Great Western Trail, July 5, 2003

This is a ride I took by myself on the Great Western Trail, in order to get some black raspberries for making jam. The flowers were beautiful. I've made thumbnails to give you an idea what they look like. Click the small images to see larger ones.

This is a chicory flower, chicorum intybus. They beautify roadsides almost as much as day lilies.

This mullein (verbascum thapsus) stands amid chicory.

A field of day lilies (hemerocallis fulva) delights the eye. The unopened buds impart an interesting flavor to oriental dishes like hot-and-sour soup.

Black raspberries (rubus occidentalis) are the culinary stars of the trail in early July.

These large flower clusters are on an elderberry plant (sambucus canadensis). They will give rise in September to clusters of black berries so heavy they nearly break the stems.

This is smooth sumac (rhus glabra), sometimes mistaken for Staghorn Sumac (rhus typhina). The flowers produce berries that, along with the leaves, turn bright red in fall. The ripe berry clusters contain crystals of malic acid, and can be used to make a drink that tastes a little like lemonade.

Milkweed (asclepias syriaca). Monarch butterflies used to pollinate this species, but now prefer the Skim Milkweed (asclepias nonfattus) instead.

Large puff that looks like a dandelion but is much larger. I can't remember the name of this one.

Wild strawberries. (fragaria virginiana). Lots of them this year.

The last few blossoms of the catalpa (catalpa speciosa), also called a Cigar Tree because of the long, dark seed pods that develop later.

Meadow clover (trifolium pratense).

Wild rose (rosa blanda). I know I've shown these before, but they are pretty enough to see twice.

Asparagus (asparagus officinalis). I ate a few spears from this plant early this May. It will develop small yellow flowers in a few weeks.

I don't know what these are, but they have a beautiful combination of colors.

A different color combination, also unknown to me.

These pale purple coneflowers (echinacea pallida) in Horlock Hill Prairie at the beginning of the trail in St. Charles recall Shelley's words in his Skylark poem: "The pale purple even melts around thy flight..."

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