Posts Tagged With: sandhills

Plant of the Week- Showy Pea Vine

And the colorful wildflowers keep coming!

The early flowering "Showy Peavine" has serrated leaves and purple flowers.

The early flowering “Showy Peavine” has serrated leaves and purple flowers.

This is one of the first purple flowers you see in the spring. The flowers remind me of a snapdragon’s shape.

We found an entire spot full of showy peavine flowers.  Don't eat- the plants can be toxic if consumed in large amounts and cause your limbs to go limp.

We found an entire spot full of showy peavine flowers. Don’t eat- the plants can be toxic if consumed in large amounts and cause your limbs to go limp.

ReeRee and I found a large swath of showy pea vines, so we stopped to pick a few. The showy pea vines are low growing and are knee high to a toddler.

Cowboy Boots and Showy Peavines

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Plant of the Week- Penstemon

The penstemon makes a blasting blue contrast to the yellow gromwell. The penstemon and gromwell are one of the first wildflowers to bloom in the Sandhills.

The penstemons vary in size and color.  Some are short and blue-blue, some are tall and light purple.  They make a vivid contrast to the deep yellow gromwells.

The penstemons vary in size and color. Some are short and blue-blue, some are tall and light purple. They make a vivid contrast to the deep yellow gromwells.

You may even find cousins of wild penstemons in your seed/flower catalogs. Our wild penstemons range from a bright, brilliant blue to variety of purple shades. The colors remind me of storm clouds at night- a mixture of dark and moody and bright highlights.

Unfortunately, penstemons wilt instantly, so by the time we get back to the house, all we have is a limp mess.

But that doesn’t stop the flower pickers…

Picking wildflowers...

Picking wildflowers…

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Porcupines- my nemesis

Here in the Sandhills, some things are so rare, they are almost sacred.

Like a rock- you never find a rock in the ocean of sand particles here.

Or a tree. A tree is very hard to come by. The sandy, unfertile soil and major droughts do not suit young saplings to grow.

Reason #1 I strongly dislike (hate is a too strong a word) porcupines. They eat the bark off the few trees we have and the trees die. Of course, the weedy cedar trees, my other nemesis, are left untouched.

A porcupine suns himself in a cottonwood tree.  The very tree he will eat the bark of and kill eventually.

A porcupine suns himself in a cottonwood tree. The very tree he will eat the bark of and kill eventually.

Reason #2: I felt foolish after I ran back to the house after a walk at dusk. I had seen a porcupine ambling in the road ditch. By the time I got back with my .22 pistol, the sun had faded and man, was it dark.

I nearly took a shot at this.

At dusk, these bunches of little bluestem look JUST like a porcupine.

At dusk, these bunches of little bluestem look JUST like a porcupine.

I know, I know. In broad daylight, it looks like a pile of grass.

But at night, it tooks JUST like a porcupine.

Up in a tree, porcupines are easy targets. But in the dark and running through the grass, they are better camouflaged than I thought.

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Plant of the Week- Gromwells

After a nice couple inches of rain (THANK the heavens!!), the wildflowers are starting to bloom and the grass is beginning to grow.

For all the plant geeks out there, here is the first plant of the week for 2013.

The gromwell…

One of the first wildflowers to bloom in the spring.  Gromwells or Hoary Puccoons have rich yellow flowers.  In the fall, the gromwells get white seeds where the leaf attaches to the stem of the plant.

One of the first wildflowers to bloom in the spring. Gromwells or Hoary Puccoons have rich yellow flowers. In the fall, the gromwells get white seeds where the leaf attaches to the stem of the plant.

The gromwell is one of the first blossoms in the spring. There are a variety of gromwells, but this one has a deep, rich yellow color. There is another kind that has a lighter saturation and smaller flower.

By fall, the flowers have dropped off and the gromwell turns into an ugly duckling. Its leaves turn rough like a cat’s tough. One small white seed will grow at each leaf collar, where the leaf meets the stem.

But for now, the gromwell is a beauty!

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For Becky

Correinte cows and sky 2
One of my mom’s friend is an artist.

She thought all horned cows were Longhorns and was unaware of the Corriente breed. (As was I before I dated Newt.)

Corrientes are smaller cows that originated in Mexico. Their horns are smaller, too. You can actually buy papered (registered) Corrientes. Now these cattle are used as roping or bulldogging cattle in rodeos.

Corriente and sky

So Becky, here are some pictures of the Corrientes. If it doesn’t rain, you can buy the entire herd. Happy sculpting!

Corriente bull headshot

Corriente Bull running
Corriente cow calf fed hay

Corrientes and Cant Find Me

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