This morning at 6:20 it was 70 humid degrees F, the skies harboring bunching clouds, the barometric pressure low.
Seeing the cardinal flowers blooming in front of my house made me want to seek out the ones I hoped would be at Meadowbrook. And there still were lots of royal catchfly to see in the prairie, if my calculations of its bloom time was correct.
So off Discovery II and I went.
From the rabbit-statue bridge could see McCullough Creek, high and quite still.
After a quick look that did not reveal any cardinal flowers, parked Discovery II and made my way among the blackberry brambles and thistles to the steep side of the creek. Was glad for the walnut trunk against which I could lean to get a closer look at the stream bank. Saw no sign of cardinal flower, alas.
Did, however, see several plants of a species I vaguely remembered from previous years but that I couldn’t readily identify.
After looking at the Illinois wildflowers site decided it was “self-heal” (Prunella vulgaris elongata), which was considered a “weedy” species.
Down the path a little way was a place where in past years I’d seen Liatris bloom near two young trees.
The one on the right (black cherry, I believe) didn’t look especially healthy. But the Liatris were there.
Also in this area were tick trefoil, not exactly sure which species. Between the Liatris, the tick trefoil, and the widely distributed wild bergamot, it was a nice assemblage of pink-purples, sprinkled with white mountain mint.
Saw the first of the tall Coreopsis to bloom.
Was about to walk Discovery II on the soft path to see the royal catchfly, but thunder rumbled and the sky grew darker.
It even looked like there was rain falling across the park.
So headed back for home, part of me wanting to take a chance on it blowing over and stay.
But the cautious side won out.
On the way back on Race Street saw red-brown mushrooms on a lawn.
Ah, mysterious wonders! Reminders that you never know when something perfectly formed will appear. Several of them were already decaying, rather spectacularly (a reminder that perfectly formed things can so quickly become un-formed), but am not including those photos here.
After an errand to the food coop was glad I’d opted to forgo the royal catchfly,