Tuesday 14 October 2014. Mushrooms and Gentians (Surprise) and Some Fall Color

At about 12:30 this afternoon it was 61 degrees F with a cloudy, like, clouds on clouds, with an occasional gap, sky. Just kind of bolted for Meadowbrook when the opportunity arose; wanted to see what the Marker statue bottle gentians were doing. Of course it meant passing by “mushroom world,” though first zoomed in on a couple of apples (from “my” tree) on the street next to a cloud-reflecting puddle.


The mushrooms (Amanita muscaria) were definitely aging,
some reaching maximal development;

others were starting to fade and dry out

without fully developing.

Still there were a few boldly colored young caps,

even still some proto-mushrooms barely out of the ground.

And here’s one that looked (in shape and size!) a lot like a pie (or, in shape but not size, the “State Farm Center”/U of I Assembly Hall).

Farther along Race Street were green-leafed oak trees just starting to be tinged with yellow.

Did not check to see if the construction on Windsor Road had progressed enough to be able to cross it at Race and detoured to the east at McHenry, where several trees (maples of some kind, I think) had burst into orange.

Meadowbrook Park, which I entered from Vine Street and proceeded by my less commonly followed clockwise route, showed quite a bit of orange, even in the grasses.

Flowers now were few, though not completely absent. Most notable was a stalk of fresh-looking compass plant flowers,

which were uncommon this year during its regular blooming season, as well as a few tall Coreopsis, yellow cone flowers, and still plenty of frost aster. And, of course, hopefully, some bottle gentians.

Checked near the Marker statue, and, yes, the gentians, though showing their age, still were there. So was the garden spider. Amazing that something strung with invisible fibers up in the moving grass would persist for weeks! Hoped that some pollinators had made it past the web to the flowers.

The gentian blooms still were lovely, even as they obviously aged.
Like the idea of that, one reason they are among my very favorite flowers.

Stopped for a shot of the Davis/McCullough creeks confluence from the rabbit bridge. The water was high and quiet. What was slowing it down?

On the way home along the northern edge of Meadowbrook stopped for a snapshot of the state of autumn on this day, in this place. Goldenrod had just finished blooming, frost aster still were plentiful–looked like they and not the bottle gentians would win the latest-bloom prize this year. There were orange-leafed shrubs, crab apples with past-ripe fruit and few but still some green leaves.

Noticed some mind-pictures of this place in previous autumns, ones with nicer colors, more pleasing compositions. Ah, the preference, the prejudice! Hard as the layers of years build up to just observe the beauty of the present, to accept “now” for what it is. But that’s the very rewarding goal.


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