Saturday 18 June 2016. This Year’s Queen of the Prairie

It was 62 degrees F under thinly cloudy skies this morning at 6:30.

This morning’s mission was once again to seek and hopefully find queen-of-the-prairie (Filipendula rubra) at Meadowbrook Park.

Tried not to chastise myself for doing laundry (it’s insidious!) instead of being present to witness the sun disc breaking from the horizon as I headed south on Discovery II.

The temperature was perfectly comfortable, the light was bright but slightly softened, the air fresh, as they say.

Some linden trees had almost finished blooming; others were in full fragrant bloom. The perfume of linden did not fill the block, but close to a blooming tree the fragrance was sweet and uplifting.

Made me think of Samadhi, or spiritual absorption. Not the same as pleasure, I understand. But I think it’s hard to imagine without a reference to something pleasant.

Away from Samadhi, observed irritation arise at the stop light at Windsor and Race, again.

Entered Meadowbrook Park near the garden plots and Sensory Garden and walked Discovery II toward the Art and Billie Spomer Prairie.

The sound of McCullough Creek babbling at the the little wooden bridge provoked from me a sigh. Calm!


Stopped for a quick look upstream

and walked on.

The path into the prairie was nicely worn, and comfortably proceeded to walk in and search for the prized flowers. On the way saw remaining foxglove Penstemon,

rattlesnake master,

and mountain mint, like last week.

Scanned the area toward the middle of the prairie where I’d seen it last year and at first saw nothing like queen-of-the-prairie except a bare-looking stalk that rose a little above the other plants, next to a blooming common milkweed. Had it finished blooming and I’d missed it?

Decided to walk in just in case, and to my delight discovered that the tall stalk was full of tight pink buds!

Not only that but there seemed to be more shorter stalks, even more than I recall from last year.

in company with the very photogenic common milkweed.

on which were a couple of Japanese beetles. Wondered whether the milkweed toxins affected them. Not enough to keep them off, apparently.

On the way back to the bike saw some lovely later-bloom spiderwort


Maneuvering the bike, noticed a hole pretty much flush with the ground

No chimney; was it made by a crayfish? It was the right diameter. Some other creature?

Onward to the little bridge, spotted a black-winged (ebony jewelwing, Calopteryx maculata) damselfly resting on a leaf near the creek,

a lovely decoration for the stream-side.

Was glad to be able to witness the bloom of queen-of-the-prairie for another season.


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