At 5:35 this morning it was, according to the phone weather ap, 61 degrees and clear, the just-past full moon getting close to the western horizon. But the air felt warmer than 61 and didn’t bring a jacket. Hoped I wouldn’t get cold.
Today the destination was north High Cross Road, by way of Washington Street and Weaver Park.
At edge of the “buffalo-wallow” pond caught the clear western sky behind a group of three of the “Sylphium sisters”: cup plant (S. perfoliatum), compass plant (S. lacineata), and rosinweed (S. integrifolium).
And prairie grasses were starting to bloom: the first big bluestem, I believe,
and, I’m guessing, switchgrass (Panicum virginiana–there actually is a group called “panic grasses,” must be a story behind that!).
It really is time for me to get serious about distinguishing at least the common prairie grasses beyond big bluestem and Indian grass.
Zoomed in a little to the pond, largely covered with water lily (I guess) pads and cattails.
Saw these pads move, clearly, but didn’t spot the creature responsible for the movement.
Then cut across Dodson Drive and east on Main, across University through the Beringer subdivision and North on High Cross Road.
Passed the site on the northeast corner of the bridge where I used to follow the breakdown of a possum road kill and stopped to see whether any evidence of possum bones remained. None did, only new garbage. Could probably have found some with a bit of effort but overruled that notion and went on.
Out in the country on High Cross Road, the air was cooler than it was in town. The temperature reading this morning must have come from outside of town. The change was pleasant. The ride was pleasant. It was not high exhilaration but reasonable comfort, with an awareness of how much better it was than so many other possible states or situations.
Rode on and stopped at the edge of Brownfield woods for a shot of pale jewelweed
and Joe Pye weed.
Joe Pye weed (another provocative name with a story I don’t know) for some reason doesn’t tend to make me stop and photograph it, but got pulled in by this amazingly full clump.
Then High Cross jogged where it crossed Leverett Road, and on the other side of Leverett was greeted by a male red-winged blackbird that hovered over me and made a cheep (complaint or warning, I guess) I hadn’t previously associated with red-wings.
And it followed me a while. It was fun to imagine that this bird was trying to tell me something or was sent to protect me, though I think it simply didn’t like my being in its territory.
There also were a number of dickcissels, those “mini-meadowlarks” with their distinctive call, in this area.
Rode as far as county road 2200 N and turned around. The red-winged blackbird near Leverett Road hovered over me when I passed through its territory again.
Also saw American bellflower, another favorite, which had completely escaped my notice on the way out.
Was glad for the miles and the colors of summer!