e_moon60 (e_moon60) wrote,

80 acres: small beauties

A little more about the Texas Bluebells (where the small green beetle was yesterday)--this is a gentian, with a chalice-shaped flower, and the color of the outside ranges from pale lavender to royal purple.  Inside, the color includes a white ring and then a dark purple center (even if the outside is pale.)  Everything about the plant is beautiful and graceful--the shapes of the leaves, the buds, the individual petals (when not bug-chewed.)   It looks delicate, but stands up amazingly to harsh Texas summers.  Here's a clump that appeared in the west grass, where a native grass had invaded KRB--photo taken in early afternoon after days of 100 degree weather, drying winds, and no rain for weeks.


Most plants become inhabited by small critters of some kind, and the Texas Bluebells are no exception.  Yesterday, tiny dark metallic green beetles (<5mm long) were all over this clump...and so was a Green Lynx Spider, hunting beetles...in this shot, it's got one.


Our grassland is missing some of the forbs it should have (no surprise, since it was farmland for decades) and though some have come back, others haven't.  One that hasn't is the purple coneflower, and having seen one in a prairie garden last summer, I was determined to reintroduce it here.  I'd tried seeding them before, with no luck, and this year we tried introducing actual plants in several locations.   This is what they look like (though it should be taller, but then we haven't had rain...)


Tags: photography, wildflowers, willdlife

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