Springtime in Texas

With some time off from work and a short visit back to the Lone Star State, I was able to get some photos of the great spring most of North Central Texas is having.  According to the National Weather Service, parts of Montague County have received 8 inches of precipitation over the last 60 days.  That’s been good enough so far for the plants.  Keep the rains coming!  There are many photos below, although this is hardly a complete springtime pictorial for North Central Texas.

Consider growing the plants shown, or prairie plants applicable to your ecological region, in your yard.  Because if you’ve seen one square inch of boring non-native lawn (which sadly occupy more than 32 million acres in the US), you’ve seen them all.  If you’ve seen one square foot of prairie, you’ve got hundreds of billions more to see – and it changes every season!

forbs4april2513
The graceful and premier Texas forbs, Texas Bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis) and Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja indivisa).
Texas Yellowstar (Lindheimera texana) was one of the first plants to flower in bed planting number 1.
Texas Yellowstar (Lindheimera texana) was one of the first plants to flower in bed planting number 1 that I planted last fall.
Prairie Verbena (Glandularia binnatifida).
Prairie Verbena (Verbena bipinnatifida)
A grand old Post Oak (Quercus stellata) on a ranch I’ve worked at on and off for the last 13 years. This tree is easily 160+ years old, if not older.
Thelesperma
Greenthread (Thelesperma filifolium)
Castilleja purpurea, an Indian Paintbrush with more variable colors than the commonly planted and seen C. indivisa
Castilleja purpurea, a Prairie Paintbrush with more variable colors than the commonly planted and seen C. indivisa. 
The botanical communitiy recognizes three varieties.
C. indivisa among last year's growth of Purple Threeawn.
C. indivisa among last year’s growth of various warm season grasses.
Near the long abandoned farm community of Uz, lies a restored prairie and Cross Timbers area covering some 600 acres.
Near the long abandoned farm community of Uz, lies a restored prairie and Cross Timbers area covering some 600 acres. Notice the Honey Mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) in the background on the right. Local lore says when the Mesquites are leafed out, spring is definitely here.
Engelmann's Daisy (Engelmannia peristenia) reclaims its former homeland within an old pioneer homestead.
The monotypic Engelmann’s Daisy (Engelmannia peristenia) reclaims its former homeland within an old pioneer homestead.
The rolling hills of the colloquially named North Texas Hill Country.
The rolling hills of the colloquially named North Texas Hill Country.  Though these are not as famous as the Hill Country of central Texas, they are still just as impressive.
Indian Blanket (Gaillardia pulchella).
Indian Blanket (Gaillardia pulchella)
Endangered in the Midwest, and rare in Texas, the Shooting Star (Dodecatheon meadia) has declined due to large part to the plow.  D. meadia had larger population numbers when the prairies were unbroken, up to the early pioneer days.
Endangered in 3 Midwestern states and Florida, and rare in Texas, Shooting Star (Dodecatheon meadia) has declined due to large part to the devastating plow.  D. meadia had larger population numbers when the prairies were unbroken, up to the early pioneer days.
Texas Toadflax
Texas Toadflax (Nuttallanthus texanus)
Prairie Larkspur (Delphinium carolinianum)
Prairie Larkspur (Delphinium carolinianum)
Engelmann's Daisy taking hold of ground the plow no longer breaks at the Thomsen Foundation.
Engelmann’s Daisy taking hold of ground the plow no longer breaks at the Thomsen Nature Preserve.

Thanks to Roger Schlichenmaier, owner of the Schlichenmaier Ranch, and to Dr. Lisa Bellows, Director of the Thomsen Nature Preserve for access to their properties, from which several of these photos were taken.

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