Rabbits in the Grass

Rabbits have been hanging out in the yard every morning and evening throughout the month of June. They are attracted to the freshly mowed areas along the fence line next to the coastal bermuda which is as tall as Boo in some places. Even though we could still use some more rain, it would be good for it to hold off a little while so we can cut and bale again.

A macro shot of the Dayflower (Commelina erecta) makes the short lived bloom look a bit alien.

I have a some of it in an area of the yard that is hard to get to for maintenance. The less I have to mow, the happier I am.

Weekend Photos

The sandy, gravely, limestone soil on the side of Jeep Hill in The LBJ Grasslands is the perfect habitat for Mountain Pink (Centaurium beyrichii) to flourish in. Drought tolerance keeps it blooming through July when many of the other wildflowers have given in to the Texas heat.

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center says that the Golden Dalea (Dalea aeurea) has a special value to native, honey and bumble bees. A bee came along as I was admiring the petal ringed cone to help prove them right. Go to The Xerces Society web page dedicated to Pollinator Conservation for information about the insects that pollinate flowering plants and more than two-thirds of the world’s crops.

A Male Eastern Amberwing (Perithemis tenera) just off the shore of Full Moon Pond in TADRA Point and trail head. The Eastern Amberwing is small, only an inch from head to the tip of his tail. I narrowly avoided getting wet while I leaned over the water in order to get close enough to make a pic of this little guy.

Walking up the hill from the pond I ran across some neighbors enjoying the day out on a ride with their dogs in tow.

Tara, Jake, Jennifer and Taylor were all smiles even though they were packing up after a weekend of horseback riding and general fun. The rain we were so happy to see made their last day a little muddy in the camp and adventurous on the trail. That’s what their mom said anyway. This is a group that appeared in one of my early post: The Deckers Visit The Grasslands.

 

At the Corner to the LBJ Grasslands

A wave of fuzzy purple wildflowers greets you at the corner of FM 730 and CR 2461 on the way to the LBJ Grasslands this time of year. Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa), part of the mint family, was used by Native Americans to treat a cold. Many still use it today, however the strong tea can require some honey to smooth it out.

Bumblebees have their own uses for the bloom.

While parked on the side of the road shooting the Bergamot, a neighbor who works for the Fort Worth Nature Center stopped by to offer wildflower ID help if needed. You have to appreciate someone who loves their job so much that they can’t stop doing it. She also pointed out another great subject across  FM 730. The American Basket-flower (Centaurea Americana) part of the Aster Family gets its name from the straw-colored bracts under the flower head. Although it is called an American Star-thistle at times and looks a bit like one, it is not a thistle.

A popular forage for deer, Scarlet Pea (Indigofera Miniata) was also along the road. This could be what entices the deer and turkey to eating so dangerously close to the road.

I thought the stamens and 4 lobe stigma of the Roadside Gaura (Gaura suffulta) were pretty cool. An excellent attractor of butterflies on a less windy day.

The Engelmann Daisy (Engelmannia peristenia) thrives on the roadside even in drought conditions.

The Widow Skimmer (Libellula Luctuosa) is a good dragonfly to have around given that its diet is insects smaller than she is, including mosquitoes.

 

Wildflowers

The hard rain knocked the petals off some wildflowers, but the added moisture created a carpet of Meadow Pinks in the LBJ Grasslands.

These aster-like flowers are named Texas Lazy Daisies because they only open after noon.

I think I have had fine-leaf bluets before, but they are cool enough to show again.

With a wing-span of less than an inch, a female Reakirt’s Blue Butterfly could be easy to miss flying from one Texas Frog-fruit bloom to the next without it’s rich blue color.

Hay and Rain

We were beginning to believe a cutting of our own hay this season was out of the question. We were happy when one and a quarter inches of rain combined with just the right amount of fertilizer produced 150 bales of hay. We were not happy however when we found out our hay hauler was out of town for the week leaving a big void in our work force. Feeling the need to have the hay in the barn, we took on the job by ourselves one more time.

Suzy and Bud talk hay strategy with Boo looking on bored with the conversation.

On the down hill side of the job Suzy takes a break to strike a feed store pose on top of the forage.

Mine is not as good of a pose, but I did enjoy the break. This was at about bale number 125 out of the field, very close to the end. Not bad for an old man.

Sunday morning we were pleastantly awaked early to the sound of rain falling, a little sore, but happy knowing the hay was in the barn. With almost two inches of rain today, we are off to a good start to a next cutting. Hard to believe after the dry start we had in the spring.

The horses did not mind getting a little wet for the chance to once again have the whole pasture for grazing.

The fiercest competition for food this morning was at the hummingbird feeder. A constant swarm of the small birds battled all morning for a drink.