Friday 29 May 2012. The Elusive Royal Catchfly, and Other Prairie Flowers

Rode Discovery this morning; the back tire is good as new after a minor adjustment.

This was, hands down, the very hottest morning of the year so far. Didn’t get a numeric reading, but it just felt hot, which it normally does not, at 5:15 AM.  But it did cool off some going from home toward Meadowbrook Park.

Again today there were some clouds to give the sunrise some color and texture.

Compass plant against sunrise

Today’s post is pretty much all about the flowers of Meadowbrook.  At the southwest corner of the park, the yellow coneflowers were starting to make a yellow blanket.   More blooms were opening on those sentinels of the prairie, the compass plants.  There

Way-blooming compass plant

also were good-sized areas of green with white flowers: Baptisiaand rattlesnake master, especially.  Clumps of tall prairie grasses are becoming more evident.

Tall but still young prairie grass and sky

Really wanted to spot the royal catchfly this morning.  Stood on the observation platform and looked and looked but didn’t see

Can you find the royal catchfly? Hint: it’s behind a Baptisia.

it.  So was just going to go into the prairie and search but did finally see it from the edge before I went ahead, ignoring the possible attacks of chiggers and deer ticks (they must be out there, with all the deer) and got close and photographed the few

Royal catchfly hiding among a lot of other tall plants.

plants with the gorgeous red-star flowers.  It’s so easy to get a decent photo of them!  Cardinal flower (who knows what kind of

Royal catchfly closeup

year it’s going to be for them?) is still my favorite, but I do get a similar surge of endorphins when I look at these.

Also got a fairly decent close-up of Culver’s root.

Best shot yet of Culver’s root

Farther on, stood on the Windsor/Vine bridge for a while; heard a couple of brief bullfrog solos; saw the spreading rings where the tadpoles touch the surface to gulp air.  Occasionally one would jump part way out of the water, like it couldn’t wait to be in the more terrestrial stage of its life.  But I detected no beavers.  Also wonder where the duck family went.

There were at least three species of blooming plants the identity of which I was not sure.  Will have to look them up.

Saw lots and lots of red blackberries, especially at the northwest corner of the park.  The SD card had only one shot left, and I didn’t want to do a bunch of deleting just then.  Will get a pic another time, maybe when I figure out the mystery flowers.

Crazy flowers, including a mystery species, and sky

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