Friday, May 29, 2009

Flowers in the Creek

Our house backs up to a wooded area that we have named the deer grove. Deer like to hang out back there. Beyond the grove is a dry creek bed. We've been told that in years past, the creek has run with water. During this drought, and ever since we've been here, it's been dry. Except for one short period, after we got a four inch rain. So now, it's a big wildflower bed.

So, after pulling weeds among the daylilies, I decided to take a walk down the creek to see what's blooming on a hot May morning. Some I know, some I don't. I guess more research is required.

There is what I call the regular Mexican Hat, Ratibida columnifera...rust color petals, with yellow borders. You can see one in the background that has a wide yellow border. And, an all yellow one. My camera doesn't seem to like the all yellow ones. I've tried several times, but can't seem to get a good shot of them.

This one is interesting. It looks as if a paint brush has been used to drag rust along the yellow petals.

This one is more orange than rust. The camera didn't do it justice.

Here's a Prairie Verbena. It looks like it could really use a drink. Another pretty purple, in a Texas Thistle, Cirsium Texanum.

So, here come the ones I don't recognize. I spent a few hours going through the Wildflower Center's photo database to find them. I have a few I can't find, even on there. And, my Texas wildflower book has gotten misplaced somewhere during the move.

There are several of these around. Some kind of coneflower/Indian blanket blend? Think I might save some seeds. It could be Pincushion Daisy, Gaillardia suavis...or Clasping Coneflower, dracopis amplexicaulis. But, the bloom is smaller than those say they should be. Maybe the drought causes that?

This one may be about finished blooming. There were several bloom heads, with just a few of these delicate little white flowers. The whole plant is about three feet high.

This really nice grass. There are a lot of grasses out there, but this one has the nicest bloomhead. I think it could be Prairie Wildrye, elymus canadensis. Not sure, though.

Now, these may be my favorite. I didn't find anything that looked like it on the database. There is a large stand over on the golf course, by the tee box, just beyond the creek.

The plants are about three feet tall. They have bright greens leaves and a bloomhead about six to eight inches long. The tiny pale lilac flowers are a bit like a salvia bloom. But, the plant doesn't have that salvia scent.

The deer don't eat any of these. There are more plants out there. I'm sure I'll be out again, taking pictures and trying to figure out what those plants are. Wonder what the neighbors think?

Oh, and in the other direction, the creek goes down a rock-lined fall area. It drops down from the cart path about three feet...

then another three feet or so.....
then about 30 feet!
When water does come, it falls on those big rocks and flows around the bend to a big pond. The pond is getting pretty low.
There are rock squirrels over there in the canyon. One comes to grab seeds from the ground under our birdfeeders. He's shy, so it's hard to get a good picture of him, before runs back home.
I wonder what else is down there?

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