Saturday 15 September 2918. Bottle Gentians at Busy Meadowbrook

It was 69 degrees F under clear skies at 8:20 am as I pointed Rhododendron southward in Race Street for a very brief visit to the bottle gentians at Meadowbrook Park.

On the way stopped to check under the spruce trees for mushrooms. It was about this time three or four years ago that I first witnessed the glorious profusion of Aminita muscaria (fly agaric) mushrooms.

It was not completely devoid of mushrooms, but almost.

Rode as directly as possible over the rabbit-statue bridge

and briefly took in the unavoidable and alluring goldenrod ,the lovely violet-blue of the wild sage,

and the gold of the Bidens

And there they were, the bottle gentians.

which looked like they had not been blooming for very long.

There were several plants in the vicinity of the Marker statue, and I got a variety of shots.

Many flowers were not free of “blemish”

but their shape and color still were beautiful.

On the way back stopped for bees in goldenrod.


Wednesday 12 September 2018. A Spontaneous Short Jaunt on the KRT

It was a perfect 70 degrees F under clear skies at 10 this morning as I headed toward Main Street and the Kickapoo Rail to Trail on Rhododendron.

Yoga, swimming, and now unplanned cycling. Hooray! Too beautiful a day not to check on the goldenrod and sunflowers.

These were from Weaver Park; was surprised to find any still in bud.

Realized as soon as I got on the trail it would be late when I got back if I went all the way to St. Joe, so contented myself with turning back at Cottonwood Road, which was a good spot for yellow flowers, like these Jerusalem artichokes.

Stopped for a few more shots

on the way back.

Thursday 23 August 2018. Meadowbrook and West on Windsor Road

It was 60 degrees F (at most) and mostly clear at 6:50 this morning as I, with as little deliberation and fuss as possible, headed south on Race Street toward Meadowbrook Park and then perhaps out west on Windsor Road.

Stopped to look for mushrooms under the spruce trees. There were no Amanitas but did notice a couple of dough-like masses,

which I assumed were fungi and not actual masses of dough, although one can never, without further exploration, be sure.

Sped (but not completely without applying the brakes) towards and across the rabbit statue bridge. Then stopped and turned back to find the Great Blue Lobelia I’d seen on a previous visit, but first was distracted by thistle and wingstem.

Soon found the Lobelia

and then a little to the right saw a cold dragonfly perched on a boneset plant.

(Look slightly to the left of the very center of the photo.) But it zoomed away when I tried to get a closer shot.

Going back to the bridge I noticed colorful trash in the open container,

including a funny, ironic label, the literal reading of which actually came close to describing the mood of the morning.

Proceeded eastward on the path and stopped for a nice counterpoint of boneset and late compass plant.

Also stopped for the tall Coreopsis against the blue sky.

Farther along the path saw a deer crossing to the other side,

Then another,

And another, and another (four in all!), off to the buck’s club, or wherever.

Near the Freyfogle observation deck noticed that many compass plants were done blooming,

but even the last flowers sent out their yellow exuberance.

The cream gentians were abundant!

Apparently, bees had been at work getting into the flowers.

Then turned west along Windsor Road on the south edge of the park. Close to the path were thistles framed by tall Coreopsis.

At Race Street crossed to the westbound bike lane and headed west on Windsor just to ride!

Saw a harvested field and was amazed by how early the corn had been harvested, which was good news for these geese,

availing themselves of the bounty.

Along Windsor Road in Champaign there were crab apples laden with and dropping fruit.

Rode on Windsor as far as 700 E

and turned back, stopping to look down into the current of Copper Slough.

The corn along Windsor Road had golden ears on green stalks and surrounded by green leaves –a picture of health and vigor.

My bike for scale shows how crazy-talk it was.

Some of the corn stalks were decorated with blue morning glories.

Not sure whether the morning glories were harmful to the corn, but visually they were lovely.

Headed east and and then a little north, across the U of I campus just in time for move-in at the dorms.

Cars were lined up on the sidewalk (!?!), but the mood seemed calm, as if everyone expected it to go just like this.

Was deeply satisfied to have inserted a decent ride into the busy week and trekked out in the waning summer!