Sunday 11 August 2013. First a Ride Out in the Country, Then Some Time with the Red Flowers

Started off at 5:30 this morning, when it was still rather dark. August advances.

So headed out to the countryside (today straight south on Race Street) first so there would be more light later with which to behold the royal catchfly and cardinal flowers.

The temperature was 57 degrees F and the sky was clear with a bit of a northerly breeze. The sunrise over the cornfields was a wash of soft, even gradation of color. 20130811-083204.jpg
Passed this collection of signs that made me wonder what manner of awful things was happening inside. 20130811-083417.jpg
Felt comfortable enough on Rhododendron, especially with the beautiful weather and the new seat, but had gone to bed later than I should have (to get up, rested, at 5, that is) and didn’t quite have the usual enjoyment rolling along on the road bike. Admitted that between the fatigue and the foreword position, did not notice as many features of the surroundings as I have on other trips.

Did notice that the tassels on the vigorous-looking corn plants didn’t seem to have a lot of dangling flower parts; had I never noticed them at this stage before? 20130811-084100.jpg
Also saw a tree that looked kind of like an illustration from a favorite children’s book, Margaret Wise Brown’s The Runnaway Bunny. 20130811-084333.jpg
Thought how it’s the antithesis of parenting teens (and I have a friend who has always hated it for its “smothering” approach, period), but still I feel like there is a part of most teenagers, deep down, that craves and expects their parents to pursue them (at a respectful distance) through their escapades.

But back to Meadowbrook Park!

Oh, yeah, there were cardinal flowers in the early sun and the shade by McCullough/Davis creeks! Kept trying to get sharp pictures and close-ups. 20130811-084717.jpg Tried to get a shot of each of the plants.

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It was impossible not to be stirred and energized by this display, not to mention that there was another group of magical red flowers, the royal catchfly, that still awaited my visit.

On the way saw the halberd-leafed rose mallow, this time with a closed bud rather than an open flower. Still it was a lovely pink.
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Locked Rhododendron to the little bridge over Davis Creek and walked the soft path from the east to see the royal catchfly. Wondered whether there still were any tick trefoil flowers left, and soon saw quite a few, though many plants had fallen over and they bore sticky seed pods as well as flowers. They were not flashy and red but lovely in their quieter, more delicate way.
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And the flashy red, full-sun loving royal catchfly in the very heart of the prairie were gorgeous and, in their limited area, quite abundant.
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They were especially magnificent in combination with the yellows of the yellow coneflowers and the purples of the iron weed and Monarda.

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The sun on all the compositions of color, value, and shape was spectacular this morning. Made me think, “Nature is such a patient, inexhaustible teacher!” I was wide awake and overflowing with the August offering of the prairie. But of course it was time to go. Like my trip to Belgium over spring break many years ago, better for a short time than not at all!

Worked hard not to stop for more photos but did catch the tall, delicate pink Gaura against the passing yellow coneflowers, rosinweed, and Heliopsis and the blue sky at the northwest corner before heading home.
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