Sunday 19 August 2018. To the Parkland Prairie

It was 65 degrees F and mostly cloudy at 7:15 this morning as I turned my back to the sunrise and the mist (?!?) and headed toward the prairie restoration (thank you, Mike, for reminding me!) st Parkland College.

Made my way through the U of I campus, along old bike paths

and through new engineering buildings

The paths among which which were empty but probably not exactly bike-legal. Another good reason to do the trip on Sunday morning.

Took Stoughton to the Boneyard crossing and then Clark to Mattis, a busier street than I prefer for biking. Made a mental note to return via Country Fair Road and John Street.

And on to the Parkland prairie.

Which featured prairie dock, big bluestem and purple coneflowers

as well as rosinweed and a few rather stunted compass plants.

Saw yellow coneflowers,

ironweed,

false sunflower,

and side oats gramma grass.

The morning fog had condensed on spiderwebs, beaded threads in the typical spoke and whorl pattern

as well as some less structured threads connecting spent Monarda(?) flowers.

Rode then to Midtown Champaign for coffee and stopped nearby at the wetland planting near the landscaped Boneyard retention area. It was full of cardinal flowers (!!) and sneezeweed,great blue Lobelia,

and obedient plant,

among which were butterflies. Liked it especially for being so close to urban Champaign.

On the way home saw another huge student apartment building going up.

Not what I remember from my student days, but before my student days all students lived in dorms or “approved housing, ” and before the University was here there were farms, before the farms Native American people, before that prairie (or something else). Just the latest change.

Then back home, glad for one, at least, of these increasingly infrequent rides.

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