Tuesday 28 April (Day 28 of 30 Days of Biking) 2015. First Shooting Stars

It was 57 degrees F and mostly sunny at 12:30 this afternoon when I took Discovery II out for a ride to Meadowbrook Park to see whether the shooting stars (Dodecatheon meadia, prairie flowers) had yet made their appearance.

Rode south in Race Street, succumbing again to the urge to photograph “my” (because I like it) apple tree. The last, really attenuated, shriveled apple was still there, but the real attraction was the incredible bloom.

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And, happily, the blossoms were abuzz with bees. Very likely there will be apples this year!

The flowering trees along Race Street were full of blooms and the tree leaves were still small and light green–loved the prolongation of early spring that the cooler temperatures provided.

At Meadowbrook got off of Discovery II near the garden plots to walk toward the soft path through the prairie. Stopped at the little wooden bridge to get a view of McCullough Creek, with the little waterfall over the fallen tree.

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Then walked in to the middle of the prairie, which still was dominated by last year’s flattened, bleached plant remains, with green shoots and small leaves just starting to be evident among them.

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Was not sure the shooting stars would be up yet. For sure their bloom was not past!

Spotted some leaves on the left (north, more or less) side of the path that could have been shooting stars, and sure enough, they were.

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But it looked like some creature had eaten their tops–the first prairie plants must make good eating for winter-hungry animals.

Nearby, though, were more plants, with whole leaves and buds, and then also an open flower!

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Looked to the left and right as I proceeded along the path to check for plants in other places and found some on the left, between the first patch and one on the right I’d seen for several years. The first one was pinkish, this last was white.

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I apologize for the blurry photo, but it seems like I always have had trouble getting shooting stars clearly focused. still, it was a happy event to see them.

Back on the paved path, took a turn into the short loop and on to the the Richardson wildflower walk, where the woodland phlox (Phlox divaricata) were just starting to bloom.

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The phlox with their gorgeous blue asterisks of flowers were as pleasant to see as the shooting stars, though they are much more common and don’t provoke quite as much anticipation and detailed following of their distribution and development.

Another spring woodland flower I found in bloom a little way down the path was Jacob’s ladder (Polemonium reptans), the blooms of which also were a beguiling blue.

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Noticed two plants of them, fewer than there were last year and many fewer than in years previous. Repeated observation of nature makes one aware of change and loss (ask any botanist!), of how it never is quite the same from one year to the next. Like all of life, one can never take the scene for granted or expect to see it again but only appreciate what is here now.

On the way home stopped to take in the glory of crab and apple trees, fully loaded with fresh blooms, against the blue sky.

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They were in shades of pink and also white.

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Knew they would not last long, but was grateful to be awake for the beautiful, eternal moment.

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