Category Archives: Nature

First Bluebonnets of 2012

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  This past Friday, I took my high school one-act play students to Bandera, TX.  On the way there, we saw bluebonnets in bloom between Llano and Fredericksburg.  I thought that those blooms were way ahead of our personal bluebonnets, but no, not at all.  Saturday afternoon, we drove around the Mountain Pasture, and there they were, just beginning to peak their little blue bonnets out of the green plants.  Above and below are photos of the first ones of the year here at our place in Central Texas.  We welcome you, bluebonnets and spring! 

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An Early Spring?

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  Watch out little peach tree!  Several of the fruit trees my hubby planted last winter are now blooming.  I think it might be too early!  The last frost has not arrived yet, I fear!  The old-timers go by the mesquite trees, and those trees have not begun to put on green leaves yet.  They remain dormant.

This little apricot tree doesn’t know any better either!  Both of these trees were planted a year ago.  Can’t believe they are already making blossoms like this.

..and the clover abounds since there are no horses around this year.  Ah, the power of rainfall and warm weather!

More About Texas Bluebonnets

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The bluebonnet is the state flower of Texas.  The blossoms resemble the bonnets of pioneer women.  We have an abundance of the plants here at the Mountain Pasture.  Summer before last, a friend gathered some seeds from our prolific plants.  She planted them.  They haven’t come up.  She is distressed.

I was reading about bluebonnets today, and the success rate in planting seeds is 60%, and sometimes they don’t produce blooms for two years if they do come up.  The plants are survivors, and they are very careful about protecting themselves.  It is best to plant the seeds in the fall in soil that has good drainage.  Some recommend that a person scar the seeds before planting them and barely cover them with soil. There are many recommendations on the Internet for planting bluebonnet seeds.

Sheep and goats eat bluebonnet plants as quickly as they poke their heads out, but cattle don’t care for the plants.  I think we’ll have a fairly good crop this year.  Below are some photos of the current state of the plants at the Mountain Pasture.  Can’t wait to see them in bloom!

Texas Drought of 2011 at Mountain Pasture

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Texas climatologists have determined that Texas suffered the worst one-year drought since 1895 this past year.  Streams were running well below normal and reservoirs were at fifty percent.  The land at the Mountain Pasture certainly suffered this past year.  As my husband and I hiked through the pasture last weekend, we couldn’t believe the dead trees that we came upon.  Trees that had been here for many years are now decaying.  We were saddened to see the results of the drought, but were overjoyed to see that the rains of this month of February have put water back in our tanks/ponds and brought the bluebonnets to life and given the countryside as well as its people hope for the future.

Results of the Texas drought of 2011 at the mountain pasture pictured below:

…and then there are always the survivors:

bluebonnets,  tank water, and water running into the dry creek bed!!!!

Moon Over Mountain Pasture

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Okay, I’m always writing about how lucky I am to see such beautiful sunrises here at the Mountain Pasture in Central Texas, but this morning I saw a totally different incredible sight.  As I looked out the bedroom window just before I left for work, I noticed that there was no impending sunrise, but there was fog hanging low.  I thought, “Darn, there won’t be any cool sunrises to see this morning.”   I got in the car and started down the mountain, and just as I passed the first little tank of water, I realized what I had just seen, so I hit the brake and began backing the car.  Sure enough, there was this beautiful reflection of the nearly-full moon in the small earthen tank of water.  I put my car window down and grabbed my tiny, little camera and snapped three shots before heading on in to school.  Usually the moon blurs with my little camera, but I thought these photos turned our fairly well.  Of course, you can also see how Central Texas looks in the dead of winter……..brown and gray!  The winter grasses have turned green since the recent rains, and a few weeds are peeking out green, so before we know it, the heart of Texas will put on her Easter bonnet of every color in the rainbow, but for now, here’s the amazing moon of this morning.