I walk three miles or so  every night. I have a designated route around the 'hood. Three laps around-flat and paved.  It is so beautiful tonight that I decided to go a different way around a big field. I stumbled onto a segment of the Ice Age Trail that I didn't know was there. I do so loves me a path in the woods!

The woods was chock-a-block full and covered with wonderful purple flowers.


I think it's called 'Mallow', but feel free to correct me in the comments if I'm wrong. 

I heard something crashing around in the woods and thought for sure that after 25+ years of searching the prairie lands, I was finally going to find a moose here. Since I spent the first 25 in Maine, it is an unkillable instinct to search every swamp, field and woods for them. I KNOW we don't have them here, but I STILL have to talk myself out of looking once my brain kicks in! Turns out, here as in Maine, nothing sounds like more a full grown bull moose on a mating-season rampage thqn two grey squirrels getting frisky in the underbrush. Sigh. 

The trail empties back out into the prairie. I'm so lucky, there is a paved bike path nearby and mown paths all through the grass for walking.

 The prairie has an entirely different set of flora and fauna. 

These Shooting Stars look like Lawn Darts to me!

I'm not sure what this is. I only saw one on my whole trek. I'll have to ask my plant-y friends and get back to you. Until then, I'm calling it Black Death Asparagus. 
(I emailed the UW Arboretum folks and they graciously told me that it's White Wild Indigo and will grow up to look like this!)

Here'a another one I don't know, although there were a ton of them where the grasses butt up against the woods. I think they are some kind of tree
(Later: I found it on line. It's a Shag Bark Hickory Tree)

I know what these guys are! Tent Caterpillars!  These are just baby ones. There are several small nests every spring in the same place on the prairie side of the trail.

At any rate, I'm glad I skipped my Rainman routine and off-roaded it tonight. I came in at just over 3 miles and will definitely take that trail again! Soul soothing!

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   
But I have promises to keep,   
And miles to go before I sleep,   
And miles to go before I sleep.


Michelle said…
Those purple flowers look just like my species geranium, but I wouldn't take that to the bank. The wild white indigo looks a LOT like asparagus. And I think you need a new canine friend to walk with you, for company AND safety!