Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Wildflowers and Waxwings

We have visited the Hill Country State Natural Area twice in the past week. Once to hike with our friends Rick and Sharon, and again this past Sunday to participate in a Wildflower Walk. The weather was a little damp on Sunday and we were the only folks to show up for the walk. So Teri and I were led around by a very knowledgeable ranger and had a great time.

First the Cedar Waxwings. Look at the picture below and guess how many Waxwings are in that tree.
Cedar Waxwings in Tree
They blended in so well that they looked like leaves. It turns out that there are between 50 and 75 birds in that picture!

During the Wildflower Walk we saw all kinds of flowers. Big and small, showy and subdued. 
Antelope-Horns Milkweed
The Antelope-Horns Milkweed was big, but not particularly colorful. While the Ratany was tiny, but brightly colored. 
Winning the award for best camouflaged flower was the was Queen's Delight. That green spike is the flower. 
Queen's Delight
You can see where the Squarebud Primrose gets its name.
Squarebud Primrose
And Yellow Flax was putting on a nice display. 
Yellow Flax
We saw a plant with leaves that resembled a Bluebonnet, but the flower was different. It turned out to be the oddly named Scurf Pea.
Scurf Pea
Another (barely) blue flower was Blue-Star. 
Blue Star
We saw a lot of Indian Paintbrush up in the Inks Lake, but were pleased to find its larger cousin, the Prairie Paintbrush down in our neck of the hills. 
Prairie Paintbrush
Another wildflower that thrives in the rocky Texas Hill Country is the aptly named Limestone Guara. 
Limestone Guara
And finally, the Bushy Skullcap. On the ranger's checklist she had a hint beside this one that read "Bugs Bunny Teeth". Do you see them?? This is the kind of hint that will stick with me for years!
Bushy Skullcap
We saw many other varieties of wildflowers, but I'll spare you a dozen different DYC (Darned Yellow Composite) pictures. You can thank me later!



  1. I've never seen most of those flowers.... they are lovely. I'd especially like to see the prairie paintbrush... that orange with a tiny bit of red just appeals to me ;-)

  2. I would never remember Bushy Scullcap just Bugs Bunny Teeth! We finally made it home! Don't know how to act in a house without wheels! :)

  3. Love the new profile photo, but you captured my favorite all-time view of cedar waxwings with the picture of them camouflaged in the tree! --Sharon