Tuesday, March 22, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Ride: Green and Henbit

(ABOVE: Cyclists often wear bright colors anyway. St. Patrick's Day provides an excuse for me to wear green socks.)

St. Patrick's Day was celebrated as usual on March 17, and for 2011, I joined friends for a bicycle ride. A few folks wore Irish themed cycling jerseys. I contributed by wearing green socks!

(ABOVE: Mike Neal and Terry Englert show their St. Patrick's Day spirit with appropriate jerseys. BELOW: The green tires on my bike are always ready for March 17!)

I enjoy the rides for the conversation as much as the exercise, and sometimes a little education too. On the ride into the country, the usual wisecracking Mike Neal noted the small pink flowers blooming in the open fields. I've seen these flowers before, but I never thought much about them.

Visually, the pink is stunning. The flowers can really illuminate an otherwise bland field. The zillions of pink blooms appear clustered into a field of solid color in the distant horizon... really pretty!

Mike told me the flowers were Henbit. I learned these are weed flowers which bloom early in the Spring. Like most wildflowers, they lose their intense color and disappear when temperatures warm up toward Summer.

(ABOVE: I showed this on TV. A field of Henbit overtaking this farmland near Bixby. Beautiful!)

I stopped my bicycle to snap pictures of the Henbit. I showed the photos on the TV morning news, and a few viewers emailed saying "thanks" as they wondered what they were too.

Thanks Mike. Now we know!

(BELOW: I should have worn this green jersey on the St. Patrick's Day ride. Would have matched my socks AND tires! ;)

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