Queen Anne’s lace towers over chicory in this photo. Often they are nearly the same height but that wasn’t the case on this roadway.
Observers of nature don’t always need a calendar to tell them what month it is. When rural roads sport a fresh lacy border of lavender and white, I know it’s July. Chicory and Queen Anne’s Lace appear often together, and they make for a lovely match, a fairy tale style display for those who appreciate Mother Nature’s floral artistry.
Chicory blooms, the pale purplish puffs dancing on wavy stems are one of my favorite wildflowers. I don’t remember noticing them till I was in my twenties, though they must have been there all along. They resemble bachelor’s buttons a bit and are similar in color, though paler than the typical cornflower blue of the cottage garden plant. Chicory was originally imported as a coffee substitute, I believe, and is still sometimes added to coffee blends, I believe to curb bitterness?
Queen Anne’s Lace I seemingly always knew, as my mother pointed them out when I was still so young that the plants towered over my head. Though never a fan of lace on clothing for myself, I love the dressy casual style of the off-white blooms that top wiry stems with feathery foliage. I’m not sure why this plant, also called wild carrot, was imported. The flat blooms all sport one tiny purple floret in the center.
Apparently both plants like dry stony soil as they thrive beside roadways. I see them along narrow gravel lanes, and also at the edge of the median strip of prominent divided highways.
They bring back memories of chauffering my mother along country roads in midsummer. She always pointed out the first chicory blooms after I learned about them and made her aware of their presence and the basic history of their arrival in America.
There used to be a man who lived nearby who sold daylilies from his home. I’m not sure if the home business police still allow such a thing without a nursery license, but it would be a fairly simple enterprise to start.
Daylilies are one of the most carefree plants, coming up every year whether on the lawn or in the wild. They don’t even need to be deadheaded (though my mom did that for neatness). They don’t need to be divided either, as iris do, over the years.
So many colors are available today, that’s an amazing feature too. And then there are the everbloomers that put out new blossoms all summer long.
The only drawback is that deer seem to bite off some buds before the flowers open. I never noticed that until a few years ago, as deer populations rose, and the lovely creatures became less timid about approaching homes.
My favorites are still the hardy orange ones that line the roadways these early summer days, though I’ve become very attached to this red one I picked up some years ago. Each bloom may only last for one day, but the plants endure indefinitely.
My first post in the nature notebook I maintained in childhood was about the orange day lilies that glowed in clusters around the bridge down the road from our home.
I suppose I knew even then, that I loved nature and would enjoy writing and sharing the wonder of plants, animals, and weather.
The week or two when the daylilies bloom is my favorite time of year, though I do enjoy the entire circle of the seasons.
Must share this pic of a way cool “Island Time” bicycle parked outside a local library.
On this hot but beautiful July day, I am reminded of an entry on the bucket list page of the leaving a legacy journal I received at a workshop last week.
One of my entries pertained to the impulse I’ve been having to rent a bike at (a different) local library, and see if I still have my sense of balance. Of course, the bike and terrain would have to be deemed safe upon my inspection and it would have to be on one of my relatively rare totally optimistic days.
I haven’t taken this mode of transportation in some time, and have never ridden on a road, thanks to an overprotective mother.
I’ve already taken the plunge and gone to a swimming pool for the first time the end of last season and first of this one (making baby steps in getting used to deeper water). Should I swing onto the seat of a bike and see how I do or take the safer route and limit my on the road hours to car trips?
May all my readers enjoy a ride or relaxation session of their choice on the Fourth of July holiday or on the weekend – whatever day that’s available to celebrate this special summer holiday.