It was 64 degrees F (no jacket!) at 5:53 this morning under clear skies.
This morning’s destination on Rhododendron was Philo IL, the self-proclaimed (at least it says so on the water tower) “Center of the Universe.”
But first there was Meadowbrook Park to investigate: the spiderwort/Penstemon appearance (with lush green in between) was at hand!
Am trying to reduce the verbiage of this blog, enjoyable as it is to produce. Here is an exercise in living within one’s time limits. So hard to do!
As much as possible, the story will be photos with brief captions. Wish me luck!
The mushrooms (Amanita muscaria) are back, under the spruces on Race south of Florida.
Here is today’s view of McCullough Creek from the Rabbit-statue bridge.
And then, spiderwort!
Spiderwort with dew
And playing a brilliant supporting role, the foxglove Penstemon (or beardtongue) (Penstemon digitalis).
In previous years I’ve sometimes referred to this flower as Penstemon pallidus, or pale beardtongue, but now I think the former is correct. Many readers will not care as long as the pics are nice, but my training as a biologist disposes me to such nit-picking. Another kind of fun, for some of us.
And more spiderwort!
A mallard drake who didn’t like me stopping to look at him
More spiderwort, with the morning sun coming through dewdrops
Spiderwort close up with more in the background
And spiderwort and foxglove Penstemon together
Thought I’d never get out of there. Took a lot of willpower for me not to still be there reveling in the gorgeous blue, white, and green. Oh yeah.
But on to Philo!
On the path between the tall fence and eastbound Windsor Road saw a little toad
(toad in the road)
which I picked up and moved to the grass by the fence.
Then out Philo Road to Old Church Road and Yankee Ridge,
that magical, so-quiet place, the early morning view from which is as beautiful as the ocean, though I’ve never yet been able to capture it in a photo. Just believe me.
Then at the bottom of the hill is a curve to Yankee Ridge Road, which rolls up and down, fairly evenly and pleasantly to distribute the hard work and the coasting.
Turned east on 900 E and rode into Philo, a modest, tidy, and, at least early on Sunday morning, sleepy little town.
The streets were wooded and shady, in contrast with the open farmland around it.
Wasn’t easy to get a good view of the water tower
but managed to get a passingly readable one. <br />
This was not my first visit to this center of the universe, and a Google search of “Philo IL center of the universe” turns up several unexplained references. Still a mystery.
Back up and down the little hills (appreciated them more than last time I was here for having spent a lot of time in flatter places) of Yankee Ridge Road, made another attempt to capture the beauty of Yankee Ridge.
Returned via Old Church to First Street with a stop at the Barnhart Prairie Restoration
Featuring many handsome spade-shaped prairie dock leaves
and much foxglove Penstemon.
Was somewhat but not unpleasantly fatigued. Hips, knees, and low back were ok (hurray!), but the right shoulder was complaining. Sat up and rolled the upper arm out, then remembered (via swimming stroke improvements) a restorative Ekahasta Urdva Hastasana: reaching the arm up and rolling it out. Helped a lot. Oh, beneficent yoga!
The trip was about 23 miles. Want to keep this up!