Wednesday 4 June 2014. A Break in the Rain to See the Prairie Planting

Very early this morning the wind really blew and the rain really fell, and there was some electrical activity, besides, and I didn’t know whether I’d be able to go out on the bike at the usual time.

But by 5 there didn’t seem to be lightning, and so (closer to 6) donned a raincoat and headed on Rhododendron for just a quick trip to the prairie planting near the U of I president’s house on Florida Avenue.

It was 63 degrees F. Could see evidence of the storm, but it didn’t seem like much considering how violent the wind sounded when it woke me up earlier.

The neighborhood was lush with dark green and just starting to give off the fragrance of linden.

Could not resist a few shots of wet cabbage roses near “my” apple tree.

The rain actually had stopped as I approached the prairie planting. Almost there, in the street close to the curb noticed a different-looking road-killed animal: its thick grey fur and large, clawed, pink “hand” suggested it was a mole, poor thing :(. No photos.

The prairie planting looked green and low from a distance, but closer up could see lots of flowers. The numerous Penstemon already had mostly open flowers, a few buds and already spent blooms.

Decided that the yellow umbels I’ve been seeing around (here also) actually are native golden Alexanders (Zizia aurea) and not exotic wild parsnip, which apparently bloom later. Think I had the same confusion and doubt last year–a little embarrassing.

Was very surprised to see these Heliopsis (false sunflowers) so soon in the year, and in such large numbers.

There was wild quinine, which I’d already seen at the Lincoln Bindery garden,

20140604-122758.jpg and, also surprisingly for this early in the season, purple coneflower, which looked lovely decorated with raindrops.

Then there was a large, gorgeous bunch of rain-sprinkled spiderwort!

One more surprise was foliage of what I think might turn out to be lead plant!

20140604-123415.jpg Need to follow its progress and see whether that’s really what it is.

On the way back the rain started to resume. It was a very rewarding little trip!


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