Saturday 6 September 2014. Ending Cardinal Flowers, Beginning Bottle Gentians

It was 63 degrees F and cloudy this morning at 7:15, heading out on Rhododendron to Meadowbrook Park. Was beyond delighted to be able to squeeze a little ride into this busy day, especially after having stayed home a couple days with the virus that was going around. Also was finally caught up on old posts and ready for a new one.

Had kept my eye on the strange irises next to the apple tree on Race Street;

there was a second stem of fresh blooms. Not bad for irises in September.

As for the apples, there were plenty, both in the tree and on the ground.

Rode on to Meadowbrook wanting to see the last of the cardinal flowers and perhaps the first of the bottle gentians.

Just before I got there, noticed that the vigorous corn that had been growing in the field at the northwest corner of Race and Windsor had been completely harvested, or at least removed. Quite early, I think, and also seems like the plants were still green.

Took the semi-mandatory shot of McCullough Creek from the rabbit-statue bridge. Have really gotten to like observing the subtle differences from
one visit to the next.

Saw a hint of red upstream on the bank of Davis Creek, suggesting there still were a few cardinal flowers abloom. Knew it would probably take some serious bush-whacking to reach them, but this likely was my last opportunity of the season and went forth into the riparian vegetation. Was rewarded with the sight of the last few survivors.

Was sad to see them decline, but at least I’d seen them close to their peak. Was grateful to have been in their magnificent presence for another turn of the seasons.

South of the rabbit-statue bridge, quite a few of the goldenrod flowers looked past bloom.

Expected to see a great mass of yellow goldenrod, but was kind of sad to have missed the peak of the bloom, mourning not what was past but what I never got to see. That or it just was less spectacular than previous years. But then saw plenty of them still in bud and early bloom: probably the bloom was just more drawn out, not so synchronous this time. Oh, how past experience can make it hard to behold the present without bias!

Then made my way directly to the Marker statue, and down among the grass in front of it found the bottle gentians in bud, just about exactly where they’d been for the past four years that I’ve been observing them.

Like so much that these last-blooming flowers are so hidden and so exquisite.

Time was running out and so turned right back around. On the way back noticed cream gentians (in a place where I hadn’t seen them last year) that were still rather fresh-looking.

It was almost the brief time of overlap of the cream and bottle gentian blooms.

The time was short, but was more than pleased with this day’s offerings.


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