Made it to the prairie twice this week! Took my weekly hike at the prairie when it was hot, humid and threatening rain. I was told of some prairie gentians that were possibly blooming at the end of my session and so I had to come back to sketch them. There was a 20 degree difference in feel between the two days and they were only 2 days apart! The lower temperature makes all the difference in the world when you’re trying to focus on drawing. Taking some extra time on this second sketch, I learned that prairie gentians are closed up in the morning and open up quite a lot as the sun gets higher in the sky. That was a bit frustrating but beautiful to see at the same time. Afterwards, I spent some time just observing. Monarchs flitted through and fed on the blazing stars and an orange-winged grasshopper flew past with a loud buzz-another new one for me! Dragonflies were zipping and darting around and I counted over a dozen green darners in the sky at one point. I tend to get melancholy at the thought of summer ending and it turns out that this is the last page of my sketchbook. I started it in April with the bloodroot flower and now have ended it with another beautiful flower, the prairie gentian. Enjoy this last weekend of summer!