Looking for Signs of Spring

by Linda Jo Conn

Is it just me or is spring behaving erratically this year?  I am so ready for some consistently warm days and swaths of colorful wildflowers brightening the roadsides!  

I did find some pleasant surprises during the past week.  On Monday, I had to go to Giddings, so I drove the back roads to check if the plum trees were in bloom.  No, but instead, I was delighted to find a couple of Drummond’s Phlox (Phlox drummondii).  

Drummond’s Phlox (Phlox drummondii)

Tuesday, I observed the swelling flower buds of the volunteer Eastern Redbud trees (Cercis canadensis) near my house.  

Eastern Redbud trees (Cercis canadensis)

While leaving the herbarium at College Station on Wednesday, I finally spotted several specimens of Carolina Crane’s-Bill (Geranium carolinianum) I have been monitoring in the “lawn” area in bloom.   

Carolina Crane’s-Bill (Geranium carolinianum)

Thursday evening before the new student’s class at the Episcopal Church, I did a little “belly botany” and found a large patch of Bird’s-eye Speedwell (Veronica persica) nearby. 

Bird’s-eye Speedwell (Veronica persica)

While in Cameron on Friday helping fellow Texas Master Gardeners arrange and display the native plant offerings for the annual plant sale, I noticed non-native Redstem Stork’s-Bills (Erodium cicutarium) blooming in the cracks in the sidewalk. 

Redstem Stork’s-Bills (Erodium cicutarium)

When I arrived home from Cameron on Saturday afternoon after the plant sale, I was elated to see my first bloom of Texas Baby Blue Eyes (Nemophila phacelioides) for the year. 

Texas Baby Blue Eyes (Nemophila phacelioides)

Sunday afternoon, I again drove to Cameron watch my eldest grandson perform at the Milam County Community Theatre.  After the play, among other tiny blooms in the lawn, I found Field Madder (Sherardia arvensis).  

Field Madder (Sherardia arvensis)

My “Let’s Get Outside! Challenge” for last week was to enjoy the approaching spring.  Despite my misgivings, I did, and am looking forward to seeing more pops of color appearing in the countryside.

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