Spring flowers for Juneathon

juneathon_participant_logoThanks to Red Hen – an Irish runner whose blog I started following after the Dublin Marathon – I learned about this thing called “Juneathon.” You run (or bike, or walk, or do jumping jacks – some kind of exercise) every day in June and blog about it. As simple (or fiendishly difficult) as that!

Several of my friends are doing a “40 day challenge,” which I already wimped out on, and I need to get in some more cross-training other than biking, so perfect timing with the Juneathon!

Here is my first official Juneathon post which, like redhenrun’s, will feature wildflowers.

I like biking south out of town on Highway 71. The traffic is easy to manage, and there is a good challenge getting up and over the Wildcat Hills. Last week, Bugman and I turned around at the westbound Highway 88 intersection. This week, we set a turnaround of the former Banner County Cafe.

Distance: 53 miles (85 km)    Total climb: 2,469 feet (752 m)

I just cannot get over how green the countryside is now. My eyes are drinking it up after the drab browns of winter.

One of the emerald views of the Wildcat Hills on the way up.

One of the emerald views of the Wildcat Hills on the way up.

The cloud cover came and went, but we did not get rained on this time.

The longhorns from the museum where I work are on holiday on their summer pasture in Banner County. Hellooo, ladies!

The longhorns from the museum where I work are on holiday on their summer pasture in Banner County. Hellooo, ladies (and babies)!

Some of my favorite birds were out in force: western meadowlark, western kingbird, lark bunting, mountain bluebird, loggerhead shrike.

A quick pic of the tandem at our hilltop turnaround, and then some wildflower photos. It’s Nebraska Wildflower Week, after all!

Bike resting on a "bobwore fence." It's so stinkin' beautiful here!

Bike resting on a “bobwore fence.” It’s so stinkin’ beautiful here!

Note: most of these flowers are small and unassuming. You typically have to get out into the grassland and hike if you’re not lucky enough to be able to spot them roadside from a bicycle saddle. While I saw all of these flowers today, some of the pictures were taken in other years.

western wild rose

western wild rose – it smelled so lovely next to this bush! Made me think of my grandma Rita.

shell leaf penstemon

shell leaf penstemon

wild blue flax

wild blue flax

scarlet guara

scarlet guara

scarlet globe mallow

scarlet globe mallow

lavender leaf primrose

lavender leaf primrose

And one more photo pf lavender leaf primrose in a background shot, to show how the blossoms fade from yellow to orange, and also to show off one of the cuter reptiles in western Nebraska - the horned toad (aka short-horned lizard). This photo was taken during a wildflower hike in Kimball County in 2010.

And one more photo of lavender leaf primrose, to show how the blossoms fade from yellow to orange, and also to show off one of the cuter reptiles in western Nebraska – the horned toad (aka short-horned lizard). This photo was taken during a wildflower hike in Kimball County in 2010.

Not all of my Juneathon posts will be this photogenic, but sometimes western Nebraska just can’t help it!

Copyright 2014 by Katie Bradshaw

One thought on “Spring flowers for Juneathon

  1. Thank you for the mention! I won’t take any credit for your interest in fauna, though. Just getting out there running has rekindled that interest for me and that’s kinda natural for all runners I should think.

    I love your pics! Wow, that rose grows here too, far, far away from Nebraska heat-or real heat of any description.

    What a colourful start to your Junathon!

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