Thursday 30 July 2015. Birthday Cardinal Flowers at Meadowbrook 

It was 65 degrees F, at least, at about 8 am, when I left for Meadowbrook Park on the morning of my 60th birthday!   

Actually the trip was a little rushed because earlier I was luxuriating in catching up on previous posts,

 and later I would be participating in a most wonderful yoga intensive workshop. But how could I not see whether there were cardinal flowers at Meadowbrook on this momentous day?
So made a beeline for Meadowbrook on Vine Street, which put me at the Windsor-Vine bridge over McCullough Creek.  Decided to take the path along the creek and maybe stop on the way and check out the stream between the bridges on the way to the rabbit-statue bridge and the possible cardinal flowers. 

Spotted a worn path through the dense riparian vegetation to the creek and walked in.  

 
The path was so narrow!  And the pipe that used to let water through when the beavers were about was still there, exposed and no longer useful. 

Did see some lovely vervain with the sun behind them.  

 
The mosquitoes loved this spot, as well. And that I was there with some breakfast.

 Back on the path, on the southwestern edge of the “small loop” caught a nice arrangement of Monarda, false sunflower, and yellow coneflower. 

Stopped to check some common milkweeds where I’d seen monarch caterpillars in the past.   There was evidence of possible caterpillar feeding
  

but found no actual caterpillars, alas. 

Rode to the rabbit-statue bridge and stood above McCullough Creek, with expectation but not convinced there would be any cardinal flowers to see. 

And at first when I looked there was only green. 

  

But from past experience knew that the first look does not tell all and kept looking. Amazingly, a tiny spot of red materialized!

A lot of prickly vegetation stood between me and the cardinal flowers, but today I had to get close to them!  Carefully stepped to the edge of Davis Creek and aimed across for a photo. 
  

Then noticed a couple of stalks with early cardinal flower buds at the top and the stubs of bitten-off (I assume) leaves along their lengths. 

  
Made me wonder how many spikes of cardinal flowers there would be if they weren’t such apparently tasty fare for some creature (rabbits?) and what incredible odds they overcome to show their scarlet glory to the world!

 

Gratefully accepted this wonderful birthday present, as it were, from beloved Meadowbrook Park!

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