Sunday 7 September 2014. Nature Lovely, Wet, and Cold

It was 52 degrees F and mostly clear this morning at 6:45. My wonderful cycling jacket was just a little insufficient to keep me quite comfortable, but tried to think warm thoughts on the way to Meadowbrook Park.

Peeked at the banks of Davis Creek just upstream of the rabbit-statue bridge; no cardinal flowers were evident.

There was mist over the ground that was condensing heavily on every surface.

Took a close-up of the sneeze weed growing near where cardinal flowers used to be;
it’s been a couple-three years already since I saw any cardinal flowers there. Like sneeze weed for its comical name and shape that makes me think of clowns.

Wondered if this grass might be something other than big bluestem.

Caught the delicate, dangling flower parts of the Indian grass. So it has a later bloom than big bluestem, apparently.

Wanted to go to the middle of the prairie on the soft path, the entrance to which was lined with burgeoning common ragweed covered with dew, to see whether there were any royal catchfly flowers left at all.

The tall big bluestem and Indian grass was heavy with dew and leaned far into the path.

It was kind of nice to be brushed by the wet grass when there wasn’t quite so much of it and it wasn’t so cold, but now I was downright chilly, and getting distracted from beholding the full beauty of the dewey prairie morning.

Did, however, manage to catch the beaded tops of the ryegrass,

a garden spider in its densely woven web,

and stiff goldenrod, which were in full bloom and hosting beetles and tree crickets.

Did not see any bottle gentians near the path, where they were last year, but there were a lot of cream gentians, both past bloom and still rather fresh.

Saw no remaining royal catchfly, though the place where they’d been was rather densely overgrown with goldenrod, and wet, and cold: i.e., not appealing to go explore.

Felt just really really cold as I made my way back to the paved path; surely the ice bucket challenge (immediately after which, I suppose, one dries off with a fluffy towel and puts on dry clothes) could not be more uncomfortable! I need to send a check to the ALS Foundation or the Ferguson Boys’ and Girls’ Club, or some place like that, since I told my nephew I’d accept the challenge (before, of course, I knew how to go about it).

Noticed as I hurried back how a dewey stalk of big bluestem was just a little taller than a dewey tall Coreopsis.

Felt a little disappointed in myself for this, but just wanted to get back now and get warm. Have to come back when the prairie is dry.


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