It was 72 degrees under progressively more cloudy skies at 6:05 this morning as I pointed Rhododendron down the driveway, toward the street and Meadowbrook Park.
First, looked at wild roses in my own back yard, which were attracting lots of pollinators.
At Meadowbrook stopped at the arresting sensory garden
where there were poppies, common milkweed, purple coneflowers, Delphinium, (a shameless mixture of natives and exotics, i.e., a garden) and more.
As I walked toward the Art and Billie Spomer Prairie, noticed that already black-eyed Susans were starting to bloom.
Crossed the wooden bridge over McCullough Creek
and walked out, i.e., off the path, into the dew-covered prairie, looking where I’d see them before (but not last year, I don’t believe) for queen of the prairie flowers. Did not, however, see any.
It was pretty much worth the soaking shorts and shoes, though, because I did get decent views of other prairie flowers: common milkweed
Saw stalks of cup plant
and compass plant
Spiderwort, though past its peak, continued to produce nearly perfect violet-blue triangular flowers.
Got back on the paved path and rode past the wet area, the place of irises, where my eye was caught by an unusual (two, actually) bird. They turned out to be, unmistakably, two rose-breasted grosbeaks!
Farther on by the Freyfogle overlook,
lead plant continued its bloom.
Was sad not to see queen of the prairie, but its absence reminded me not to take it for granted and to appreciate the unique floral symphony that the prairie offers each year.