Spring to Summer in central Texas

Mustang grape vines on southern fence of Pecan Tree Pasture (May 2011).

Emergent flora signifies the arrival and maturation of Spring into Summer in central Texas.  Mustang grape vines climb trees and follow fence lines without fail.  I collect buckets of ripened grapes in late June or early July.  Daily observations of ripening grapes must take place or birds pluck the deep ruby-red berries and in over-consuming they fly dizzily, drunkenly away, first to the harvest, leaving my mouth and bucket empty.

Mesquite and mustang grapevines often intertwine and when harvesting, the mesquite thorns force the cost of harvesting painfully upward.

Mustang grapes with mesquite (June 2011).

*  *  *

Two stands of Big Bluestem grass (May 2011)

When rain falls, grass flourishes.  The top of the stems reach six-feet or more high.  Big.  Native.  Bluestem.

* * *

The final exhibit of Spring in this post is prickly-pear cactus with its brilliant yellow cactus flower.  I note that many varieties of insects clamor and dive into the flower, bees especially.  Cactus is destroyed as nuisance flora as a regular chore on small ranches and farms.  Yet, its fruit is edible, the flower yields pollen for honey and in drought, propane torches burn thorns and cattle consume the paddles.  The roar of burning pear signals drought upon the land.

* * *

For the moment, propane torches rest against barn walls.  Yesterday, west of my ranchito about a hundred miles, and northwest of Abilene, Erin Rea reports prairie fires near her farm.  The drought has descended brutally on her area and in a line stretching to the southeastern corner of Colorado,  the land reminds old-timers of the dust bowl days.  @Tuckertown tweets, “Wildfire in Southern Colorado fouls the air along Colorado’s Front Range. Very tender dry in the SE corner of Colorado. Very bad.”

The Spring to Summer in central and west Texas is endurable as we live with the land whether mustang grapes emerge or prairie fires burn.

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5 Comments

Filed under Field Log, Weather

5 responses to “Spring to Summer in central Texas

  1. Deanne

    Thank you for your pictures. I can remember the smell of the air this time of year. It was the time of year we had fun before the hard work of the summer. Thanks Again!!

  2. Wow, that’s beautiful this time of year! I really love seeing Texas through your eyes.

  3. That mustang grapes intertwine with mesquite suggest a interesting relationship. Certainly the latter provides a certain amount of protection for the grape vis the thorny surface and perhaps the grape helps to keep the mesquite cool by shading the plant in the hot noon day sun.

    Interesting to think about.

  4. A dearth of dewberries here this spring – all my regular haunts are barren. And the usual evidence of birds eating mulberries is completely absent here. No mess means hungrier birds, for sure.

  5. Pingback: Chocolate to mesquite | Sage to Meadow

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