Monday, April 26, 2010

OUR UPPER MEADOW

This year many of the fields in central Texas are golden yellow. The four nerve daisy, Tetraneuris scaposa, is spreading a carpet of yellow across the land. On my upper lot, where there is a small field- like area, bluebonnets are competing for space with this yellow daisy.

For some reason cedar trees have not invaded this area, which runs along the edge of a rocky escarpment. In the 50s a fire raged across this area, as evidenced by the burnt out stumps of tree trunks.
Along the edges grow twist leaf yucca,

and prickly pear cactus, Opuntia. Along the edges of the pads are rows of flower buds. This is the yellow flowering variety. They used to grow all the way along the edge of the rocky ledge but someone removed many of them before we bought the lot. There was so little soil underneath that it is taking years for soil to reform and anything to grow back there.

There is one clump of green flowered milkweed, Asclepias asperula.

This close up shows how the flowers are arranged to form a 3-4" ball. Each flower is composed of 5 partially divided petals inside which are the white stemmed stamens capped by ball like anthers.
This is one part of my property that has been left to nature. There is a good stand of live and Spanish Oaks and the bird life is plentiful. Every night I hear owls and this week heard the first Chuck Will's widow.

Clearly other things go on out there too. I wish I knew which bird ( possibly turkey)these belonged to. Was it the fox, coyote or the owl who made a killing?

Better watch out my dear.

9 comments:

  1. Jenny, I love this peek into your upper meadow. I haven't seen it before. The bright yellow of late spring looks beautiful with the clear blue of early spring.

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  2. Beautiful meadow; really like the way the low sun peeks through and makes the yellow blaze.

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  3. You have a lot more blooming in your meadow, than we do here. Mostly verbena here.

    The deer don't eat your Blue Bonnets. They ate my only bloom. I wonder if that's why there are no Blue Bonnets around here...no chance for seeds to spread. Those pesky deer....

    The birds are amazing here, too. We're really enjoying being close to nature....even with the deer.

    Can't wait to see your garden, through Pam's lens.

    ~~Linda...

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  4. Patchwork- The deer do browse a little but I have so many it no longer makes a difference. You need to get some more seeds to increase their numbers. The deer eat coreopsis here. I would love to get that going but they are forever pruning. How about the pink primroses. You couldn't get rid of that if you tried and it would be lovely in the meadow.

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  5. Lovely meadow. I've only got the squirels to contend with:)

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  6. Holy gorgeous meadow. I'm envious!

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  7. The meadow is beautiful with its bright yellows and blues. The milkweed is very interesting-looking, I love the structure of the flowers.

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  8. Oh, Jenny - love your milkweed! When we first moved here I was entranced to see in along roadsides to the SW of Austin. The name I heard then was Antelope Horns so that's what I call it in my mind.

    How appropriate that someone like you who appreciates these wild plants now has charge of a place where they grow naturally.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

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  9. Conscious gardener- We have squirrels too. Both kinds- Don't like the rock squirrels.
    Lee- We are fortunate to have such a pretty area and to be able to leave it to the flowers and critters.
    Sweet Bay- Such a complicated flower structure. How on earth did nature come up with such a design.
    Annie- That is the common name. I only have one clump but it certainly is a keeper. It is lovely to have such a wild area at our fingertips. I just hope the King Ranch bluestem doesn't make it into there. We have already dealt with some clumps of Johnson Grass.

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