Summer Wildflowers

The spring flowers in the fields and byways are all gone.  But summer brings another show with equal beauty.  Some of these will survive into the hot months while others will disappear.

earlysummerThe bar ditches along our county road are filled with a kaleidoscope of colors and shapes of flowers.  The rocky, caliche, disturbed areas is where these wildflowers thrive.

earlysummer1I think this bright yellow primrose is a Western Primrose (Calylophus Hartweggii).  It grows low on the ground.

earlysummer2White Milkwort (Polygala alba) is small but attractive in a group.

earlysummer4A bouquet of Indian Blanket, Cut-leaf Groundsel, and Queen Anne’s Lace.

earlysummer5Indian Blankets (Gaillardia pulchella) usually have more shading on the petals than these do.

earlysummer7Before it gets too hot, Queen Anne’s Lace carpets the edges of the road.

earlysummer6Now, after these pictures were taken, they’ve already started to fall away.

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earlysummer9Plains Coreopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria) will bloom into the summer and fall as will Sweet William or Prairie Verbena (Glandularia bipinnatifida).

earlysummeraLove the drive along this road.

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earlysummerhA lone Texas Thistle (Cirsium texanum) breaks the white span of Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota).

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earlysummerbNot sure, but think these daisies are Engelmann’s Daisy (Engelmannia peristenia).

earlysummergSumacs growing full and filling in the roadside.

earlysummercTexas Bindweed’s (Convolvulus eqitans) small white flowers are 3/4″ to 1 1/2″ inches wide.  They aren’t noticeable unless one looks closely at the ground.

earlysummereBlackfoot Daisies (Melampodium leucanthum) are hardy little souls that form small rounded clumps.  I tried these in the yard but they really don’t want more water than nature provides.  They will bravely last until late fall.

earlysummerjAs I pull into our property, another sight of late spring, early summer appears – lots of baby calves.  The cattle is not ours but belong to a man who leases the pasture land.

earlysummerkCute.  Reminds me of Norman in ‘City Slickers’.

earlysummerlTall grass from all the rain almost hides the little ones.

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” Thomas Edison

Hill Country in Bloom

Springtime lures us to the open road.  There are several worthwhile drives where wildflowers are plentiful.  Central Texas Driving Routes is a good site to check out.

hwy16cHighway 16 both north and south of Llano is stunning with miles and miles of Bluebonnets (Lupinus texensis) and Indian Paintbrushes (Castilleja indivisa).  The large sweeps of color takes one’s breath away.

hwy16bThe only disappointment was that there are very few places to pull over because the shoulders of the road are very narrow.

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hwy16fThe entrance to this old cemetery had a nice wide open area to park.  The name of the cemetery is a little disconcerting, but surely ‘Head’ is a family name.

hwy16gMore flowers inside the cemetery.

hwy16hPretty little flowers that I think are Vinca Majors.

hwy16iA Wine Cup (Callirhoe involucrata) flutters in the chilly wind.  These flowers close each evening and remain permanently shut after pollination. The heat of summer causes the entire plant to die back.  This hardy Texas native will return in the spring and sometimes again in the fall.  It prefers full sun in either gravelly or sandy soils.

hwy16jWhile I was taking photos of the wildflowers, my husband walked around reading headstones.

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hwy16lButtercups are in the large family of Ranunculus.  They usually bloom in April and May, but they may bloom all summer when conditions are right.

hwy16mThe light faded out the colors of the Indian Paintbrushes.

hwy16aThe drive is all about the stunning displays of wildflowers.  There are other places of interest, but we only took time for lunch and viewing the flowers.

“My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.” Steve Jobs