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Absolutely purty weather!

 Ah, the temperature was so nice this afternoon. No breeze and 62 degrees, I could not have asked for better. Today's mission on the grasslands was to check if the Trout Lilies (Erythronium mesochoreum) were blooming.

The first critter was this Dainty Sulphur. A delightful find! I have not seen the usual numbers this winter. Yes, they are out in the winter here. There was a Goatweed Leafwing but I didn't manage to get its photo. My shadow scared it off. The Leafwing was the first of the season for me.





Cymopterus (Vesper macrorhizus) was a nice find. This one has a dirty lavender color.






This Cymopterus is more of a dirty white color. Both the same species. Can't wait for their cool seedheads. That is my favorite part of the flower of this species. It was Shirley's too. 





We found multiple fallen paper wasp nests. This one was as wide as my shoe.






I can see an eye on this "critter" and it is smiling!  LOL





This was the first Trout Lily discovered today! Its bloom was not fully open.






Another paper wasp nest! Eventually we saw one still in a tree.





Moss and a crustose lichen on limestone!





This unit has a lot of limestone that is embedded with fossils..





Clam fossils!





A Cymopterus with no bloom and a Missouri Primrose's (Oenothera macrocarpa) seedpod. The seedpod was a bit shiny.






Grama grass seed heads on the ground next to the greenery that is starting to spread on the prairie.



Low temperature this morning was 32. After all that cold, the plants can not be stopped. Nature is wonderful!  I will do more photos from today in tomorrow's post.



Keep looking!



Three Sisters

 This is the second part of our prairie scouting trip on Saturday. This is the Three Sisters farm. David told us he acquired the land in 1991. He named it Three Sisters for his three daughters. Nice name! The land was not in very good shape. David has been trying to restore it. He has planted five acres plots with some not so successful and some that did well over the years. It is still a work in progress. If you check the Ft. Worth Chapter of the Native Prairies Association of Texas blog, he said he will keep us up-to-date on his progress. Go David!


This is part of David's prairie. Looks very golden in the dampness.





Fallen log with Turkeytail shelf fungus.





A puffball fungus.





Tiny shiny brown gilled mushroom.





Crust fungus from the underside of a fallen log.





A tiny cricket was also underneath. It is just off center to the right.





Round-headed Bush Clover (Lespedeza capitata) really stood out!





Turban Lichen (Cladonia peziziformis) found on a fallen cedar. I don't ever recall finding this species on cedar.




The color really pops on this lichen! I'm not sure of the species.





White fungus on the underside of this fallen log. Fungus is such an important part of the ecosystem.





Young grasshopper, possibly a Mermiria species.





This puffball fungus has purple spores. It also has a flattop. I'm not sure but it might be a Calvatia cyathiformis.




Beautiful moss! Moss can often be found on the ground in the prairie among the grasses and forbs. 





Meadowlark feathers. Mourning Dove feathers were found as well.





Croton species.






Pretty tiny mushroom!





A polypore fungus! Pretty cool!





This fungus was also on the same cedar. I'm not sure if it the same fungus as above; maybe just younger.






This one was interesting the way it wrapped around the knob.


Closer view.




Orange crustose lichen.







The group walking in David's prairie. It was a great day despite the damp weather. The prairie supports a lot of life from the grasses, forbs, fungus, critters, and so much more. Thank you David for sharing your wonderful prairie!





This huge burl was on road near David's farm. Pretty awesome, eh!


Thank you all for joining me on the Prairie Seeker's scouting tour!  I always enjoy a good outing!  Thank you to David, Carol and Richard for sharing their prairies with us!





Keep looking!


Carol and Richard's prairie

 It was so much fun yesterday to get out with a bunch of experts in the prairie. I always get to learn new stuff. Carol and Richard's work show on their beautiful prairie, Clark Haven. Thank you for sharing it with us!

As I mentioned yesterday, it was quite damp out. Makes it too easy to find the spiders webs. I bet they don't catch much on wet days.





These are deer's jaw bones. I have a great little key for mammal's called "A key-guide to Mammal skulls and Lower Jaws" by Aryan I. Roest. It has helped me many a time.






An old cardinal nest. Sorry Carol I didn't mention it to you then for your wildlife report.





Cedar Elm (Ulmus crassifoliatree's winged branch.





Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana) were really bright green!





 
I believe Carol said this was boneset (Eupatorium serotinum). Beautiful browns!






Hairy Bittercrest (Cardamine hirsuta) is a rather small plant.





The Hairy Bittercrest is a plant that I was not familiar with, THANKS Carol!





Lichens! They are at their most showy- ness when it is wet!





Another nest. This is possibly a sparrow nest. Note it is mostly made of grasses. The nest above had more sticks/twigs.





I saw this old box turtle shell and thought a little bird bath.




Carol might have mentioned which aster this was, but I don't remember. It is a Symphyotrichum species.






The Indian marker tree.  Carol has not had it expertly confirmed she said, but sure looks the part. I will go with that. :-)





The tree had great shelf fungus on it. I believe these are the common Turkeytail.





A top view.





Side view.





Cool feature on the Indian marker tree. Carol had a story about the Indian marker tree and Copperheads being there at the tree, but well I ignored that and got my photos. LOL.



Thank you so much again to Carol and Richard for sharing your prairie. It is always a delight to visit with you at your prairie! Oh and Carol has a delightful blog called Carol's World. She has some great posts.



Tomorrow I will share the photos from Three Sisters farm.


Today's weather was interesting. We started at 65 degrees. Then at about 9:30am,we had a 15 minute frog strangler of a rain. We got .62 inch.  After the cold front came through we had dropped to 51 by 2pm.


Our pond was almost empty before the rain. It probably went up 8 or 9 feet.




Sunset was pretty spectacular too!



Keep looking!