Today’s photo walk occurred at McLean Teddy Bear Park, which is a short drive east of Lima and full of delightful flora. The forest looks a bit different this year because we’ve had so much rain. Usually there’s sporadic orange jewelweed along the short forest trail at the height of summer, but today I saw long puffs of that wildflower that rivaled a small hedge in stature:
I also spotted a few of a wildflower that I hadn’t seen before in the forest, and I’m not sure what it’s called:
There are many pawpaw trees throughout this park’s forested areas, and noticed that one of the trees I passed had fruit on it:
The prairie was also lush with yellow wildflowers like prairie dock and oxeye sunflowers. I’m pleased that I saw a few butterflies flitting about and was able to get a picture of one of the monarch butterflies.
This afternoon I went to Kiracofe Prairie in western Allen County to capture some of the wildflowers. By the way, those of you who follow my Facebook page may be feeling a sense of déjà vu as you read this post. I made a Facebook Note about today’s photo walk but soon hit the technical limitations of that format. I couldn’t add more than four images beyond the header photo and gave up on expanding it. Maybe Facebook Notes really are just an electronic version of a pocket notebook.
It’s hot enough outside to warrant an Excessive Heat Warning from the National Weather Service. We’ve emerged from the boggy cycle of late spring and early summer. Now the weather is a pattern of sweltering heat with brief downpours.
The summer wildflowers are loving this weather, but our farm fields have not yet recovered from the floods of spring. I uploaded some dashcam footage of my drive to Kiracofe Prairie, and the minority of the farm fields in that video have crops planted. In farming there is a calculus of risk that is beyond my understanding. Many of the local farms made crop insurance claims rather than risk a bad yield this year. The corn and beans that did get planted are stunted for this time of year.
My heart just about burst with joy as I drove those country miles. While there are places far more beautiful than Allen County, Ohio, on a sunny July afternoon, those locales are not home to me. The more I see a place, the more I love it.
I headed to the small yet stunning wildflower prairie at Hermon Woodlands this morning with my 50mm lens. Here in Allen County among the wildflowers we have Black Eyed Susans, Echinacea, Queen Anne’s Lace, Bergamot and Gray-Headed Coneflowers in bloom. I’ve taken the liberty of capitalizing all of their titles because they looked like royalty on this sunny July morning.