Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Saturday Morning Backroads

All of these photos were taken last Saturday morning on the way to, or from, Men's Christian Group at our church in Ada: St. Roberts Church St. Roberts. I want to thank God for all He showed me:

through the words of these eight good men who know Scripture,

and through the lens, where I can share His creation with you.

As I look over the list of photos, the names cow, vulture, and goat may not sound that appealing. If you're hesitant, minimize me. If you're repulsed, close it down. If you dare to take another chance with Father Nature, read on.

See? That wasn't so bad. Nice color combination, good structure. Tall! (4-9') Cow Parsnip  (Heracleum lantanum).

Can you find the inflated sheath? Hollow stems? All it needs is a name change. Any ideas? How about "Purple Hercules"? It's in the carrot family; doesn't that sound good?

You know plenty about our plentiful Whitetail Deer (Odocoileus virginianus). Their deep cinnamon color this time of year. Did you know it was fertilizing the field when I first appeared?

Hairy Vetch (Vicea villosa) needs to change his name also. How about "Villosa"?

It seems to fit the clusters of violet and white pea-type flowers, climbing like a mini-vine, with assists from tiny tendrils.

This bumblebee thrusts his large head up the small tube, too busy nectaring to notice the photographer.

This next character had his eye on fresh road-kill; a flat rabbit near Fallasburg Park. Kent County Parks
Meet the Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura). If you don't look at his hideous head (please don't look), the rest of his body appears normal.

Please don't ask me to explain why his red head is featherless. I could, but it may disgust some of you. If you know, don't tell. I'm certain you've seen this huge bird soaring with its wings in a dihedral position (a shallow V). They soar rather gracefully, but sometimes appear to be tilting unsteadily in the wind, always searching for carrion.

Look for the two-toned, black and gray underwings when you see it flying above you. You can't miss the 6-foot wingspan.

 You may call him "Buzzard" (like my Dad did) if you like the sound of the name.

Closer to home now, these 6-foot tall grasses were growing densely in a half-acre hollow  near Gavin Lake.

Although they are inconspicuous, these grasses are "in flower" too; and loaded with fine pollen. Keep the lens cover on!

At my last stop I found this Yellow Goat's Beard (Tragopogon dubius). I always called them Meadow Goat's Beard in the '70s.

They open in the morning and usually close by lunch. This rather dubious name is explained by the Greek terms: tragos - "goat", and  pogon - "beard".

Check out these "Five Goatees" ( a Jazz Band from Kalamazoo).

Here's a nice blend of lines, curves and colors; the reward for always looking closer.

These interior seeds are attached to "parachutes" to form this feathery appearance, and later to help carry the seeds farther down the road.

I eventually got back home, a little farther down the road. The Backroads. Always my preference. Along the way, we met some questionable characters, with odd names. But when you learn more about them, even the cow , the buzzard and the goat can be appreciated.

In a Supertramp song, they advise to "Take the Long Way Home". I concur.

Hope you enjoyed the ride...                                                      ... you can get out now.


  1. Hairy Vetch- Such a fetching name for such a lovely flower....NOT.

    I've wondered what they were called. They droop over the brick wall along the path I cycle every day. They provide a lovely distraction and keep me company as I climb the hill up Cascade.

    Love your site-
    -Fellow seeker

  2. Fellow seeker:

    I'd like to use your name, if I knew it. Thanks for visiting and liking what you see, and read.

    Keep up the good work on your bike.


  3. Seeker:

    I discovered who you are at lunch today! Thanks again for your kind words. Get your girls, and friends onto WWFN.

    Stay in touch this summer.



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