|Ruellia humilis, with a purple bee-highway|
|Don't mind me...|
I saw (and, unfortunately, couldn't resist impinging upon) some interesting bug life. The ubiquitous bee assassin was lurking under horse mint, a lone Bombus pensylvanicus was foraging among the basket flowers, and two skippers were ensuring the continuation of the species. Ahem.
I can't imagine an efficient means to manage such a small parcel. I know this place isn't without problems- the creek bottoms are choked with privet- but it is still a lovely little patch in the heart of the city. It has some Texas-endemic species, including bluebonnets and the white compass plant (Silphium albiflorum). While the more widely distributed compass plant's (S. laciniatum's) foliage is highly palatable and rapidly disappears in a pasture, the leaves of S. albiflorum are a little more bristly and (anecdotally) are less favored by cattle.
Happily, this 160 acre prairie has its own group of defenders, Friends of Tandy Hills Natural Area. Here's hoping it can continue to thrive with their care and protection.
More pictures after the jump.
|White compass plant, Silphium albiflorum|
|"Dee-licious, perfectly safe nectar here. Anyone?" -bee assassin on horse mint|
|Pretty prairie parsley seed heads|
|Burr-like seeds of Krameria lanceolata, trailing ratany.|