It was 61 beautiful degrees under clear skies a little after sunrise (6:15) this morning as I headed south on Race Street toward Meadowbrook Park.
I apologize here for having fallen behind in getting my notes of summer rides (that keep receding further into the past and my recollection of the details less certain!) shaped up to release on the blog. But still want to share these distinctive markers of the seasons, so here they are.
For a stretch of ten yards or so, several newly blooming cardinal flowers (a single plant would have been stunning!) graced the banks of dry McCullough and Davis creeks below the rabbit-statue bridge
Also were contrasting purple-blue self-heal, aka “heal-all.” It must be good medicine of some kind.
The cardinal flowers really were in their full glory.
Farther down the path in the wet (iris, in spring) area Liatris were staring to manifest their blazing feathery stars.
Noticed nearby a strangely curled stem, maybe a goldenrod.
And farther on still, on the soft path to the middle of the prairie, was the splendor of the royal catchfly,
accompanied by lots of rattlesnake master.
There was Culver’s root, though past its peak bloom.
Also past peak but still holding forth were purple coneflowers.
At least three of the “Sylphium sisters” were in bloom there, S.integrifolium (rosinweed), with its simpler leaves and smaller flowers
square-stemmed, cup-leafed S. perfoliatum (cup plant)
And S. lacineata (compass plant), the little suns of its blooms stacked high over the prairie, as tall as the emerging big bluestem grass.
and sometimes topped with a goldfinch
It was the time of abundant, fresh bloom for yellow coneflower, ironweed,
and of pink-purple Monarda.
As I write, it’s been a while already since the prairie was in full bloom, but it’s nice to revisit that time as October draws life inward.