Wild and Beautiful

In the pastures and along the roads, nature is showing its color.

It’s easy to walk right past Algarita (Berberis trifoliolata) because it’s flowers and berries are so small.

When you step up close, the scent of the yellow flowers, the patterns of the crisscross  branches, and the shape of the leaves become noticeable.  But, beware, it is prickly.

The red berries, which are edible and are used for jelly, are just starting to form.  Usually, it blooms from February to April.

To see many of the flowers this time of the year, one must look down.  The flowers of Prairie Fleabane (Erigeron modestus) are tiny:  about 1/2″ to 3/4″ across.  Everyone I spotted had a bug on it.

There are two varieties of Rain Lilies in Texas.  The ones that bloom in the spring are Cooperia pedunculata and have shorter floral tubes.

Water from one of the tanks is still spilling over even though we haven’t had any significant amounts of rain recently.

The bright yellow of the Fringed Puccoon (Lithospermum incisum) is the only reason one would notice this small plant.  All these small flowers can easily be trampled without seeing them.

Fringed Puccoon was used by the native tribes and early settlers to make dye from the roots.  The roots also has medicinal properties.  The Blackfeet people burned the dried leaves and flowers as an incense.

My old pals, Sweet William or Prairie Verbena (Glandularia bipinnatifida) are back.  I love these pretty little flowers that are so plentiful.

Driving between Goldthwaite and San Saba, I just had to stop to snap a picture of  this massive field of bright yellow.  This photo only shows about one third of the field.

I think the plants are Bastard Cabbage (Rapistrum Rusosum).  Although the solid yellow fields are pretty, the plants are extremely invasive and unwanted.

Not sure, but think this is a native blackberry bush that just showed up outside our gate.

Native Redbuds (Cercis canadensis var. texensis) seem to be springing up everywhere.

To see their beauty, get up close enough to hear all the bees.

And to see the two different shades of pink  that make up their blossoms.

Nature is offering the first colors and beauty this time of the year.

“Be selective in your battles.  Sometimes peace is better than being right.” unknown author

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Singing in the Rain

Praise God.  Manna from heaven in the form of rain.  On Tuesday and Wednesday this week it rained a total of 2 inches.  In the broad scheme for many places, that isn’t much.  But for this location, it’s a wonderful blessing.

Some places nearby received an additional inch or more a few days earlier.  So we’re seeing bright green grasses and chartreuse-colored new leaves on trees.

yellowflowersEven before the rain, I noticed these clumps along the highway.  There are so many varieties of small yellow flowers that one has to be more knowledgeable than I am to differentiate between them.

yellowflowers4This could be a Dwarf Dandelion, also called Jimmyweed or Rayless Goldenrod of the aster family.

yellowflowers3This looks like Parralena or Common Dogweed in the aster family.

yellowpoppy2Some kind of yellow poppy, I think.  Notice the common factor in all these pictures is that the flowers grow in a thin layer of rocky soil.  They also favor soil that has been disturbed, like along the edge of a road.

white2This is probably a Fleabane Daisy.

bluebonnetsFinally, the Texas Bluebonnets (Lupinus texensis) are coming out in our area.  They are so distintive that there’s no problem identifying them.  They were adopted as the state flower in 1901.

Rain and warm weather will turn the whole state into a wildflower lover’s dream.  So far, we just haven’t had enough moisture for a widespread production of all the old favorites.

“My heart found its home long ago in the beauty, mystery, order and disorder of the flowering earth. I wanted future generations to be able to savor what I had all my life.”  Ladybird Johnson