05/05/2023 garden

Last year’s Datura is pushing up through the leaves!!
This Solomon’s seal is considering blooming.
The Strophostyles fuzzybeans are growing where I put them in compost pile wall blocks!
These wild yellow Oxalis volunteers are really looking good this year en masse.
This plantain came with the spike moss from Jeanne’s house in Nc TX.
Possibly green milkweed seedlings in that pot with the Baptisia.
In the cactus tiered planter, a mystery seedling.
Mystery seedlings in the rose/bluehearts planter. Still hoping for bluehearts!

04/22/2023 planted a few things

I put out two of our three pots of Inland Sea Oats! I also moved the all-red prairie coneflower (Ratibida columnifera) out front to the rain garden and a bunch of Strophostyles (fuzzybeans) everywhere.
Culinary sage is at peak bloom in the rainbow garden!
Missouri Fluttermill Primrose is very happy after that rain a few days ago!
This mystery plant is in the rock garden. I’m hoping it might be a Scutellaria.
Penstemon grandiflorus, planted last year from Prairie moon nursery, looks like it wants to bloom this year!

04/07/2023 first pass at Bird Haven Trail

Briar judges Mom.
The only Escobaria we’ve seen so far!
This rock has really neat concentric layered circles!
Briar practices standing on new surfaces. She’s getting better about benches.
A lovely Echinocereus! Grama grass in the background, and a nice pile of small sandstones nearby. The fence in the background is the edge of the state park.
Another fine Echinocereus with grama grass. Cholla cactus and juniper in the background.
This rock has a sharply defined layer.
A soil crust lichen on sand!
Maybe some sort of Liatris plant stalk?
Big sandstone jutting up in the trail.
Yucca, lichen on sandstone, and sideoats grama grass.
Closeup of pointy yucca tips.
Waiting for botany time Mom. Briar was concerned.
A prairie lizard!!! Same genus as the spiny lizard at home.
Clove currant thinking about blooming.
Trail marker at top of hill. Nice sandstone layers here.
Mom caught up with us. Briar was happy.
Now that all humans in one place, Briar can rest in the bench shade.

04/08/2023 Picture Canyon, Comanche National Grasslands, Colorado

We hopped across the border this afternoon to Colorado (and time traveled to Mountain Time). Here is the sign for Picture Canyon under a cloud-speckled blue sky!
This sign points the way to more prairie! (Or, you know, the trail to the petroglyphs. )
Great rocks and lichens along the trail.
Just a hint of green spring on this tiny tough little bluestem!
This rock was very rectangular.
The chollas here were less sad than the Black Mesa ones. Maybe because this is an arroyo?
The cooler microclimate with shade and a different rock nearby resulted in some foliose lichens!
We found a flower blooming that wasn’t skunk bush sumac! Mom identified this as Ribes leptanthum, trumpet gooseberry. It has lovely flowers and very friendly spines too. We didn’t see many insects out on either species though, presumably because it’s such a drought.
Little sprinkles to the west (if it even hit the ground) on our way back to camp!
On the way back we stopped to see the replica of a brontosaurus femur that the park brochures note is on private property by the roadside. It is for commemoration of many dinosaur fossils found on the private property.

04/06/2023 Black Mesa Nature Preserve afternoon walk

Briar posed for us as we began our slow walk up the trail.
Here we go! Briar was on her leash and thought we were slow. Especially when I kept stopping to take photos of grama grass.
Mom also does botany photography along the trail!
I’ll look up this grasshopper when we get home.
I like how this photo has a cholla in front of a juniper with grama grass framing it. These were among the dominant plants along the trail.
Framed by the cholla cacti and distant junipers is a stretch of green tinted soil exposed by erosion! you can also see some of the abundant yuccas.
This young yucca by the trail already has a few strings peeling off the leaves.
One of the volcanic rocks that gives Black Mesa its name was down at our level. The trail climbs the Mesa for a round trip of 8.2 miles, but between botany and my arthritis we did a round trip of 1.6 miles in 1 hr and 50 min.
This dried leaf was very firm and had lovely reticulated veins.
Close up of cholla cactus branches and spines, with Black Mesa in the background.
Briar is the picture of patience once again. The packed earth trail is really broad and smooth!

04/06/2023 morning wander at Black Mesa State Park

We are now at Black Mesa State Park. Mom and briar look for a bird!
We went to the start of the Petrified Forest trail. We will explore more in a few days.
Here’s a petrified log! Briar also smelled it.
I love all the grama grass here!
This big flat rock had an unexplained old bolt and washer in it.
Here’s the lichen on the same big flat rock!
There’s a Say’s Phoebe in here. we also saw a bunch of American Goldfinches and House Finches. There was a Canyon Towhee by the park office! We have also been hearing flickers and robins.

04/04/2023 evening dust and grass

That’s all dust in the sky!
Satellite view on the Windy app definitely shows us in the tan dust area! Boiling Springs is very near Woodward.
On our evening walk along the camp area (almost completely empty) Mom spotted a colony of chimney bees! Zoom in to see the holes in the soil.
A mystery grass.
Lots of beautiful big bluestem here along with little bluestem!
Big bluestem with the dusty sun behind it.
Grama grass with the dusty sun!
Resting on warm concrete after a dusty day. Shackleton would be jealous of Briar.

04/03/2023 extended field trip

The painted brown entrance sign at Boiling Springs State Park.
Briar thinks camping might be okay.
A lovely prairie near the Spring Hill trail.
Some beautiful grama grass curled empty seedheads with a background of little bluestem.
Yuccas under a soapberry tree.

03/22/2023 nighttime-only cat! babies!!! And dinner!

Briar helpfully alerted me to a potential friend carefully crossing the back fence today! What a magnificent neighbor.
Turns out a few peach flowers survived.
The ones with dropped petals are quite striking with pale tips over maroon backgrounds!
I believe this is the annual (?) Cardamine sp from nearby seeded into the prickly pear planter.
Abby has kindly identified this as a human-introduced species Armeria serpyllifolia, thyme-leaved sandwort. It isn’t from North American originally but doesn’t seem to dramatically disturb the landscape.
This one may be an introduced chickweed. But a fuzzy one, not Stellaria media.
More baby inland sea oat seedlings in a second pot!my
Multiple baby native Rosa sp from Fannin Co TX. Thanks Mom!
This seems big enough to be the persimmon I actually planted??
Seedlings in false gaura pot, but not sure they look right.
Oklahoma penstemon given to me by a kind fellow Norman citizen!
Maybe smartweed amongst the Chenopodium. We shall see.
A Datura maybe?? The label fell out of this pot. Anybody recognize this seed?
I am informed the mustard leaf garnish is from garden and that the soup contains poblanos from last year from the freezer.