Saturday 5 July 2014. The Summer Frogs and Flowers of Weaver Park

It was 61 degrees F this morning at 6:15 (having trouble seizing that fleeting summer bonus of daylight!). The sky was full of loosely-packed clouds that seemed to be spreading apart. Another gorgeously beautiful day was beginning!

Wanted to ride out to High Cross Road and check the edges of Brownfield Woods and beyond, going east on Washington, north on Cottonwood (past Trelease Woods), west on one of those connecting roads and south on High Cross….

But forgot that Washington at High Cross was closed, so decided to stop at the “buffalo-wallow” pond at Weaver Park and just see what was going on and walk across (hopefully the path would be mowed) to Main Street and continue the planned Ride.

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Approaching the sunken pond, heard a strange roaring rumble that took a moment to identify. Bullfrogs, of course! The noise gathered and resonated to quite a volume. One voice would begin, then others joined in, and still others, the sound building, roaring, and then it would stop, just shut off, with a sound like the click of a microphone switch. It sounded like a concert hall full of untrained would-be musicians, each with a double bass, trying unsuccessfully to play together, then realizing it wouldn’t work, stopping, then trying again. It was rather hypnotic, even with the volume. Just wanted to stay and listen. Had an idea then that the distance of the trip might need to be shortened.

Heard so much sound, but even with the zoom of the separate camera did not actually see a single frog! Saw pond plants, including arrowheads and something that resembled lotus the way the new leaves were rolled like two ends of a scroll, except that the leaf was cleft and oval rather than making a complete circle around its petiole.

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Also, near the water was swamp milkweed.

Walking on, was delighted by the variety and abundance of flowers: Monarda, Culver root, Heliopsis, purple and yellow coneflower, mountain mint, for starters.

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It was especially nice to see the prairie clover, which was present pretty much from one end of the park to the other.

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Wondered whether it was the long, cold winter or the wet spring and summer that brought out all the prairie clover.

Got a reasonably good close-up shot of the wild quinine.

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Saw lots of butterfly weed, low and scattered among the taller plants.

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There were lots and lots of beautiful, full pink Monarda.

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There was handsome bush clover, and a late but lovely spiderwort bloom.

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Was glad to see the path had been mowed–it’s a lot of work to walk a bike through tall vegetation! the recently-mowed part, w, toward The more recently-mowed part wound toward the Main Street side of the park until it seemed like it would end in a dark patch of trees.

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Fortunately it turned at the trees’ edge though here it was more overgrown but passable. Hoped I didn’t get too many chiggers. In the middle of the path noticed side-oats gramma grass, with its bright red little flowers.

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Toward the end of the path was some blue vervain with a foil of black-eyed Susans.

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Made it across to Main Street then headed home. Noticed lead plant in the prairie garden in Main across from the west edge of Weaver but didn’t stop to photograph it.

Thought wistfully of pedaling longer distances but still was full with the sounds and colors of this morning at Weaver Park.

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