It was 49 degrees F at 7:32 am as Rhododendron (which practically goes by itself since the wizards at Neutral Cycle worked their magic on it) headed toward Meadowbrook Park.
A yellow rose among purple hibiscus flowers caught my eye
As did the apples.
There were plenty of them, though the tree had some stressed areas.
But, farther along, saw no mushrooms under the spruce trees.
At Meadowbrook Park, along the dry beds of McCullough and Davis creeks,
were still some cardinal flowers.
In spite of the drought (because of it?) it’s been a good year for them.
Farther along the path, near the Marker statue and camouflaged from the casual observer, below the median height of the prairie vegetation, were lots of cream gentians.
Also there were some that were a light blue-violet, paler than and too early to be bottle gentians.
I’m guessing they were the hybrid gentian Gentiana x pallidocyanea, a cross between G. alba (cream) and G. andrewsii (bottle). There also is a pale blue non-hybrid species (G. saponaria, soapwort gentian) but the fact that both of the former two species occur together and that the cream outnumber the bottle by so much, it’s possible that bottle gentians got some cream gentian pollen. Just speculating. On the other hand, the bloom of the bottle gentians is much later than that of the creams, it’s hard to imagine how the cross-pollination would happen.
Also saw some, presumably cream gentians, with just a tinge of purple at the tips of the flowers.
Gene flow? Environmental stress?
Also nearby were thistles in full fuzzy purple bloom, with about-to-bloom goldenrod behind to set them off.
There were some Bidens (tickseed) near the statue,
but noticed more of them, more in their characteristic golden yellow (so handsome against a blue sky, no matter how common) profusion,
on the way back out of the park and toward home.