It was 67 degrees F with just a few clouds to the east and otherwise clear as I set out on Rhododendron for St. Joseph on the KRT bike trail. Wished I had gotten out while the sun was still at the horizon, but at least those little tasks that delayed my departure were done.
Stopped briefly at Weaver Park to photograph the cup plants ,
Some of whose flowers were brown with disease, but many of which were healthy and yellow-petaled.
Saw also Monarda, purple coneflowers,
healthy-looking black-eyed Susans
and Indian grass.
Then rolled eastward on the trail.
Again noticed a scarcity overall of the native prairie plants that elsewhere (like at Weaver Park or Meadowbrook) now are in full bloom. But the flora was not without its charms, e.g., the architectural, even past their bloom, mullein plants,
and the pop of color of the declining hollyhock just west of Full’s Siding.
Did see quite a few prairie dock in bud and some reasonably thick patches of false sunflower.
The light was perfect. The temperature was perfect. The air was calm. It was a good place to be.
Crossed the Salt Fork
and proceeded into St. Joe and to the Geschenk cafe for a Florentine egg and cheese wrap and latte.
Saw a few of the the St. Joe vultures
from the front window.
Then felt adventurous on the way home; much as I love the KRT, instead of retracing my outward path rode south to Homer Lake Road and East Washington Street
and stopped at the Lincoln historical marker with its surrounding prairie planting, featuring full-blooming compass plants.
Stopped for a late-morning view of the Salt Fork at Homer Lake Road,
a nice patch of wild petunias,
a deceased monarch butterfly (saw a handful of live ones this trip), corn, to document the progress of the crop,
and to document the (uncommon) existence of stalks with two ears, and the spot near 1800 E that I refer to as “Gehenna,”
where there always (or has been since 2012) is fire, or the ready ingredients for and evidence of it.
It felt good to be back out in the open countryside for a little longer than has recently been typical. Somehow when I started this blog, I’d anticipated expanding the trips over time, but instead they’ve become shorter and less frequent. It makes me think of a particular obstacle to a strong yoga practice: backsliding.
But decided to let the ride just fill the present without measurement and continue when and however possible, observing what happens.