Summer Flowers - August 2018

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ARTICHOKES

Close by there's a decent mountain bike ride, heading south from old Elk Grove along the Union Pacific RR (UPRR) tracks, the trial passing through a 150 foot wide railroad right-of-way, with a lot of trees in this open space. 

Just south of Elk Grove Boulevard are a group of artichokes that have probably been here for decades.  I've previously posted images of these plants in bloom, maybe once every 3 or 4 years, because they have an incredible life-cycle and they keep coming back.

These plants burst out of the ground right after the first winter storms and by early spring are well-established. (early 2019 note: I'll try to get some early stage images of these plants).

This year the effect of yet another drought year can be seen.  Once the real heat begins in June, surface soils tend to dry out, in this case, just as the Chokes were approaching full bloom.  A tragedy, and photogenic as in the pictures tell the story.    

Two weeks after I took these images, UPRR maintenance crews - once again - cut the chokes to the ground, but dehydration already had them on the fast track to dormancy, and maybe the RR crew did them a favor.

note - you can enlarge any part of a photo by clicking in and out again.

old Elk Grove artichokes on a mid-June day almost made it to full bloom even more spread out this year  
  pollen covered Bee       
a little further south old warehouse bike ride continues... new growth  even further south than seen before  
  double track at Elk Grove  recent fire obstacles good shaded rest stop on hottest days
see note below Elk Grove Park balloon man native Valley Oaks  
  heading home          

note - This is looking south and the Grantline Rd. over-crossing allows non-stop bike riding from here to where the Cosumnes River is, maybe 2 miles away.   

SUNFLOWERS

After I posted photos of red clover and poppies in spring, those plants dried out & were plowed under.  Sunflowers and Cosmos grown from seed were planted in the same box in early May. The baby stage seemed to last a long time, but when the heat hit in June and July, the show began.  The most recent photos were taken in early September. 

mid-June first flower marigold unfolding    
  first fairy lilly flower   August   'Golden Honey Bear' Sunflower
Batty in the catio fairy lilly in full bloom 'Teddy Bear' Sunflower Lilly in blue fescue   
      white Cosmos  pink Cosmos
  blue fescue & red sedum      
        see note

note - in this image only the unopened buds seem to be in focus. 

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