Summer Photo Walk, July 28

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This morning I traveled to Kendrick Woods to see how the wildflowers are faring. We’ve had unreliable rainfall and higher than average temperatures throughout most of the summer this year, so I expected the wildflower prairie to look a bit different this year. As expected, the prairie was not quite as abundant as I’ve seen it in the past. However, there were plenty enough blooms to justify the trip.

Now is the time the wild sunflowers reign. Different varieties will take their turn blooming until the first frost. I also spotted some dame’s rocket and wild indigo, whose pods will age into purple-black before summer’s end. I looked up the red wildflower and found that is called Silene virginica, or fire pink.

Summer Photo Walk, June 30

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This morning I went to one of my favorite places, McLean Teddy Bear Park. I hadn’t been there since the middle of spring. While I don’t visit there as often as I’d wish, it’s good to know that this beautiful, serene place is waiting for me should I find the time to get there.

This morning I spotted the hind quarter of a fairly large buck as he slipped away from the parking lot. The sight of him made me wonder how such large creatures can hide so well in a county where more than a 100,000 people live. A few of them are bold enough to open the curtain of their lives to us for just a few moments at a time. Just last week a doe walked along my sidewalk as if she were a woman pleased to be the first one up for a morning walk. When she saw me, she sprinted away noiselessly, as no human can do.

I think I hit a lull in the local wildflower season this morning. There were a few bergamot left, along with a stubborn spiderwort in belated bloom. The prairie isn’t quite ready to explode in variants of wild sunflowers whose blooming will endure until the first frost.

There was also a vigorous orange milkweed, the same one that eludes a good capture year after year.41297142690_36ac588785_k (1)42390129084_845f79dc72_k (1)42203750645_ea118e5445_k (1)42203610115_58c231e20d_k (1)28239474647_1addd1e37d_k (1)

Fall Photo Walk, September 10

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Fall has made an early arrival this year. Virginia creeper (shown above) and poison ivy are the first to blaze in color here in west central Ohio.

Here is some poison ivy that’s made an impressive climb up a maple tree:

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I spotted a fallen branch in a prairie crowded with goldenrod. This branch looks like a long-legged man hiking:

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The fall asters are in bloom. Leaf season is definitely upon us.

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Summer Photo Walk, August 20

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This morning I visited two local wildflower prairies. Several varieties of wild sunflower are at their peak. Bur marigolds and globe flowers are also in bloom.

Wild white indigo (Baptisia alba) is still in bloom, but some of these plants are heavy with indigo pods. I was able to capture three stages of this plant’s development, from blossom to mature pod:

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I spotted just one bull thistle plant. I’ve been photographing wildflowers for ten years, and bull thistle was far more plentiful prior to 2016. We’ve had two relatively warm winters in a row. It is possible that bull thistle thrives with a frigid rest.

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Soon the fall asters will emerge, giving way to leaf season.

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Baggage

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Yesterday I visited three wildflower prairies, and I’ve decided to share these pictures as the week progresses rather than make a single photo walk post of the best shots from yesterday. I can’t decide if the flower shown above is one of many varieties of wild sunflower that are now in bloom or a lance leaf coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata). Whichever flower it is, the honey bee loaded his leg bags with its pollen.

Summer Photo Walk, July 16

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This morning I returned to the wildflower prairie at McLean Teddy Bear Park located here in Allen County, Ohio. There is definitely some overlap in flora between this prairie and my neighborhood wetlands. Gray-headed coneflower and sawtooth sunflower are well-represented at this prairie, too.

There is a much greater diversity of flowers at this prairie. Weather permitting, I’m hoping to capture more of the parade of different blooms as the season progresses.

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