Category Archives: On the move

Culp Branch Native Prairie

Culp Branch, for those of you who live around here, is located on FM 455 in Sanger, the entrance is right across the street from The “Dam” Store.

One of my favorite classes at my current school is Outdoor Education. Who wouldn’t love getting to leave school in the middle of the day to go fish, hike, learn how to geocache (so much fun), and in the winter, shoot a bow! Lately we’ve been going geocaching out at Culp Branch. While the kids are searching for the hidden treasures I am frequently distracted by all of the plant life.

From the beach to the road there are hundreds of plants; wild plum thickets, yucca, pecans, naturalized irises, mesquites and black locusts. I have been there are least 3 times a week for the past 3 weeks. I plan on being there for the wild plum harvest and when the mesquite pods are hanging heavy.

Gayfeather (Liatris mucronata)

Pitcher Sage (Salvia azurea var. grandiflora)

Canadian Goldenrod (Solidago altissima)

Button Willow (Cephalanthus occidentalis)

Heath Aster (Symphyotichum ericoides var. ericoides)

I love looking out over the field and seeing all of the grasses and scrappy flowers that have survived the Texas summer and are putting on their last show for the season. Their colors are subtle and easy to miss but are worth taking the time to look for. Being able to take our students out here and have them hike through the grasses and learn the difference between a mesquite tree and a honey locust is one of the most amazing things I get to do.

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Partridge Pea and Milkweed

B has been working on a series that has us exploring a lot of newly developed land. While he is photographing buildings I wander around and look at whatever plant life has managed to take root and grow in the freshly turned under areas.

I’m not sure what kind of milkweed this is because I didn’t get to see it flower and I’m not particularly good at identifying their seed pods. I’ve got some milkweed seed saved from last season that I’m going to try and include in the school garden.

Partridge pea  or Sensitive Plant (Chamaecrista fasciulata)

As a kid playing with the leaves of a sensitive plant (there are mimosa sensitive plants and this partridge pea and I’m sure many others) was a staple of summer time. I was only ever familiar with the mimosa variety and had not seen the partridge pea until last week. They grow tall and upright instead of the crawling sprawl of their mimosa counterparts.

Last look at the garden

 

Here I am smiling in the garden about a week before we had to leave it. I’m smiling because I had no idea I’d have to leave it.

I left behind my fat momma spider who was about to lay her eggs! She had been munching down on grasshoppers and helping me out all summer.

A prolific sweet potato harvest I won’t be able to dig up. Most disappointing thing about leaving the garden behind is the harvest I won’t be able to collect. The beans, kale, onions, garlic, potatoes, broccoli, peas…

I guess this is the same lesson that has to be learned by all gardeners – things happen that you can’t predict. Too much rain, not enough rain, freak freezes, sudden relocations. Things happen.

 

I love a good courtyard

This gorgeous little courtyard was also in Navasota, TX.

It was landscaped with rosemary, hyacinth bean, lantana, and a few other colorful annuals. The stone entry and the gravel was arranged so that there wouldn’t be any standing water and the space looked clean.

I especially liked the patio chairs – the outdoor cushions were a nice departure from the normally skinny plastic covered kind you see sometimes.

The picket fence hiding an industrial AC unit was fronted with lantana and a hyacinth bean was climbing up the side. Hyacinth beans are one of my favorite ornamental/edibles.

That’s about it. Just some courtyard love.

Squeakers The Cat

Squeak wants to help you with all of your crochet and knitting projects, but must attend to this urgent nap first. Y’all have a good weekend, I’m off to Houston to hang out with my Grandma. If it weren’t for her, I probably wouldn’t know the difference between purple datura and morning glory. Or that either existed.

Slime Mold

I get so excited when I see slime mold, I was jumping up and down on the sidewalk when I saw this. I thought it was such a great example of how quickly they’ll overtake other plant life.

Denise’s Garden

I was house sitting for my friend Denise and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to photograph her wonderful garden. She has a more relaxed way of gardening and lets any volunteer plants stay and hang out. This cantaloupe was a volunteer!

This beautiful striped melon is a Rich Sweetness 132 Melon. I thought it was a small watermelon but nope, that’s about as big as it’ll get! Their flavor isn’t supposed to be anything special but they are very pretty.

Denise’s sense of humor is all throughout the garden. This poor gnome stands guard over that flock of flamingos!