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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Elusive Orange Milkweed

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Purple milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is easy to find here in Ohio in June and early July. Its lavender flower clusters can be found in ditches and home gardens alike. Orange milkweed, also known as butterfly weed or Asclepias tuberosa, is more elusive. If I spot in a prairie, it is far from the margins. I have yet to see it as a specimen plant in a public garden.

Today I spotted two large orange milkweed plants at a local wildflower prairie. My view was obstructed partially by bee balm and other wildflowers that aren’t so photo shy.

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