It was 46, or so, degrees F at 7 this morning as the sun came up in a partly cloudy sky. Destination on Rhododendron was very specifically to see whether there were any bottle gentians in the middle of the Meadowbrook Park prairie, near the “soft” path.
But did stop for white iris,
Then proceeded to Meadowbrook directly to the Art and Billie Spomer Prairie,
Moved along at a brisk pace on the path, glad that the grass leaning into the middle was not so dense as it was the last time I tried to look for bottle gentians here. Seemed like the spent flower-tops of the grasses were weathering down.
And the goldenrod flowers were moving from yellow toward ochre. Was surprised that the fragrance of mint was so strong here. Have seen mountain mint around here before, but didn’t realize the scent persists long after the flowers are done blooming.
Was surprised that the prairie was so brown and seemingly pretty much done with the bloom for the year.
It made me sad, less that it had reached this stage, more that I had missed a lot of the process (and isn’t it just about always about the process?). Yet here I was, with wonders of a more subtle kind in front of me: the task was to refocus.
Looked carefully for bottle gentians but found none, unless this one counts.
Thought maybe it was just cream gentian blooms that got a little purple as they aged. The leaves seemed narrow like bottle gentians, but couldn’t be sure. Looked like I was way late for it; tells me I need to check earlier next year.
Did also find a couple of straggling but definitive cream gentian flowers.
Had only a small window of time and now had to get back, a bit sad and regretful, but ever glad and grateful to have been here at all. Makes me think, in life it would be so nice to have the equivalent of scarlet cardinal flowers, golden compass plant blooms, and azure-blue bottle gentians around all year, when what happens is that they may visit only briefly. Still, their very existence, ever, like sweet times, even moments, of harmony and balance is cause for gratitude.