If you’ve never lived in an area prone to drought, then this post might not mean that much to you. However, for those of us who do, this is a praise to heavenly rain.
Most of our tanks or ponds are full to capacity. Hooray. In Texas the ponds that have been dug are called tanks. Every property out in the country needs several tanks because the hot summer dries them out. Tanks provide water for cattle and wildlife as well as water for the volunteer fire departments.
Isn’t it gorgeous?
This is a larger one. It is not totally full, which is surprising since it usually gets the runoff from a ridge. Runoff is vital for lakes and tanks in this area because there isn’t enough rainfall to fill them.
Another benefit from the rain is the growth of grasses in the field. All the wildflowers are icing on the cake. This tiny little flower is about three fourths an inch across. They are prevalent on our land, but I don’t know their name. Instead of groups of flowers, they pop up two or three together.
This small tank was dug specifically for cattle to have access to water when gate to this area is closed. When this tank is dry, water from a well fills a trough for the cows.
The wind makes it look like the surface of an ocean.
I think these are Plains Coreopsis, which usually grow in large groups.
The white flowers bent over by the wind are White Milkwort (Polygala alba). Although they’re small, patches of them are attractive.
Spring means Texas Thistle (Cirsium texanum) blooms.
Plains Black-foort Daisies (Melampodium leucanthus) is sometimes called Rock Daisy, for obvious reasons.
It’s rare for us to have clusters of Indian Paintbrush (Gaillardia pulchella) on our property. CORRECTION: This is Indian BLANKET. Don’t know where my head was when I wrote this. The botantical name was correct. Thanks to a reader for catching that. Anyway, it’s nice to have several patches this year. These are all growing in spots where grasses don’t grow, so they aren’t taking over pasture land.
Sure are pretty.
This yellow flower (might be Four Nerve Daisy) has a really long stem with few leaves. It has one or two blooms at a time. The black centers laying on the ground at the end of stems (at lower left in picture) are spent flowers. Waving in the breeze and growing in caliche, the sight of them reminds me of how sturdy some of these plants are.
My favorite wildflower: Prairie Verbena (Glandularia bipinnatifida) is called Sweet William around here. It’s tough as nails, grows in cliche, rocky fields, and in pastures. When it fills up a field, a sea of dark lavender is stunning.
Another tank that will probably be dry by the end of summer.
This is the same tank as the previous picture. The wood on this dock was supposed to be a specially treated wood. But the curling planks have always been a problem.
Spring also brings Prickly Pear Cactus blooms. They are beautiful and their yellow flowers stand out in a field.
Unfortunately, they spread like crazy and can make the land useless.
The creek crossing before the road rises up toward our house has water. Haven’t seen that in several years.
More bright Indian Blankets.
The silky fluff from the seed of Green Milkweed (Asclepias viridis) was used by pioneers to make candle wicks. It was carded and spun like cotton and wool. Milkweeds play an important role for Monarch butterflies. They are the only plant used to lay their eggs. Their caterpillars must have these leaves to eat. There are several varieties of milkweed. This is the one that is native here.
The large farms of the mid-west has wiped out most milkweeds, endangering the survival of monarchs. Anyone who sprays herbicides on milkweeds contributes to the problem.
The tank closest to our house. The grass is over a foot tall.
It was dug a couple of years ago and doesn’t hold water well. The dead Walnut trees are the result of abuse to the roots while digging the tank. Sigh.
We’re so grateful for the rains this month – almost 7 inches this May. Wow.
“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” Henry Ford