Saturday 12 September 2015. Gentians and Other Joys of Late Summer

Started the day wanting to accomplish too many things by 9 am: prepare my afternoon yoga class, have a long bike ride, check the bloom at Meadowbrook, and post on this blog. “Impossible!” you say? Perhaps. But I entered all of those requests into the “central processing center” of my mind and tried to go with however it worked out. Which then did take the stress level down and let me enjoy what was possible.  It was an example of how less fussing can give better results. Engage. Let go. Skip the agonizing.  See what happens. 

The temperature was 52 degrees F as I left the house before dawn (about 5:45, yay!), the sky partly cloudy, the clouds spread out in long, threadbare sheets. 

Got through class prep. The mind did wander in the supine poses but managed not to berate myself as much as usual. Progress!

Then headed for Meadowbrook Park. There was no way a long ride was going to happen. Ok, let go. 

Knew there probably still was construction at Race so thought of approaching from Vine, but wanted to see how the Aminita muscaria mushroom population, the most abundant and ongoing group of mushrooms I’d ever seen, was doing. They weren’t as thick as they were last year, but there were plenty, and a lot of them were HUGE!


Also there were some of a darker orange than I’d seen so far this year.  

 The wonder of the mushroom haven continues; I’m never sure just what will be there at the next visit.   

Continued south on Race and stopped just north of Windsor Road, across from the U of I Pollinatarium for s sky shot. 


On my bike travels have been trying to note the places with a good view of the sky, and this is one. 

Entered Meadowbrook Park through the Vine Street entrance and proceeded pretty much directly to the Freyfogel Overlook, where the cream gentians were starting to have a lot of brown flowers but still had plenty of white ones. 


Here (once you’re standing up) definitely is another good place to see the sky. 

Loved the clouds, especially over the sea of goldenrod. 


Farther down the way, at the Marker statue, got to see a dense patch of tickseed, another variation on the late summer prairie’s theme of golden yellow,

with enough big bluestem and Indian grass behind it to establish its location in the prairie, and a wonderful foil of sky. 

Nearby found the soapwort gentians, which already were starting to fade. But what a treat they were to find!

Looked for and found the true bottle gentians

dark blue and late-blooming. 

Amazingly, there were nearby also some quite fresh cream gentian blooms. 


In my past experience the cream gentians had been pretty much all gone by the time the bottle gentians appeared. 

Also got a shot of goldenrod with another common late composite flower: boneset. Not sure if it was a common (Eupatotium

Saw a lovely spike of light blue flowers that  I’d seen at this site in years past but could never identify. 


Looked it up and finally figured out it was wild blue sage, Salvia azurea grandiflora, which apparently is a native species (yay!)

Kept going on the “big loop” path and stopped for a view of McCullough and Davis creeks from the rabbit statue bridge. 

The water was pretty high, and still. Liked the reflection of leaves and clouds on the smooth surface. 

Made my way to the crossing of Windsor Road at Race Street and found a little passage across the construction zone. 


Was grateful to whomever set that up. 

On the way back stopped at the place across from the Pollinatarium for another sky view. 

Tried to take in and hold its wide beauty as I set out for home and to meet the coming week’s challenges.


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