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Why I Like the Back Roads August 20, 2009

Posted by Wapello Warbler in Louisa County, Nature, Small Town Life.
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090819 Coneflowers

Have you noticed how much the view from the county highways changes week to week?

I don’t drive much, so when I do I always look to see what’s changed. I enjoy watching the slow march of the growing season from the first bits of green fuzz on the fields until the snow falls upon the stubble left after the harvest.

My eye for crops isn’t nearly as practiced as those of the farmers, but over the years I’ve learned to tell good corn from bad. I check the height and the color, watch for the tassels and silk, and then track the development of the ears. When the corn and the beans begin to dry, harvest time is near and then the fields are full of activity.

All of this from the highways.

But there are many other things to watch than crops. Like many Iowa counties, Louisa County seeds its road sides with native wildflowers. The flowers in the ditches have a somewhat different cycle and they, too, change from week to week.

Today as I drove along the back roads from Danville to Wapello, I was pleased to see lots of yellow cone flowers in bloom. The goldenrod was just starting to turn yellow and some sumac was sporting its first red leaf. The Queen Anne’s lace still has a lot of blooms but it’s starting to go to seed. Several species of thistle have turned a beautiful burnt umber.

Because of the frequent rains this summer many of the ditches have been too wet to mow. That means more cattails and also patches of “ornamental” grasses. Some of the grasses are red, like Flaming Prairie. There are also silver and gold grasses to catch your eye.

090819 ditch

I encourage you to get off Highway 61 onto the back roads and watch the ditches as you drive Louisa County this August. You’ll enjoy the drive.

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Comments»

1. Connie Street - August 20, 2009

I agree, Chris. I love to watch the corn grow and change its color from green to gold. And, yes, the wild flowers are always pretty.

2. Wapello Warbler - September 7, 2009

People who love scenic roads and good pictures will enjoy this post and the related pictures from Let’s Picture Ohio by Conetta jean.

3. connetta - September 8, 2009

I find beauty in all the seasons on backroads…in spring the buds on the trees almost look like fall.and Autumn of course, is the best time for pictures, the roads speak poetry and sturr the creative spirit.I prefer trees when they are naked, especially with a light snow outlining them. Or a suset behind them. my favorite is sunsets on snow. although winter in Ohio is cold and nasty, the views are candy to the eye.
I began my venture searchng the backroads for pictures back in 1994 to help myself get past my mother and grandmothers deaths which happend 6 weeks apart.My husband drove across Ohio for a living and took me riding with him 2-3 times a week for 4 years to help me cope with the deaths and get my mind off it.. My mother left me her computor, & I used money i received from my GrandMother to get A digital camera and for the first time I started using them both, until that day i could not turn a computor on…my goal was to capture every barn in southeast ohio..but i soon found that there are way too many barns to capture them all..
Backroads are the best roads, peaceful roads where life seems to go in slow motion.

Wapello Warbler - September 8, 2009

Welcome. Thanks for introducing yourself.

4. See with New Eyes « Wapello Warbler's Louisa County - September 22, 2009

[…] } A few weeks ago I wrote about watching the slow progress of summer while driving the back roads.  Fall is here now.  Harvest is just beginning in Louisa County and the roadsides and prairies […]

5. 10 Advantages to Small Town Life « Wapello Warbler's Louisa County - November 3, 2009

[…] Rush hour only lasts a minute. I once spent and hour going ten miles on one of Chicago’s tollway. The only thing remotely similar about living in a small town is being stuck behind a combine in a no passing zone, but that only lasts a minute. […]

6. The Birds You Don’t See « Wapello Warbler's Louisa County - June 17, 2010

[…] Why I Like Back Roads […]


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