My Montana

My Montana
My Montana

Monday, July 18, 2011

Snow-Time on the Coastal Prairie

It's snow-time.  Or at least snow-on-the-prairie time here at Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge. The first snow is starting to show.  In good years, huge patches of snow-on-the-prairie appear and look like drifts of snow. This year, some of the plants are blooming when they only have one small stalk, so I don't expect more than a few little snow showers.

A small drift of snow-on-the-prairie (Euphorbia bicolor)

Other flowers are contributing to the snowy effect.

A plot of gauara (Guara lindheimeri)

False dandelion seed head - these often grow in large groups and the seed head is equal in beauty to the flower
Even our great egrets and cattle egrets are adding to the snowy effect when tLughey congregate into huge roosts each evening.

Great egret, cattle egret, and neotropical cormorant rookery in the Skillern Unit

Other wildflowers are also blooming, even in one of the worst droughts in history.

Basket flower (Oenothera speciosa) - see the basket around the bud?

Water primrose (Lugwigia peploides)

Eryngo is making huge purple drifts

Bluebells  ( Eustoma exaltatum) are blooming in many places

Yellow Puff  (Neptunia lutea) makes a great little ground cover

Green Milkweed  (Asclepias viridis) is our most common native milkweed

Pickeralweed (Pontederia cordata) - I rescued this ahead of the roadside mowers for the Visitor Center Pond

Showy evening primrose  (Oenothera speciosa) - they've been blooming since February
and make a lovely weaver in the native garden. These southern plants bloom in the daytime.