Tag Archives: Native Wildflowers

Flowers of Flying Hat (10-11): Salt Creek water sounds

The rains about two weeks ago produced sufficient runoff from pastures farther upstream to maintain a water flow in Salt Creek, an intermittent creek that runs through the ranchito.  You can turn up your sound volume and hear the burble of water flowing over and down sedimentary rock.

This is the first sustained water flow — beyond thunderstorm rains — since before the drought.

10. Gyp Indian Blanket, rear view of blossom that is pointed west.

The Gyp Indian Blanket is one of my favorite wildflowers.  They are so free-standing, tall and bunched together like a family.

Gyp Indian Blanket family

 

11. Vetch with yucca sprouts

The vetch is knee-high near the house and in the far field it is waist-high in some places.  I like this photograph because of the contrast — yucca and delicate vetch blossoms.

My photography of every new-emergent flower continues.  I have several varieties backlogged in pictures.  Today I have taken several photographs of the Stork’s Bill blossom and will post them soon.

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Field Log 4/3/2010

North Erath County, Texas, 32.43 lat., -98.36 long. Elev. 1,086 ft.  Turkey Creek Quad.

Day looks less windy and can broadcast grass seeds.  Disc and broadcast today (Saturday).  Take Sunday off.

Finished turning and applying disc implement to Pecan Tree Pasture and the house fields.  Turned about four acres in the far pasture, two acres at the house fields.  Harris’ Hawk flies overhead as I prep soil.  The Bryant field west of the pecan orchard is being plowed so lessee can plant seed for hay.  The lessee drives a John Deere enclosed cab.  I like my Case that is not enclosed, but has a Farmall sun shield, because I can feel the wind and smell the turned soil.  And, I really don’t want a CD player and radio on the tractor.  Also, when idling the engine, I can hear the Harris’ Hawk — can’t do that with enclosed cab.  Note: with the Bryant field stripped of grass and brush, there is less cover for wildlife.

As I apply the disc to the pasture, I can see the shadows of the Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) and Harris’ Hawk on the ground as they glide above the tractor.  Several vultures roost in the dead tree on the Bryant place, along Barton Creek.

Wind over past two weeks has dried out topsoil despite rain.

I say to Brenda at lunch that I saw a wren-type, ground-feeding bird in the native grasses that I have let grow in the Pecan Tree Pasture.  The bird spied the tractor coming and darted around and entered the tall bluestem grass (verify) as I passed by along the fence row.  I have shredded the pasture twice since I moved here, but I’ll not be shredding any more.  The fifty-three (53) acres will be as sustainable as I can make it.  Seeing the wren in the field of native grass that Cody Scott had planted in 2004, signals to me that the field is a good habitat for wildlife.  Last year as I worked in the field, I scared up two deer that had taken a rest in the high grass.  Since the Halls cleared their brush and have put Adirondack chairs in their grove, small bridges over their gullies and a workshop next to the Pecan Tree Pasture, I’ll not be seeing as many deer as I once did.  I’ll not be putting any chairs about the place.  I’ll sit on a log or lean up against a tree — nature’s furniture.

Brought up the tractor with the Edge broadcast seeder and spreader.  Backed tractor and spreader up to rocks on driveway so that water runoff would go onto lawn not puddle in driveway.  Attaching PTO difficult.  Used WD-40.

Case DX-55 with Edge Broadcast Seeder and Spreader, April 3, 2010 (click to enlarge)

Made calculations as to orifice size to allow seeds to fall through and be broadcast.  Start out with a No. 2 opening.  In the thumbnail below you can see a large white bag and a smaller bag.  The larger bag is the native grass (25 lbs.) and the smaller is the wildflower seed (2 lbs.).

Southern Plains Native Grass Mixture #2901, April 3, 2010

Native Grass Seed Bag and Small Wildflower Bag, April 3, 2010

Texas and Oklahoma Native Wildflower Mixture, April 3, 2010

Wildflower Varieties Planted

Premium TEX / OKA Regional Wildflower Mixture

Common Name *Type Scientific Name Flower Color
Baby’s Breath, Annual A Gypsophila elegans White
Black-Eyed Susan A/B/P Rudbeckia hirta Yellow
Bluebonnet, Texas A Lupinus texensis Blue
Coreopsis, Lance-Leaved P Coreopsis lanceolata Yellow
Cosmos, Sulphur A Cosmos sulphureus Yellow/Orange
Candytuft, Annual A Iberis umbellata White/Pink/Violet
Coneflower, Purple P Echinacea purpurea Purple
Cornflower, Dwarf A Centaurea cyanus Mix
Coneflower, Prairie B/P Ratibida columnifera Yellow/Red
Coneflower, Clasping A Rudbeckia amplexicaulis Yellow
Golden Wave Tickseed A Coreopsis basalis Yellow
Evening Primrose, Dwarf P Oenothera missouriensis Yellow
Evening Primrose, Showy P Oenothera speciosa Pink
Gaillardia, Annual A Gaillardia pulchella Yellow-Red
Mint, Lemon A Monarda citriodora Lavender/White
Phlox, Annual A Phlox drummondii Red
Poppy, Corn A Papaver rhoeas White/Pink/Red
Prairie Clover, Purple P Petalostemon purpureum Purple
Sage, Scarlet A/P Salvia coccinea Red
Wildflowermix.com

Native Grasses Planted

The native grasses planted are: Blue Grama, Sideoats Grama, Buffalo Grass, Plains Bristlegrass, Little Bluestem, Prairie Junegrass and Sand Dropseed.

