The purple coneflowers are but shadows of their former selves, and even the Susans are in a state of faded glory. A few sprays of the common goldenrod are turning yellow, but little else is in bloom right now in the Butterfly Garden, where most of the natives reside.
Obedient plant and asters, which along with the goldenrod seem to have claimed most of the territory in this area this year, are still a few weeks away from blooming.
Since there aren't many native blooms in my garden now, let's take a little walk, shall we? One of my favorite places to look for natives is at Meadowbrook Park in the Tall Prairie restoration planting. In April Sophie and I checked out the prairie when the dried grasses and blooms of last year were still standing and only a few trees were in flower. The plan was to go back in June and again in July when the area was full of interesting blooms, but somehow we never got there. Today there were errands to run and a new session of Tai Chi to attend, so poor Sophie didn't get to go with me once again.
Obviously, the prairie is in transition, too, as more dried seedheads are spotted than blooms.
Native Sumac is showing the first signs of its autumn coloring . . . or maybe it's just suffering from the prolonged lack of rain.
Ah, here's a bloom--the tall thistle is just opening up. Most people would consider this a weed, and I really don't want it in my garden, but it's a favorite of bees, butterflies, and especially goldfinches.
A few yellow blooms dot the landscape here and there. Perhaps you can identify this, but I'm not going to venture a guess. It could be a type of Rudbeckia or Helianthus or even something called Yellow Crownbeard. There are so many wildflowers with yellow blooms that it takes some study and research before I can identify them, and today I left my wildflower book at home.
Much easier to identify, though, is Culver's Root, Veronicastrm virginicum, even when it is no longer in bloom. Set against a darkening sky, it towers above many of the other prairie plants.
I thought we might be able to see a compass plant today as I've noticed them while driving past the park in recent weeks. But there seems to be some strange rumbling noises from the sky, and the wind has suddenly picked up. The tall prairie grasses are swaying in the wind, making photography very difficult.
Let's ignore that flash of light in the sky and see if we can identify this plant about to bloom--perhaps an Evening Primrose? . . . Oh dear, something is falling on my head . . . what's going on here? Could it be . . . yes! Raindrops are falling! And now they're coming down even faster . . .
I'm sorry, but I guess we'll have to cut our walk short and come back another time to look for the compass plant and identify the fall bloomers in the park. Maybe next time Sophie can come with us; she loves it here.
Please go ahead and visit Gail's for some other wildflower scenes. But if you will excuse me, I think I'll just stand here in the parking lot awhile and do a little happy dance, my "Thank you for the Rain!" celebration.