Thursday 18 May 2016. First Meadowbrook Spiderwort, Under Glaring Sun

It was 48 degrees F this morning at 5:50, with some good-sized clouds in the western sky but none to the east. So right away the sun came up brashly and made it hard to look at the landscape the way so many previous cloudy mornings had allowed.

Still, made a point to get a view of the lupine “family”

img_6343-1, the population of stately flower spikes.

And also had to greet the beginning of the bloom of the yellow cabbage roses.

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Rode on. At Race near Windsor were clouds to the west.

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At Meadowbrook Park stopped for the customary shot of McCullough Creek below the rabbit-statue bridge, this morning.

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Could hear from this place a woodpecker, I think, making an unusually rapid but not especially loud hammering.

Farther on the path, the sun was too bright to make me want to take a photo, but looked to see whether the blue flag irises were blooming. Used the zoom of the “dedicated” camera to check for blooms and thought I saw one. Unconvinced that it was what it seemed to be, screwed up the resolve to enter the wet, willowy barrier and get close enough to see for sure.

Was very surprised to see no blooms or even buds among the blades of iris leaves. Do they bloom later than I thought? Might they not even bloom this year?

Rode to the Freyfogel observation deck where there was a tree swallow, firmly settled, at the same corner where I’d seen it before.

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Walked around the structure to the opposite side and looked out at the prairie and the sky, and spied, under the strong sunlight, a spiderwort flower, my first sighting of the species at Meadowbrook this year.

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Also saw some nice compass plant leaves.

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Checked the place where I’ve been seeing lead plant over the past few years, now that I know what the first shoots look like, and there, wit a lot of sun on them, they were.

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Had some time and wanted to add a few miles, though was not brimming with energy.

Decided to get close to Yankee Ridge

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and turn west instead of east.

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Which I did, and coasted a while down that lovely slope until I came to the Barnhart Prairie Restoration.

Saw golden Alexanders there but no spiderwort. Did like the rather abundant clusters of erect prairie dock leaves and was going to photograph one, but my phone’s battery had run out of power.

It was a little relief not to worry about taking any more pictures the rest of the pleasant way home.

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