Thursday 28 April 2016. Pink Shooting Stars

It was 66 degrees F under party cloudy skies at 11:55 this late morning of day 28 of 30 Days of Biking. Headed to Meadowbrook Park on Rhododendron to check out the shooting stars.

My very favorite biking is first thing in the morning, but am glad to have needed to get used to things like traffic and harsher light.

Rode to the rabbit-statue bridge over McCullough Creek for a shot of the high water.

img_5896
The more turbid water from Davis Creek was visible as it entered McCullough Creek.

Turned back then and stopped for a look at a pink flowering dogwood, the trunk and branches of which were covered with a shaggy grow of lichen.

img_5909
Walked the bike toward the Spomer Prairie, then wondered whether any Jacob’s ladder flowers had survived this stage of the ecological restoration now in progress at the Hickman Wildflower Walk and detoured to check.

There were a couple of them,

img_5910 delicate and lovely.

Stopped then at the little wooden bridge over babbling McCullough Creek and got a photo of a crayfish chimney in the foreground.

img_5914
And continued along the wet (soft!) path.

img_5915-1
A short way in noticed it was doing to be a big year for another early-blooming native prairie plant, golden Alexanders (which incidentally go by the delightful Latin name of Zizia aurea“.)

img_5918
But for my biased mind, this visit was all about the shooting stars, which were almost in view.

First saw the patch of pink ones!

img_5919

They came in shades from almost white

img_5924
to almost purple

img_5925
and mostly they seemed reasonably healthy.
A little way down and in the other side of the path was the cluster of white-flowered shooting stars.

img_5927
which were not as numerous as I’d expected. Then noticed several severed-edged flower stalks,

img_5930 as if the flowers were being eaten. Made me realize that the plants we get to see are what remains after the herbivory.

On the way back discovered yet another patch of pink shooting stars,

img_5935
protected, I think, by blackberry brambles.

On the way back out of the prairie, heard short buzzing sounds, like insects of some kind. Did see and hear one bumble bee, but it didn’t seem like flying bees were responsible for all the sounds. Maybe they’re under the thatch, out of sight, emerging into the oncoming growing season…. Led by the shooting stars.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s