The wind came up to 10-15 m.p.h.  in the afternoon.  Delayed spreading until after supper at 6:15 p.m.

Following supper, spread seed in Pecan Tree Pasture and house pastures until 9:15 p.m.  Used headlights on tractor to finish spreading.  Orifice enlarged to Nos. 5 and 8.  Spread some seeds on arena-south pasture.  Must disc twice this area on Monday.

Salt Creek runs through the grove with about two-three inches of flow.  Tadpoles emerge.  I hear the trickle of flow as the water falls down on the rocks alongside the road to the far pasture.  Cannot use the road because of the water flow and must go around the Halls place on SH 108.  I put the Case tractor into high gear, fourth position and watch for traffic on the highway.  I have lights flashing.  In four trips to the far pasture today, only one vehicle passed me: a motorcycle with two people, man and woman, traveling to Stephenville, most likely to have barbecue at Hard Eight.

The quote I always have in mind:  Begin with the sun and all else shall follow.  — D.H. Lawrence.

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Field Log 3/12/2010 (With Notes)

North Erath County, Texas, 32.43 lat., -98.36 long. Elev. 1,086 ft.  Turkey Creek Quad.

Runoff from Blue Place Pond into Poprock Pond, March 12, 2010 (click to enlarge)

Runoff from rains and snow of past month from the Blue place to the east of us are indicated in this photograph.  (How I wish Ms. Chavez could take a more artistic photograph.)  There are three stock tanks that are interlinked in tandem with water surface runoff:  Blue place, our pond, Hall pond to the south.  From time to time, ditches to divert the water to these three stock tanks have to be reconstructed.  The terracing is not difficult, but politics enters into the construction that I must do to keep the Hall pond (recently revamped) full.  I have to perform the construction task with my Case-Farmall DX-55 tractor.

Close-up of Runoff from Blue Place Pond, March 12, 2010 (click to enlarge)

This is a close-up of the vitality of the runoff from the Blue Pond into Poprock Hill stock tank.  One year, ca. 2005, the runoff continued from winter to early fall.  This is a healthy source of water.  The Blue place pond derives about one-third to one-half of its water from our front pasture.

Unidentified Shrub on Poprock Hill Pond, Northeast Side, March 12, 2010 (click to enlarge)

[Presently, an unidentified shrub.  I’ll type it eventually.  Help anyone, quickly?  See close-up of blossoms, next picture.]

Close-up Unidentified Shrub Poprock Hill Pond, Northeast Side, March 12, 2010 (click to enlarge)

[Unidentified blossoms of shrub, close-up.  See previous photo for global view.  I’ll eventually type, but does anyone know the name?]

Black Wasp Nest Winter with Mesquite Tree, March 12, 2010 (click to enlarge)

In Texas and in the West, writ large, there is a saying: Out here, if it doesn’t bite you, it will stick or sting you.  This photograph indicates sticking and stinging.  To be frank, I am not sure the empty nest is Black Wasp or Yellow Jacket.  I’ll get back to you this summer with an answer.

Tracks of coyote from yesterday’s sighting unconfirmed on Poprock pond.  No track found.  Doubting what I saw.

Mallard ducks flushed from Hall pond.  Photographs of flight.

Wind is strong from north, 20+ m.p.h.  Temperature in 50s F.

Brenda and I unable to take DNA sample from mane hair.  Shiney uncooperative today with wind and other distractions.

Seed ordered.  Native grass seed ordered:  Blue Grama, Sideoats Grama, Buffalo Grass, Plains Bristlegrass, Little Bluestem, Prairie Junegrass and Sand Dropseed.  Two day shipment by U.P.S.

Native wildflower seed order for front pasture and terraces:

Texas Bluebonnet A Lupinus texensis Blue
Purple Coneflower P Echinacea purpurea Purple
Lance-Leaved Coreopsis P Coreopsis lanceolata Yellow
Annual Gaillardia A Gaillardia pulchella Yellow-Red
Dwarf Evening Primrose P Oenothera missouriensis Yellow
Annual Phlox A Phlox drummondii Red
Scarlet Sage A/P Salvia coccinea Red
Engelmann Daisy P Engelmannia pinnatifida Yellow
Purple Prairie Clover P Petalostemon purpureum Purple
Blue Sage P Salvia farinacea Blue
Lemon Mint A Monarda citriodora Lavender/White
Prairie Coneflower B/P Ratibida columnifera Yellow/Red
Clasping Coneflower A Rudbeckia amplexicaulis Yellow
Golden Wave Tickseed A Coreopsis basalis Yellow
Showy Evening Primrose P Oenothera speciosa Pin

———-

Sought information on stallion insemination of Sweet Hija.

Sought information on sales and trainers for Shiney.

Rainfall, March 8, 2010 (click to enlarge)

Rainfall and Runoff from Barn, March 8, 2010 (click to enlarge)

A storage tank for rain water needs to be installed.  I know that Caralee Woods and Jimmy Henley (see their site) will look at this and give me a link to Tractor Supply or Higginbotham Hardware, so that I can purchase a storage tank to save this precious water.  The runoff goes through a channel in the Broke Tree Corral and then is drained into our stock pond, so not all is lost.

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