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Night shift


I am not a night person. My Dad was. He worked the night shift my whole childhood at the St. Louis airport. But a lot goes on while I sleep. Sometimes I hear the night shift calling when I go to bed or when I get up early.


A wildlife camera can let you get a sneak peak into night life without having to stay up. Here is an armadillo visits our water feature in our woods.



A stripe-less skunk.





Coyotes can be heard yipping sometimes near the house.






I saw a opossum the other morning, when I had to go out before dawn with Gracie.






A raccoon.





Even the squirrels are busy in the night. My photos of the night crew were taken a few years back but the photos below were all recent.





Jeanne caught this bobcat on her game camera. Her setup is to monitor for the feral hogs. That's the pen behind the bobcat.






Kathy has her game camera setup too. She has this totally white skunk! Pretty cool!





Kathy had a Axis deer die on her farm near Fredericksburg. She decided to set up her game camera to see what came to eat the dead deer. This ringtail came for a meal. FYI, we don't have ringtails up here in Wise County. 





Racoons visited it as well.





Here a racoon and fox in the same photo.




A Great Horn Owl wanted a piece of it too!




Another shot of the owl.  So the dead deer has given a lot of life.





Sometimes our security camera catches life too like this alien life form LOL.






The sky was blue again today! Yeah! That dust yesterday was awful.





Gracie, the anemometer. The wind was not so bad either, but was colder.





I found this spotless Convergent Lady beetle out and about today.


Thank you for the use of your photos Jeanne and Kathy!



Keep looking!







 




Kansas

 Kansas is the name of an American rock band. In 1977 they release a song called "Dust in the Wind". The song seems appropriate today I think.


At 11:18 am there were still clouds lingering but the wind had already started to gust as Gracie, the anemometer shows.






At 1:24 pm the clouds were gone and I can see the haze on the southwestern horizon.





At 2:40 pm the sky is not so blue.





At 3:18 pm, even more dust in the air.






Blackberry patch with back of leaves showing!

Close up.

The patch usually looks like this out of the wind. 






Bobwhite poop. It was old and I have not seen them since spring here at the house.






3:22 pm. It is thick. I worn my Covid mask out this afternoon.






This is at 5:04 pm.





So much dust, it is hard to see the sun between the two left pine trees at 546 pm.





Here is what the visual satellite image looked like at 3:52 pm.




Keep looking!




What lies beneath?

 

I don't think anyone has anything on north Texas' sunrises.




Spring Beauty colors!

The variation of color ranges from almost white...

To these deeper shades.

And the yellow at the base of the petals vary too.



What lies beneath the bark on this dead Hackberry tree?


This is the bark moved back to the right.


You never know what life you will find. There is some kind of insect near the middle droppings to the left. It is hard to see. A whole host of life make their home hidden from view. Beetles, ants, larvae, spiders, fungus are just few that come to mind.  



Cool article: Reindeer Lichens Are Having More Sex Than Thought – Unexpected Levels of Genetic Diversity 



Keep looking!




Weird find

The sky had a lot of contrails today. It was cold this morning with a low of 23. However there was not much frost on the ground. Glad there was no wind and plenty of sunshine at noon! By the afternoon it was not so blue.


At sunset the sky was full of many different types of clouds.






Old Plainsman's (Hymenopappus scabiosaeus var corymbosus) rosettes can be easily be found in the winter.





It is amazing how insect or spider casing can survive the cold.






Ladies-tresses (Spiranthes) leaf. By the time the Spiranthes blooms in the fall these leaves will have been eaten or they die back. I do know that something does eat them.




First of the season Tiny Bluet (Houstonia pusilla).





First of the season Henbit (Lamium amplexcaule). It is a non-native.





The Western Horse Nettle (Solanum dimidiatum) fruit or I usually just call it nightshade.  I like the different shades as it gets older.





Someone left a bit of fur behind on the blackberry branch. Ouch!





This was a weird find this morning. Jim spotted the corn on our path! If you look close at the bottom you can see the deer track. We don't put out corn. Apparently a deer must have cough up the corn.  




Interesting article... 

635 million-year-old fungi-like microfossil that bailed us out of an ice age discovered



Keep looking!


 

Savanna

I watched a zoom presentation by Suzanne and I was reminded our LBJ grasslands are more of savanna than a prairie. The difference I found on the internet was "between the two is based on the percent of land covered by trees. Prairies have virtually no tree cover (less than 10 percent), and savannas have less than 30 percent tree cover". It also said rainfall was less in the prairie than on a savanna. Of course with the suppression of fire and no more bison roaming through our area, the percentage has changed. Thanks Suzanne!  Suzanne's presentation of "Inviting the Prairie into your Home Garden" was recorded, so for more information watch the  Prairie Rose Chapter website to see when it will be posted. 

So this is the last part to Monday's adventure that is not in a ravine ;-).


After being down in the creek and ravines for a few hours, we headed out into the field for the last hour or so.




The cattle are a part of the Forest Service management tool. This cow patty had a puddle. 






This willow tree branch looked to be a recent break. You find plenty of willows around the ponds on the grasslands. The color is awesome.





This puffball had already dispersed its spores.






Out in the field, we found some rocks with crustose lichens on them.



And of course I had to look what was under them. All we found that day were these millipedes.






I just love dead wood. I vote it looks like either a shoe tree or a duck??





Another old log knot.





Out among the grasses, mosses are hiding.





Often times there are lichens as well as the mosses. This lichen is a Cladonia species.





There are quite of few ravines on the grasslands. In the 1950's, the NRCS (old name Soil Conservation Service) built berms, terraces, and ponds to stop the erosion.





Gracie frequently uses the ponds for cooling off and getting a drink.



 
But there is also recreation :-)







We found a lone Ashe Juniper (Juniperus ashei) in the field.






On some of the Post Oak's branches were these galls. They were soft and fuzzy.






In one part of the field there was this small acreage of Mesquite trees with all this old Broomweed. We wondered if there might have been a corral there long ago.





Near a tree this paper wasp nest had fallen to the ground. This side (the top) had a shiny-ness to it.

Such incredible engineers. 





Gumweed stalks


This morning in the Texbirds listserve, Brush Freeman posted this interesting read:







Keep looking!