Submitted by Satinder P S Puri on Sat, 07/10/2021 - 00:23.






On the early afternoon of a relatively cool and overcast 68 deg. F Friday, July 9, 2021, I was on my way to Marc’s -- for my biweekly grocery shopping.
I pulled my shopping cart along our driveway – crossed Cooley Avenue, made a left turn, and when I came to West 133rd Street -- I made a right.
When I am walking – I keep my eyes and ears in the active mode – I look all around – at the grass, the trees, the sky, -----. I always carry my pocket Sony digital camera around my neck – and I take lots of photographs of the objects around me.
You can imagine my surprise as I started walking along the western edge of the park – and looking down at the grass -- I saw blue flowers that I immediately recognized as chicory.
Now this the first time I saw chicory flowers this season. In past years – I have seen chicory flowers growing in the wild during the summer -- all over Cleveland.
Chicory flowers are wild flowers. They belong to the daisy family – and while they come in various colors – white, pink, and blue – the blue variety is dominant -- and you guessed it -- it is also known as the blue daisy – even though the flowers are smaller -- but the petals have a similar layout like the daisy – see attached photograph #3.
The lead photograph shows one of the chicory flowers – and if you look closely -- there is a bee feeding on the nectar. This is a good example of our universe at work -- a tiny creature feeding on a flower getting its energy from our sun -- 93 million miles away and living off nutrients in our park and and water coming from clouds above the park.
The busy bee – totally ignored me as I clicked my camera.
The second photograph is of a chicory plant showing nearly a dozen flowers.
I counted about half a dozen chicory plants in the southwest corner of the park.
Every time – I see a chicory plant – my mind flashes back to New York. My late wife and I (we moved here from NYC in 2001) used to take day trips in the summer and autumn to Montauk (eastern end of Long Island) on the LIRR (Long Island Railroad) or to Fire Island National Seashore (LIRR to Bay Shore, then walk a few miles, and then take a ferry to the island) – and we used to see chicory plants all over.
When I walked by the plants in the evening (on my way to play tennis) – around 7:45 p.m. – well I did not see the flowers -- you guessed it -- they had closed and gone to sleep for the late evening and night. They will start opening up at sunrise.
The third photograph is a comparison between the chicory flower and the Montauk daisy – growing in a pot in our backyard and which – a few weeks ago was the subject of a post titled: HELLO MISS DAISY. Here is the link to the post in case you missed it:



The chicory plant has many uses – sometimes the leaves are used for salad (I have never tried eating them), the buds and roots are baked and ground and used as a coffee substitute (never tried this either – I drink skimmed milk, no coffee for me), and an extract from the root is used as a food sweetener. Chicory is also grown as a forage crop for livestock.
Glad I saw the chicory today – when the south lawn gets mowed next time by the park’s crew -- the giant machine which makes no distinction as to what is of any aesthetic value – will chew up everything. But the plant is a perennial -- and will shoot up right away.
The emergence of the chicory is an indicator of approaching autumn – still about 70-days away.
It was a relatively cool day today – 68 deg. F according to the SVDP electronic board -- see #4. A few days ago – the daytime high was 92 deg. F.


The low tonight will be around 55 deg. F
Enjoy the summer!




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