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Ramble with Storm: Moon flower, bush honeysuckle & hedgeapple

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stormtight.jpg Mulling things on my morning ramble

with Storm, the family's mixed Lab.

My wife's moon flower exploded open overnight. And I would say just in time for a morning as gray as this one with a light mist floating.

The word ostentatious comes to mind looking at the cup-like flower, maybe half a foot across.

What's funny is that I came close to pulling it out of the bed of strawberries under our pink dogwood. As a plant, the moon flower looks like a weed, especially in a bed of a ground plant like strawberries.

Must be a couple days for flowers and plants.

Yesterday I asked on Facebook for helping IDing a plant with four small red berries. Well, Ed Schmitt figured it out, even from my poor photo. It's bush honeysuckle.

That is an invasive, according to the Illinois Natural History Survey.

And that makes sense. In the spring, the old rail bed converted to a trail is overgrown with bush honeysuckle. I should have made the connection myself.

On the back side of the town pond, I found a hedgeapple. I would like to say the first of the season, but some came down this summer during the peak of the drought and heat wave.

Apparently, Osage orange scuffles with drought and/or heat.

I lugged the hedgeapple home, looking like I was walking around town with a misshapen softball.

Again, a remarkably quiet morning for wildlife. A pair of Canada geese flew low in the distance on the edge of town.

A rabbit bolted as we came off the old rail bed trail. That sent the meathead into a surging frenzy.

One dove flew past in town.

The drizzle had been enough to wet the pavement and sidewalk by the time we hit our front porch and rousted a pair of black squirrels.

townpond_adjusted (1).JPG

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As you probably know, osage trees used to be used along property lines to keep cattle from wandering. Pretty nasty to walk through when they're short.

I have permission to wander a piece of property that has ancient osage trees along a couple of old property lines. Quite impressive and I've never seen this many this big and all in one place. I think one may be one of the biggest osage trees around. I haven't measured it, but it's easily in the 4 foot diameter range. There is another piece of property where the land owner claims to have the oldest osage in the county. I'll have to bring a tape measure and make some comparisons.

I read somewhere that hedge apple trees provide the highest BTU's when burned.

Also, IL used to have a Big Tree category, not sure if the DNR still runs it or not. You should check it out.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on September 26, 2012 8:14 AM.

Stray Cast: Louie Spray & replacement refs. was the previous entry in this blog.

Grass carp: Too big to weigh, beyond Fish of the Week is the next entry in this blog.

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