Saturday 18 July 2015. Compass Plants at the Barnhart Prairie Restoration

It was 75 degrees F this morning at 6:00. The sky had been tinged with pink closer to sunrise, but now it was more of a neutral gold in the east, where there were thin clouds. 

Had put a new wheel on Rhododendron (the original one, actually; switched to the the other one because it had a quick release) and felt pretty confident I wouldn’t get a flat. 

Headed for the Barnhart Prairie Restoration to see what other versions of July prairie bloom there were about town. 

On the way took a peek under the grove of spruce trees for signs of mushrooms, and what do you know–there were some! 

Thought this one was an odd loner, but then  spotted others.  

Was sure they were Amanita muscaria, but every one was pale rather than orange and didn’t show the textured spots very prominently as many of them did last fall. It was nice to see them. Wondered whether there would be lots of them later in the season. 

There was another species of mushroom there under the spruces.  

Not nearly so flashy, nor so sbundant. 

Rode along Meadowbrook Park on Windsor Road and stopped for some bouquet shots.  

Monarda and yellow coneflower

 False sunflower, purple coneflower, rosinweed, 


Rattlesnake master, prairie dock, foliage of tall Coreopsis

and even the occasional full-sized compass plant.   

Rode on the sidewalk along Windsor road, next to the high chain link fence where lots of goldfinches (and other birds) hang out, until I reached Philo Road, where I had to cross the construction zone (well, not much of it)  to continue southward. 

Looking to the east could see the sun filtered through thin clouds, surrounded by an arc of halo and a sundog.  Seems like there have been more of these about in the last year or so, though I guess it’s just a matter of noticing them more. 

Turned west on Old Church Road. In the field across from the Barnhart Prairie restoration were a couple of a largish shapes that proved to be ring-necked pheasants, one just like the one on the sign for the little prairie. 

Pheasants are a curious part of a prairie restoration, as they are not native. But the are handsome and much more adaptable than, say, prairie chickens.  Another example of how we humans impose our ideas on nature. Don’t think its’s necessarily bad; don’t think we can help it. 

 The bloom here was similar to that of Meadowbrook though less profuse. What it did have over Meadowbrook was typically tall compass plants.  


And they seemed to be concentrated near the western edge. Makes one wonder about the conditions that allow them to thrive. 

Love those sentinels of the prairie, which look so handsome with the cloud-laced blue sky   behind them. 


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