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.
The wind makes it look like the surface of an ocean.
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.
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.
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.
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