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Jeff Lampe
Jeff Lampe

Jeff Lampe has been outdoor writer at the Journal Star in Peoria for 12 duck seasons. He lives in Elmwood with his wife Monica, sons Henry, Victor and Walter, and Llewellin setter Hawkeye. A native of Buffalo, N.Y., he is an avid fan of the Bills and still has mental scars from four consecutive Super Bowl losses. Outside of hunting and fishing, Lampe's main passion in Illinois was Class A boys basketball (which sadly no longer exists). Former publisher of the Class A Weekly newsletter, Lampe is a co-author of "100 Years of Madness" and "Classical Madness," both books focusing on prep basketball in Illinois.

Illinois Outdoors
 

Scattershooting

A Web log by Jeff Lampe of the Journal Star

Illinois hunting and fishing

August 10: Picture of the Day

August 10, 2010 at 09:52 PM

This is a good time to see ironweed blooming in roadside ditches, at least those remaining ditches that have not yet been mowed.

The state has actually done a fine job of keeping the mowers in the shed this year and there’s plenty of ironweed blooming across Illinois. Thanks budget cuts.

What strikes me about this picture is that what at first glance looks like one flower is actually tons of smaller flowers. Or at least that’s what it looks like to me.

The Web site Easywildlfowers.com says this:

“The flowers attract long-tongued bees, butterflies, and skippers primarily. Other visitors include bee flies and Halictid bees. These insects seek nectar, although bees also collect pollen. Among the long-tongued bees, are such visitors as bumblebees, Epeoline cuckoo bees, Miner bees, and large Leaf-Cutting bees. An oligolectic bee of Ironweeds is Melissodes vernoniae. The caterpillars of several moths feed on Ironweed, including Grammia parthenice (Parthenice Tiger Moth) and Perigea xanthioides (Red Groundling). Caterpillars that bore into the roots or stems of Ironweed include Papaipema cerussata (Ironweed Borer Moth), Carmenta bassiformis (Eupatorium Borer Moth), and some Polygrammodes spp. (Pyralid Moths). The bitter foliage of Ironweed deters consumption by mamamalian herbivores – it is known as an ‘increaser’ because it is one of the last plants to be eaten in overgrazed pastures.”

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