Monday 10 August 2015. Surprise Cardinal Flowers and Mushrooms 

It was 6:30 am and 73 degrees as I made my way under a cloudy, foggy sky from a quick stop at Starbuck’s (for the mood-enhancing effects of coffee and writing on this blog) to the pool at Crystal Lake. It wasn’t a planned cycling trip, but saw something I wanted to report. 

Decided to avoid the traffic of University Avenue and rode on the sidewalk, next to which was a nice municipal planting of semi-native plants. I say semi-native because along with the mostly bloomed-out Liatris there were white flowers I didn’t recognize, purple coneflowers in odd, dark colors.  The first feature that caught my eye was the mushroom, pale beige with a scalloped edge.  

And there were more of them, with plainer edges.  Then noticed, of all things, cardinal flowers!  

They didn’t look quite the same as the ones I saw at Meadowbrook and the Japan garden pond.  

 (After looking at the photo I suspect the grass is prairie dropseed.)

They were a slighty less intense shade of red, and the flowers were of a slightly different shape.  

Still, it was a happy discovery. 

Another curiosity of the place was what looked like fungus on a Liatris flower/seed head that resembled a frozen waterfall. 

On the ground were more clumps with just the filamentous part, but they were hard to photograph. 

Liked being drawn in to and sharing this unplanned  observation of surprise wonders of gardening, if not exactly of nature. You never know what might be right next to you to see till you stop and look!


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