Monday, September 11, 2017

(Photos) Moraine Hills State Park

On the Sunday before Labor Day Mrs. Marathon Pundit and I visited Moraine Hills State Park near McHenry, Illinois.

There's your beloved Blogger Laureate of Illinois.

And there is the First Lady of Illinois Bloggerdom.

But what about those flowers?

If yellow is your favorite color--it's mine--then late summer and early autumn are for you. Yellow wildflowers dominate prairie landscapes this time of year in the Midwest. Pictured are woodland sunflowers.

It's not September without goldenrod. Sunflowers and goldrenrod are the dominant flowers this time of year in northern Illinois.

The common evening primrose is an aberration. Its blooms are open from evening until early morning, not the other way around as many other flowering plants do it. Also, it takes two years for the common evening primrose to flower, so please don't pick the flowers!

Lake and McHenry counties in Illinois have many glacial lakes. This one, Lake Defiance, is one of the few that have not encountered development. It was formed when a large chunk of ice broke away from a glacier.

Here's a closeup of those lily pads.

Yes, Illinois has hills and what would Moraine Hills be without them? Moraines are glacial features, they consist of dirt and boulders left behind when the glaciers retreated.

I'm not sure if there are dead green ash trees past the goldenrod but they are deceased all the same.

Now we move to purple wildflowers. Above is fall phlox.

Those are New England asters.

With this lavender beauty, you twist a bloom one way, it turns back. You twist it another way, it still turns back. That's why it's called the obedient plant. But shouldn't it be instead called the disobedient plant?

Illinois doesn't have any mountains, so the America The Beautiful "purple mountains majesty" won't be found in the Prairie State. But we have purple fields.

There are wetlands at Moraine Hills.

That's Yellow Head Marsh, named for the Yellow-head blackbird which are said to live there. We didn't see any.

And with a bit of shadow you see Pikes Marsh.

Until this summer I hadn't seen a great blue lobelia, also known as the blue cardinal plant. Now I've seen it twice.

The orange jewelweed should be, in my opinion, called the mosquito flower. Every time I get near its tiny blossoms to bake a picture I get attacked by these bloodsucking nuisances.

Illinois' man-made disaster is its budget debacle. The Land of Lincoln spends more than it takes in and it has one of the worst-funded public pension systems of the 50 states. So of course we end up with spots like this, Opossum Run. Nearby, in a parking lot nearby that is open, I saw the only water fountain--it was broken--other than the one at the visitors center, which was closed. Near Pikes Marsh a wooden staircase is blocked off because an oak tree fell on it. The dead tree has been there for weeks, maybe months. What would Abraham Lincoln think?

A clump of smooth sumac seeds is called a bob. You can look it up!

Mrs. Marathon Pundit in the woods.

Your beloved Blogger Laureate of Illinois is checking out! Come back soon!


zeeman said...

Very nice pictures...thanks for sharing!

John Ruberry said...

I'm glad that you enjoyed them!