Wildflower Season, Part 4

Opuntia cactus with yellow blossom just beginning to open A few years ago when I developed an  intense interest in succulents and cacti, I harvested some pads from the prickly pear in the back corner of my yard to root. One of them got planted in the front yard two years ago, and last year it flourished, growing about a dozen new pads. This year the pads are covered with flower buds, which I’ve been watching, waiting for my very own cactus roses to bloom. The first one started opening yesterday!

Wildflower Season, Part 3

Patch of pink primrose with a fuzzy black caterpillar
Pink Primrose is a prolific wildflower, shown here with a fuzzy black caterpillar

I took this pic during Ben Ben’s morning walk. It turned out surprisingly good considering the wind today, which you can kind of see in the way the primroses it’s happily feasting on are all swept to one side. This year has been excellent for primrose, they are literally everywhere right now and I love it!


Wildflower Season, Part Two

Asclepias sp.; a cluster of green flowers with a surprise bee friend.
Milkweed flower, Asclepias sp, an important plant for the endangered Monarch Butterfly
Milkweed plant, multiple clusters of greenish flowers and long, narrow, pointed leaves
Milkweed plant, Asclepias sp, with bonus pink flowers, possibly gaura.

I spotted this on my way home from work a couple days ago, and stopped the next morning to take a picture. It’s a beautiful specimen! Milkweed is a diverse family, and very important for the endangered Monarch Butterfly, and they only lay their eggs on these plants, and the caterpillars eat them. Mild toxins in the leaves build up in the body of the caterpillars, making the butterflies toxic to predators. I’m hoping the plant will last to go to seed, I’d like to harvest them to sow on my property for next year. *crosses fingers*

Wildflower Season, Part One

It is spring in Texas and I have been taking a lot of pictures of the wildflowers around my neighborhood. Today we have the classic Texas Bluebonnet, lupinus texensis, very common on the highways courtesy of the Texas Highway Department. This one is perhaps not in the best shape, a little past prime but the color is so rich and lovely. I took this one about a mile down from my house; for some reason that’s the closest patch.