Thursday 29 August 2013. Gentianmania and Its Accompaniments in the Midday Heat

Was really itching to ride today and see what was going on at Meadowbrook Park, even if it was 2:30 in the afternoon (really have become a morning cyclist, traffic being lightest and the temperatures cooler at that time of day). At least the way to Meadowbrook doesn’t involve a lot of traffic. The temperature was 82 degrees F at the beginning of the ride on Rhododendron, the road bike, but earlier it had been overcast and cool, and later it would be sunny and quite warm: a point of inflection. Now the clouds were in the process of breaking up. I think there was a slight breeze but don’t remember the direction from which it came. Maybe I actually do need a weatherman to know which way the wind was blowing.

First stop was, of course, the cardinal flowers below the rabbit bridge, at the confluence (when there is water, which there was not, today) of Davis and McCullough creeks. They were holding forth amid the company of more yellow flowers: the first goldenrod in addition to the wing stem and the brown-eyed Susans that had been there a while. One seems not to be able to get enough pictures of the dear flaming-bird cardinal flowers, from close up

20130905-165031.jpg or in groups, in the landscape.

Farther along the big loop path, the Bidens were starting to appear in their thick masses of very yellow composite flowers. But it’s hard to get a good shot of all that yellow, especially in the full afternoon sun. Besides, have to learn to use restraint with the photos.

Locked Rhododendron to the little bridge over Davis creek close to the beginning of the “soft” path and walked in toward the heart of the prairie. The big bluestem and Indian grasses were lank and tall as basketball players (or taller!) against the partly cloudy sky and blooming, with dangling (the only word for it) yellow stamens.


It was getting warmer as I walked toward the middle of the prairie and started spotting the cream gentians amid the tall Coreopsis, purple thistles, and budding and newly blooming stiff goldenrod. Oh, those gentians were numerous!

A good number of the blooms were open, and could hear and see bees of various kinds buzzing around, but was not able to get a photo of a bee going into a gentian flower, alas. Maybe I’d have had more patience to pursue one if the air were cooler. Still, got way more photos than I can use my limited storage capacity on Velo du Jour to show here. Their groupings made endlessly interesting compositions.

Was surprised and delighted that there still were quite a few bright red royal catchfly blooms, even if there were only two or three of them to a plant. It was past expectation to see them still there and made me glad for the privelige of seeing them at the end (talked about the last of the royal catchfly too soon) of their glorious bloom.

Saw pink Gaura and yellow tall Coreopsis blooms against the blue sky, though the Gaura flowers were shriveled-looking. Thought it was from the recent heat and lack of rain, but maybe they just do that at this time of day.

Speaking of which, the afternoon sun was getting unpleasantly warm; missed the way the air was in the morning.

20130905-171500.jpgWas somewhat distracted by the discomfort. Nevertheless felt once again the delight of and gratitude for traveling by bike to be among the prairie flowers.


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