|Yucca and mexican buckeye on a limestone slope|
|Fredericksburg Division limestone|
exposed, north end below dam
Marion Sansom Park is owned by the city of Fort Worth but has been adopted by the Fort Worth Mountain Bikers Association (FWMBA). These cyclists build and maintain the trails and signage. They are an enthusiastic presence on the trail, but I tend to move at a much slower pace. Especially when there's so much new stuff to see. The park itself borders the Lake Worth Dam, interesting because it looms near a limestone exposure in the Fredericksburg Division .
|Lake Worth Dam, north side.|
|honey bee, mexican buckeye|
|honey bee, redbud|
I was most surprised to see mexican buckeye in abundance, which I had thought to be a more southern species. Mexican buckeye has pretty pink flowers and unique, pendulous tri-lobed fruits. The seeds, once released from their capsules, resemble rich brown marbles. I also saw blooming new jersey tea, redbud, plum, ten-petal anemone, prairie verbena, prairie parsley, fringed puccoon, and coral honeysuckle. The coral honeysuckle has emerged just in time for our returning hummingbirds, and it is one of their preferred nectar flowers.
|A few coral honeysuckle flowers are already open|
|Mexican buckeye fruits|
The vertebrates were also out enjoying the weather. A coy green snake stuck his head out of a hollow tree to watch me walk down the trail, but retreated when I turned to take his picture. I had to wonder: how did he raise and lower himself so easily within his tree trunk? Is he braced against the walls, or does he have an interior shelf on which to rest?
It already felt warm on this southern exposure in the sunshine, and I was glad to wander the slopes of Marion Sansom in early spring. Last year we came close to 100 F by late April, and we are already projected to break into the 90s this week. Spring in Texas, like much of the rest of the world, is fleeting. I intend to get out in it as much as I can.
|Cute green snake, peeping out of his front door.|