Got out on Rhododendron this morning a little after 6: yesterday’s early departure was not repeated, alas.
The temperature was 61 degrees F and the sky held plenty of clouds, but the sun made its presence known by the appearance of more color in the landscape than there had been for some days, I think.
Actually wanted to put on some miles, but my first priority was to check for royal catchfly in the middle of the prairie, on the soft (yes, it is, this year!) path.
Was lovely to speed toward and over McCullough (with Davis still emptying copiously into it) Creek on the rabbit-statue bridge, but did apply the brakes before the turn and came back for the photo.
Around the southwest corner of the park, could see the increasing bloom of the yellow coneflowers under the nicely textured post-dawn sky.
Noticed a lot of blackberries, red and not quite red, the really ripe ones probably eaten immediately.
Liked the view of the sky edged by walnut leaves.
Then walked Discovery II to the soft (and wet) path into the prairie in search of royal catchfly, which I saw in a lovely flower box outside of the Common Ground Food Coop last week.
Back at the prairie, saw dots of red in the landscape, but they turned out to be not royal catchfly but almost-ripe blackberries.
Noticed incidentally the foliage of cream gentians, which are among my (many) favorite prairie flowers. Anticipating the bloom!
Was starting to wonder whether there would be any royal catchfly at Meadowbrook this year, when this lone red star asserted itself!
So I guess they don’t do best with lots of rain; remembered how abundant they were during the drought years. But there was no missing this one!
Wondered whether the queen-of-the-prairie still was in bloom at all. It was, at almost the end of the path, with a sun dog behind it!
It was another fleeting, eternal moment of beauty, something I could imagine recalling on my deathbed.
Got a shot of a post-bloom stalk. Even now it was lovely. I like to think about aging like this!
Caught a late spiderwort bloom, the edges just beginning to curl in, still graceful and lovely but not at all long for this world.
And crossed the little wooden bridge over babbling McCullough Creek to head back.
Then after stopping to chat with a couple of walkers and crossing Windsor Road I heard a sound from the front tire, which turned out to be flat 😦 alas, alas!! Did have and employ the wonder-mini-pump, but the the tire did not retain the vigorously pumped air. Really don’t understand this, its third flat this summer! Maybe a new wheel would help.
Noticed an interesting fungal composition inside a tree hollow while walking home.
Would have preferred to cycle the whole way, but walking also is good. It was a lovely trip, flat tire notwithstanding.