It was 72 degrees F under mostly clear skies at 5:50 this morning as I rolled Rhododendron down the driveway toward Meadowbrook Park.
Had been undecided (indecision seems to be one of those factors that subtracts from the net joy of an activity) this morning about where to go: there are so many routes I haven’t taken since last year or longer ago. But what I most didn’t want to miss was the progression of the bloom at Meadowbrook and decided to make that the priority.
As soon as I was rolling down Race Street felt a smile bloom on my face. The air was humid but still cool, and calm, and the sun had broken the horizon less than a half hour before. It was a beautiful holiday morning.
Stopped at the grove of spruce trees to check for mushrooms below their branches
but there were none. Wondered whether the undergrowth of honeysuckle, etc., which seems to be encroaching on the needle-mulch ground, would discourage the appearance of mushrooms. Well, summer seems generally not to be their time. Will watch to see what the advance of the season brings.
At Meadowbrook sped directly to the rabbit -statue bridge but did not stop: a young man wearing a fedora-type hat was already standing on the bridge and didn’t want to interrupt his solitude. Or mine.
Rounded the corner of the prairie and stopped to take in the present population of prairie flowers, especially the signature for this time of year, yellow coneflower
which I didn’t (yet) find in big masses as they sometimes occur, but still each fountain of purple-pink petals was lovely.
Near the wet area where the had been irises earlier this year suddenly saw the hind end of a deer.
When I stopped to photograph it, noticed another one off the path a little way to my right, facing me, presumably a doe.
She kept walking in my direction and stopped rather close to me. The other deer crossed the path and joined her, and I noticed there was another, smaller deer with them.
After we shared the morning a little longer they slowly walked off to the west.
Stopped at the little bridge over Douglas Creek
where I liked the early light through the passing clouds over the bridge and to its upstream side.
Closer to the middle of the prairie noticed it looked like it would be a bumper year for compass plants,
the tall form,
and radiating benevolent-face-like blooms of which
one never tires of photographing.
Other flowers blooming today included mountain mint,
purple coneflower, and false sunflower.
At the Freyfogle prairie overlook were Baptisia,
and, as a most happy surprise, royal catchfly!
to photograph which I had to walk into the vegetation (at least not too far), which I can’t help feeling as a little violation of the sacredness of the place. So was careful and quick.
I’m always amazed and delighted at how such bright flowers escape the casual glance and only appear after careful observation.
Another prairie-lover with a camera came by and we exchanged words of admiration for the bright red star-flowers, and for other prairie flowers (treasures that, we agreed, were good for the eyes as well as the soul) we had seen.
Then headed out toward Curtis Road to pay my respects to the mighty phalanxes of corn.
Rode east on Curtis as far as Route 130, noting the slight rise and fall of the road slope, intermittently sitting upright with no hands to give the shoulders a break.
And headed back, feeling tired but well-content.