Sunday, July 31, 2011

Roadside Companions

     A few posts ago, I brought up the issue of what seems to be unnecessary roadside mowing.  A friend and colleague classes such over-ambitious activity as "recreational mowing."  On our morning bike ride today, we were favored with American Goldfinches as they picked through the seeds of prairie sunflowers.  This is the prize we can have if we leave the country and highway roadsides to their capability to flower and attract wildlife.  The goldfinches fly along with us as we roll along, intermittently perching and pecking out the seeds.  Stopping to take better closeups, I was allowed to watch within a few feet of this goldfinch as it picked through the morning groceries. 


  1. I love walking along country roads and watching the butterflies, bees and birds feeding at the flowers...but it's become a very rare sight around here (SW Sedgwick County) as our county road crews take great care to mow and/or spray any broad-leafed plant that they see. Last summer I was heartbroken to notice a beautiful stand of milkweed sprayed and killed near the creek a few hundred yards north of us. And the clump of dotted gayfeather that is trying to help hold the soil on the steep slope in front of our home get scalped at least once a summer, usually right before it's due to bloom. Any suggestions, Ken, on changing this mindset?

  2. Gaia, try contacting your county road engineer (look for the Road Department in your phone book) and encourage him to think about reduced mowing and spraying to save tax dollars as well as improve the beauty of our country roadsides.