowers,

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and a dearth of bloom generally.

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Did notice, however, a nice clump of obedient plants.

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Noticed a few decent yellow coneflowers; on closer inspection saw they were inhabited by some handsome black weevil-looking beetles.

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Made me wonder whether insects were responsible for the stressed look of the little prairielet.

The giant ragweed, of course, looked quite vigorous

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Rode on toward Tolono, following the many “Unity Rockets ” painted on the road.

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Wondered who it was who did all that painting: Students? Parents? School employees?

Saw a lovely bunch of blooming goldenrod,

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which clearly marks the beginning of the end of summer, sigh.

Turned west on county road 800N and rode past Unity High School but didn’t wander into “downtown” Tolono, where I wanted to take a photo. Did wander a bit but still didn’t find “downtown” and settled for a photo of St. Patrick Catholic Church.

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Then back home, along the common ragweed-bordered stretch that had a few nice flowers, here evening primrose with a few contrasting chicory.

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Noticed on the way back some pink flowers at the far shore of a subdivision pond; realized they were pink lotus! Stopped to get closer and startled a great blue heron into flight, but saw that there wasn’t much access to the enticing blooms.

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Need to come back with a camera with a decent zoom.

Felt a little tired–haven’t been biking
as much as I’d like. But it was a perfect day to get back into it!

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