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!

Out in the damp

 Today I was over in Collin County at a couple of prairie sites. We were scouting for the Prairie Seeker training class for the Ft Worth NPAT to be held in May. It was foggy and damp all day. We even got lightly showered on at the second site. So I'm kinda of tire, but I will start with a couple photos from today and do more in a couple more posts.

Carol Clark has 341 species of plants recorded on her farm. The farm has been in the family for a long while.

Carol has many special plants including seven different species of milkweeds.

Gall on oak tree.

It was pretty wet out today. Kinda of like this funnel spider web. I think they got more rain there as the field had plenty of standing water. 

 I will give you more details tomorrow.

Keep looking!

Cartoon or real life?

A true bug did not make it through the cold.

Yesterday's rain of .71inch put a little bit water in our pond.

Yellow Flax (Linum rigidum).

My Engelmann's Daisies (Engelmannia peristenia) are starting to come up.

The fungus looks velvety.

Bedstraw (Galium aparine) starting to come up.

A fallen log.

All the black looking stuff on the above photo are jelly lichens.

I love to watch the fallen trees rot back into soil. They just disappear.

Moss was pretty.

Old horseapple from a Bois d'arc (Maclura pomifera) tree.

This is incredible neat photo by Kathy! It is just like the cartoons pulling the worm out of the ground. So the cartoon was inspired by real life! 

Yum yum! 

Thanks Kathy for sharing with us your really cool American Robin photos!

Keep looking!



Low temp was 42.3 and high was 50.9 degrees today. At 5:54 pm we have gotten .38" of rain. Yahoo!
 Here is the last of grasslands photos from Feb 23th.

We mostly were walking under a grove of cedars. Several of the fallen cedars were covered in moss.

I got all excited when I first saw this lichen. I was hoping it was Usnea species, but alas it was a Teloschistes exilis. The apothecia is normally easily seen and bright orange and the common name is Goldeye Lichen.

More of the Goldeye Lichen with a foliose lichen.

Only found two of these cardinal feathers. Maybe it got lucky and only lost a couple of feathers.

Almost white Tiny Bluet (Houstonia pusilla).

Not sure what small bird this belonged to, but possibly one of the sparrow species. It was not as dark as it seems in the photo.

Egg case of insect or spider.

Upturned edge on this gilled mushroom was interesting.

Still do not know what this is. It was along a pond edge and in the water. 

I'm hope one of you tree experts can ID this tree? So I don't have to look it up LOL. Feeling lazy ;-)

It's bark was like an alligator.

I believe this is a leaf from it.

Back side of leaf.

Another leaf sample of the front.

Back side.

Close up of the bark.  Also the branches were alternate.

Iron oxidizing bacteria coming off the side of bank. I usually see it in the creek bed/water. Maybe a different species I wonder.

A big old Post Oak. Gracie is at the base of it in her orange vest.

Finally I found one near enough to the ground to photograph. Mistletoe (Phoradendron species) was used by ranchers during the severe drought in the 1950's to help feed their cows.

Opposite branching. Of course all the berries are gone. Birds of many species enjoy them. A healthy forest will have some mistletoe I read once in study that was conducted in Colorado.

This is where the berries were attached.

Close up.

The stem is covered with tiny hairs.

Three Post Oak trees grew together.

And here we met up with one of the locals on a neighboring property. She was quick to come greet and accepted a nose rub.

Her friends was coming as fast as they could to get in on the action.

Heehaw and Gracie greeted each other and us in this video (must go to website to see if you only usually read the email). The first one didn't like that the others came for the attention and started to nip her friends. Oh and there was a bit of kicking too.


Yaupon Holly  (This is the species the above article talks about and no I have never tried it.)

Keep looking!