This morning at 6:06 it was 66 degrees under mostly clear, calm skies when I headed out on Discovery II for Meadowbrook Park. Hadn’t made a whole “big loop” for a while and knew it was a different prairie from when I was there last.
Not far from home saw a beautiful example of a cup plant, with its stack of those 90 degree-alternating cup-leaves, each completely surrounding the square stem and often holding a bit of water.
Continued south on Race Street, which presently is undergoing construction. So rode for a while on the sidewalk, which passed the stand of spruces that shelter the Amanita muscaria mushrooms that have previously appeared in this blog. Lately haven’t seen any, but today there were a few small ones.
My mind wandered to the past (the abundance I’ve witnessed!) and to the future (would there be multitudes of them again this fall?) Sometimes the present seems meager in comparison.
Rode on and found myself speeding toward the Rabbit-statue bridge, over which I coasted and made the subsequent turn with no application of brakes. Whee! Came back for a shot of McCullough Creek from the bridge,
Where there were walnut leaves alight in the sun as well as deep shade over the high water.
And then there was the bloom!
Along with abundant yellow and purple coneflowers, false sunflower, wild bergamot,
cup plant, and white wild indigo, some blooms and many already with large green pods. My favorite flowers so far today were Culver root
and compass plant.
The compass plant were not the most abundant I’ve ever seen, but at least they were widespread, tall, and decked with columns of healthy yellow flowers. Still have the impression of recent years when they were few and stunted, so was especially glad to see these.
Rode on along the path around the “big loop,” which was bordered by thick yellow and purple-pink flowers: the glory of July!
Is it not the apex of the year? And I got to be born in this month!?! Just another one of those completely unmerited gifts that rain down on us all the time.
Loved the unfolding bouquets, but mostly pressed on to the Freyfogel viewing station because I’d seen some nice Culver root there recently.
And yes, there they were. Including one with a honeybee resting atop a pink spike.
Remembered that a little way out into the prairie from the viewing station was where my first sighting of royal catchy had been. Glanced out in that direction, and sure enough, there was a plainly visible patch of red flowers!
Had not planned to walk out into the intervening prairie to photograph them, but they called, and I went.
Noticed that the bloom of this patch was more advanced than the one along the “soft” path, and felt a little sad to have missed its beginning. But got the best shots I could (maybe not so good as some from years past) and was glad to witness this particular manifestation of this population of the blazing red flower-stars.
Then wondered whether the lead plant had completely finished its bloom, and was pleased to see a few little deep-purple and orange blooms remaining.
Noticed how funny it is, the way expectation shapes our responses: the little disappointment of missing the beginning of the royal catchfly bloom and the relief and satisfaction of not missing the very end of the lead plant’s.
The rest of the ride through Meadowbrook was accompanied by flowers that looked so much more beautiful by direct observation than through the iPhone camera. Like the march of life-experience, it can’t all (or any, really) be saved except in the eternal moment. Just savored its effects: melting away the morning’s layer of sadness and anxiety and revealing another serving of joy.