Color of Summer

After the All Write conference, I knew I needed to get back to my friend Trek. She was a new friend that entered my life last August (you can read about her here). We’ve gotten together many times in the past months. She even went along to California. She loved rolling along the level bike paths of Irvine. We both wish those paths could be in our neighborhood.

Once life calmed down, Trek and I hit the road again. As I pedaled along I thought about all the color spring had brought along my route (read about that here). Inwardly I sighed remembering all the bright spots that lined the road. I was settling in for a journey of shades of green, but what was that ahead of me? An orange trumpet vine announcing that spring is not the only season with color. Summer has its own vibrant colors. All you need to do is look carefully. The more I looked, the more colors I noticed.Β It amazes me when fragile little plants push their way through blacktop.

The next day I returned with my camera. The ride took a bit longer as I pedaled, stopped, snapped. Just as I was getting back on the seat I would see another plant or a better view of a previous plant. Pedal, stop, snap. Here are a few colors for your viewing pleasure along my biking route. Enjoy!

Trumpet vine announces summer is here!

Trumpet vine announces summer is here!

Close up of the trumpet vine. The flower is really orange not pinkish.

Close up of the trumpet vine. The flower is really orange not pinkish.

These purple-bluish flowers line the road.

These purple-bluish flowers line the road.

This is Common St. John's-Wort.

This is Common St. John’s-Wort.

This is butterfly weed. I think it is too pretty to be called a weed.

This is butterfly weed. I think it is too pretty to be called a weed.

Prairie roses seem to grow along every kind of fence or even in ditches.

Prairie roses seem to grow along every kind of fence or even in ditches.

I see Brown-eyed Susan plants as I scan the fields.

I see Brown-eyed Susan plants as I scan the fields.

Milkweed is a favorite place for Monarch butterflies to lay their eggs. I guess the leaves are tasty to the caterpillars.

Milkweed is a favorite place for Monarch butterflies to lay their eggs. I guess the leaves are tasty to the caterpillars.

This fuzz ball is a Sensitive Briar. It will fold up its leaves when touched. It is related to the Mimosa tree.

This fuzz ball is a Sensitive Briar. It will fold up its leaves when touched. It is related to the Mimosa tree.

This little plant has quite the thorns. I guess you are  supposed to look, not touch.

This little plant has quite the thorns. I guess you are supposed to look, not touch.

Although there is no flower, one would be wise to recognize this plant, poison ivy. Unfortunately I am seeing a lot of this as I pedal along.

Although there is no flower, one would be wise to recognize this plant, poison ivy. Unfortunately I am seeing a lot of this as I pedal along.

These plants are the tip of the color wheel I pedal past each day. There are so many more and each time I seem to notice another one that wasn’t there yesterday. Isn’t nature interesting?

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24 thoughts on “Color of Summer

  1. What a perfect post to nudge back onto my bike and notice/discover what is around me as I do. Love your pictures; they are gorgeous! And it is truly amazing how often we walk by all that loveliness and never really stop to appreciate it. That’s what else your post has nudged me to do — appreciate the little things.

  2. Paul says:

    “Sun-leaved trees” indeed! I will think of you when I’m riding my Cannondale first thing tomorrow morning — beautiful colors, sights, smells, sounds on the trail system here in Edmonton! πŸ™‚

  3. b says:

    I need to form a friendship with Trek, too. It’s been far too long :). Thanks so much, Elsie, for virtually taking me on your bike trip. Pedal, stop, snap. LOVE.

  4. Delightful pictures, as always, elsie! You are lucky to ride by such a wide selection of beautiful flowers! Like you, I think they are much too pretty to be called weeds!

  5. Elsie, thanks for taking us along (once again) down (or up) your road. It’s amazing how nature creates such beauty from spring thru summer into fall. Thanks for the name of all those plants – I usually just call them “pretty” flowers!

  6. What a beautiful route! The perimeter of my front porch is lined with wild Black-eye Susan and they are just starting to peek open. My favorite porch time is the weeks when these are in bloom. Lovely pictures!

  7. Terje says:

    Pedaled, stopped, snapped – I like the sound of this and love the result I see. Thank you for taking the time to snap photos of the plants.

  8. Lynn says:

    Beautiful flowers! I laughed out loud when I took a peek at your new friend Trek…yea I thought she had 2 legs not 2 wheels πŸ˜‰

  9. Love all the photos, except for the poison ivy. That one made my skin crawl!

    But seriously, beautiful photos, as always, Elsie. We’re so fortunate that you’re willing to stop pedaling to share a bit of your rides with us.

  10. I am fighting this feeling but I am a bit jealous of your friendship with Trek. The two of you have such wonderful adventures, stopping and noticing. I am comforted that when you write about it I DO feel I am right there with you. πŸ™‚

  11. Phillip says:

    Poor little Asclepias tuberosa! she can’t catch a break! Butterfly WEED is a member of the MilkWEED family. Asclepias tuberosa is also know as Pleurisy Root! So, take your pick, weed? or inflammation of the lungs?

  12. Tam says:

    If I just want to relax and enjoy the moment, I always turn to your blog on Tuesday. You bring the essence of nature at its best. We have butterfly weed all over our gardens now. It comes up looking like a weed but then it starts to fill out and then you know–they’re back and in a new place. We found them here in the field next to us before houses were built. Thanks for the tour today. I love summer and all its beauty.

  13. Your pictures are delightful! You’ve captured nature’s beauty. The Butterfly weed is one of my favorites. We have it here in Indiana as well, but I saw more of it in the Ozarks. My mother replants this ‘weed’ and adds it to her flower garden. We noticed it at the zoo this past week. πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing your bike ride with us.

  14. I love how you take time to notice and appreciate the colors of nature. It’s amazing how much closer you are to the world on a bike rather than in a car. And, it’s easier to stop and engage closer with the world as well. Great pictures. Now I want to get into the Colorado high country and start looking at the alpine wildflowers.

  15. Beautiful noticings Elsie. I love the showy milkweed! When I go back to Missouri, I also love that blue flax that’s so often along the roads. You’ve taken me back virtually today. Thank you!

  16. Ramona says:

    Elsie, thanks for sharing this panoply of colors from your travels with Trek! Gorgeous pics! The Sensitive Briar, relative to the Mimosa, transported me to my childhood. My dad hated our three Mimosa trees, but I loved their beautiful pink blooms that I could see from my bedroom window.

  17. Elsie, I am delighted you are getting to be better friends with Trek. She helps you go farther. Your attention to the details of nature are similar to the attention to detail in your writing. You notice color and beauty. I always look forward to your walking, and riding adventures.
    Actually, when I went walking this morning, I thought of you and your walks and I wondered if I would find anything interesting on my walk. I look for details, like you do.
    xo
    Pamela (p.s. I noticed what people throw away in their garbage. You can tell a lot about a person from their garbage.)

  18. Glad you spend time with your friend – we just washed up our bikes for the season and need to hit the road soon too! Love the beautiful, vibrant colors along your route. I’m most impressed with your knowledge of all the plants (or weeds)! Thanks for taking us with on your journey!

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