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Bee on Final Approach



Bee on Final Approach, originally uploaded by tomkellyphoto.

Our Tour de Heartland has landed us in Wisconsin, with an entirely new set of weather and wildlife from our native Utah. While, yes, we are the beehive state, there’s a bit more pollinating to be done in the Midwest.

Today’s journey took us to Token Creek Park outside Madison. It’s a wonderful preserve that was initially built about the year I left town in 1977. It was my first trip, although mom and dad went out there often.

Our short hike took us along Token Creek (named for an Indian Taukanee) through amazing vegetation ripe with monarchs and other flying creatures.

This particular set of wildflowers was brilliantly lighted against a dark backdrop – perfect for a closeup photo. But what I hadn’t planned on was the bee activity.

While I have an entire set of great photographs, this shot of the bee on final approach was special.

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Hollyhock Season

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While it’s always sad when late July rolls around and you start thinking summer is over. It does signal one of our favorite times of year in our yard – hollyhock season. Our first seeds came some years ago from our dear late friend Linda, and my mom. Each was a different color and it was a thrill that first year to see the plants grow and the flowers blossom. Today, we have myriad colors and it changes every year. Our favorite this year is a deep merlot red, plus an assortment of cream, peach, pink and others. Enjoy the slide show of hollyhock season in Silver Creek.


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Lavender in the Desert

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Lavender fields stretch on for acres in the shadow of Utah’s Mt. Nebo. (c) 2009 Tom Kelly

It started as a perfectly productive Saturday morning, up early and getting ready for a hike. But a Facebook alert just before departure sent us in another direction – to Mona and a lavender festival. Yes, a festival of the violet herb on a farm south of Provo.

It was just strange enough to try. We didn’t know what to expect. And we had only a vague understanding of where it was. But as we approached the small village north of Nephi on I-15, we were struck with awe. In the midst of the Utah desert were brilliant fields of green set against the lavender hue of millions of small plants. You could almost smell the freshness from the highway.

The sea of lavender stretched to the horizon, with plants all lined up in rows. Children reached down to pick a personal bouquet.

Lavender is a color you would least expect in a desert landscape. And certainly not acres and acres. It was a sight to behold, and a scene we will take in again.

If you get a chance, visit Young Living Lavender Farms.

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Carole picks out a bouquet of lavender. (c) 2009 Tom Kelly

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A young girl sits alone in a field of lavender. (c) 2009 Tom Kelly