Friday 10 July 2010.  The Prairie Bloom in a Wet Mid-July. 

Was happy this morning to get out at 5:10 (finally!), when it was 62 degrees F, and, surprise, surprise, cloudy.  

Sunshine or no, a lot of robins were tweeting enthusiastically. 

Still, it was an effort setting out, and the beginning of the ride on Discovery II to Meadowbrook Park was a little foggy, inside and also a bit outside.   Felt a pang of sadness about various examples of human frailty in my life at the moment, but also felt, right then, like there was room for it, which lent an unexpected sense of comfort.  The pedaling was smooth and satisfying and felt better and better as Meadowbrook approached. 

Got a shot of high McCullough Creek with early light and some fog in the background.  

 
And on down the path Later got a view of the eastern sky with a bit of color and   a trace of fog over the prairie.  

 
Noticed that there still was a lot of green and that compass plants, for one example, were not common this year, again. Is it too wet for them to thrive?  Wondered whether if there were such a thing as a “typical” year for a plant. 

At the Freyfogel overlook white (and the pale pink of Culver root) flowers were common–Baptisia, mountain mint–under the clouds and mist. 

  
The flame-like spikes of Culver root were lovely against the green and the fog. 

 
While there, checked on the lead plant, which was mostly past bloom, but there were a few remaining blooms and the foliage still looked characteristically festive. 

     

    A little farther along got some “bouquet” shots: as many species as possible in one frame.  Here are yellow and purple coneflower, false sunflower, Monarda, rosinweed, and blackberry. 

    Rode past the playground to the edge of the park bounded by Windsor Road and noticed for the first time (after how many years?) that one of the small trees near the path was an apple.  

     I’d assumed they were all crabs, which the others are. How wonderful it is to keep looking in the same places and continuing to find new things! 

    Went for a few more “bouquet” shots, here prairie dock, rosinweed, Culver root,   

    Got a shot featuring the rosinweed, another  of the stately yellow-topped species (including compass plant, cup plant, and prairie dock) of the genus Sylphium.  
     
    So was this Friday morning in July. Still cloudy but now mostly out of the fog. 

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    About Velo du Jour

    I am a 61 year old mom/wife, former biologist, and presently certified Iyengar yoga teacher, and I love, besides biking (and other things), nature, swimming, drawing, photography, yarn, exploring adoption themes, and putting people at ease. In April 2012, I participated in "30 Days of Biking "http://30daysofbiking.com/ on Twitter, sponsored by a group of "joyful cyclists" in Minneapolis during the month of April. I loved tweeting about each day's ride so much I didn't want to stop! "Velo du Jour" is a continuation of recording and sharing my rides post-30 Days of Biking.
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