Traveling Through Verdant Illinois Countryside

Coming home to Bloomington, Illinois from Chicago, the usual lines of orange construction cones were out on the road, for which I dutifully slowed down.  This time there was about five miles of work being done, just some patches and a few miles of road resurfacing.  Frankly, I have traveled a lot of this state’s transportation system, and it all needs a major overhaul.  Anyway, just to be sure my tired old brain did not tell my numb old foot to stamp on the gas, especially in high ticket zones around construction, I had printed out a large, colorful sign for my dashboard:  DRIVE SLOW.  I even held my cheerful sign in my hand when I felt the urge to pass my bugaboo, view-obstructing, big rig, 18-wheeler trucks.  Holding a sign to slow myself down is something I never thought to do when I was young, and I got a few tickets because of it.  Back then tickets were a small amount, now I would have to budget to pay for one.

 

Sure enough, there in the construction zone sat a mournful, young woman in a red jalopy with a highway patrolman parked right behind her.  (They always seem to go for the poor, like a lion picking off the weakest gazelle.)  She caught my eye as I drove past, and I felt the reflection of her sadness flow from her to me and back again, but sympathy will not help her pay her ticket.  A little way later I pulled over to the side of the road to rest, and I took a few photographs from inside the car, of the sky above the road I traveled, of the verdant* Illinois countryside.  Some never stop to look and so they think that Illinois is flat and dull, but walk just a mile of it and you will travel over rich, food-growing earth, edged with hundreds of different types of wild flowers:  just a few of which are blue chicory, buttercups, Queen Anne’s lace, tall thistle, daisies of all sorts, purple prairie clover, yellow coneflower, compass plant (it slowly moves its leaves to avoid full sunlight), bee balm, goldenrod, blue aster, and many native grasses pretty enough to hold their own against the more colorful flowers.

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*  I love words, and verdant is a particularly evocative word for Illinois:  green · leafy · grassy · grass-covered · lush · rich · flourishing · thriving · teeming · prolific · rampant · overgrown · dense · thick · verdurous · viridescent · virid . . . 

Caption:  Traveling Through Verdant Illinois Countryside-1

by Annmarie Throckmorton 2018

Caption:  Traveling Through Verdant Illinois Countryside-2

by Annmarie Throckmorton 2018

 

 

 

 

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