Tag Archives: fall

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.


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.