Actually made it out a little before (5:35) the sunrise this morning,
Rode to Meadowbrook Park to see whether the cardinal flowers had appeared and also whether the cream gentians (of which I’d seen the beginning of buds) had started to bloom.
Took the Vine Street route and saw the bifurcated ash tree at the edge of Blair Park,
which was still mostly leafy. Close to it was a newly planted tree. Was not sure that it wasn’t another ash. Ashes, ashes, so many are falling down….
At Meadowbrook took the loop around the Art and Billie Spomer Prairie
Rode fairly directly to the Freyfogel observation deck, where there were tick trefoil
as well as dark, ripe ones,
aging Culver root,
tall Coreopsis and two of the “Sylphium sisters” (compass plant and prairie dock) in the same frame,
and foliage but still barely buds of cream gentian.
The false sunflower were present and photogenic as ever.
Liked the human-like forms of rattlesnake master flowers.
Noticed a lot of “browning” in the flowers;
The sky over the prairie was gorgeous and dramatic this morning.
and it was hard to resist taking lots of photos.
Got a modest shot of the Marker statue with a good sky behind it.
Whether or not you like the sculpture, I think one has to admit that it really interacts well with its environment.
Saw gentian leaves near the statue
There was more dramatic sky farther along the path
and then, when I went to get a close shot of the Liatris by the two little trees, saw some blue vervain and, wonder of wonders, in the place they had been for several years, then not for at least the past two, there were cardinal flowers!
There were at least two different plants with the red flowers!
Yielded to the draw of another shot of the sky
then stopped briefly at the rabbit-statue bridge to check the cardinal flowers there.
There they were (if you look really carefully!). But was content not to get into the stickers to be close to them; was just glad they were there.
Felt overflowing with the abundance and generosity of my surroundings, this place, this day!