Sunday, July 21, 2013
July, July. She's a sweaty hot fulsome month in southeast Ohio, but there's nothing quite like a July morning.
Especially when the hay hasn't been cut, and neither have the roadsides. At this point, I'm completely agog that they've let both go so long. I mull it over. Despite abundant rain, the hay's very thin this year, and maybe the guy who cuts it is letting it go hoping it will get thicker.
I figure the roadsides have escaped the big mow because our township is so broke. There are advantages to living in a depressed area.
I love how the new light strokes the long grass.
The chicory is at its deepest, richest blue before the rising sun hits it and makes it open, and then close within a couple of hours. It makes me shiver, it's so beautiful. And the plants are so very lush. Chicory may be able to grow in compacted, gravelly hardpan without water, but oh, it loves water just as much as any other plant. It says thank you in the most exuberant way. This is the best chicory I've ever experienced.
I particularly like this photo of Queen Anne's lace. My friend Hodge wants to grow it in a little waste strip near her house in a big city. And here I am pulling it up in my gardens. A weed is but a plant out of place. Here, it's heavenly, especially when paired with Delft-blue chicory.
Rudbeckia has such a sunny disposition. There's not much of it this year, but what there is, is gorgeous.
I always enjoy noting the different phenotypes. This one has very narrow petals compared to the plant above. I see the same variation in my purple coneflower stands. Quite elegant, this one.
I've just finished taking these photos and I'm continuing on my "run" which is really more like a wildflower crawl when I top the hill to the cemetery. There's a pocket of cellphone reception there and I get a call from Bill. All I hear is his voice, saying, "ZICK." And sounding alarmed. Then some garbled words and the call is dropped. Soon a text comes in. "They're mowing the roadsides. They'll be at the gentian patch in about ten minutes."
Oh #$%$#%!! I take off running, actually running now, not loping and squatting and oohing and aahing.
He's making his first pass. You know, to get all the chicory.
I really like the township mowing guy. He's great. He already knows what I want, and he shakes his head and meets me with a rueful smile as he shuts down the mower so he can hear my latest nitpersnickety request. I can't ask him to leave the chicory and butterfly weed. Picking my battles here. So I ask him just to please not mow the upper bank back up the hill where the rose gentian grows.
He knows where it is; I've posted it before.
And he leaves it unmowed. A small but significant victory over the forces of flower destruction.
Still, it's hard to see all the flowers taken down at the height of their beauty.
I remind myself that the chicory wouldn't be here if it didn't get mowed. That the plants' roots remain, and they'll grow back. And bloom again before frost.
Still, I'm disconsolate all day, as if I can feel all the flowers dying inside me.
I walk up our driveway and take comfort from the mutant butterfly weed we've been nurturing. Why it's yellow instead of orange, who knows? But it makes me happy. I have to really look for it because my brain tells me it's a goldenrod or Rudbeckia and I'm liable not to notice it. But it's beautiful.
An ant crawls slowly across a coneflower pricklefield.
All flower and landscape photos in the last two posts were taken with my iPhone 4S. I fall a little more in love with its camera every day.
Feeling better. And as you can see by the long grass on the upper left bank, I still have rose gentian to look forward to. And I'll watching everything grow back, morning by morning, with my best doggie Chet by my side. That'll be good.