Last evening on my walk I found a cardinal flower, a sure sign of late summer if ever there is one (and of course there are many). This sign is only the latest.
These spectacular wildflowers are growing happily in a marshy area that drains into one of the snowmaking ponds. The flowers don't bloom until late August, so when it blooms, summer is truly on the wane. The cardinal flower grows 2-4 feet tall; this one is on the short side of that. They are related to bluebells and fall into the category of beautiful but deadly. Well, who would want to eat one anyway?
This flower and its not-yet-blooming neighbor are surrounded by green grass, right along the road and couldn't be missed by anyone who has his or her eyes open. Which, of course, makes me worry about its safety. Still, I've seen people drive right by 40 wild turkeys sitting in my parent's open yard and within a few feet of the road and never see a thing. So I hope two little wildflowers, even two as spectacular as these manage to pass unnoticed by those who would pluck it or dig it up.