Signs of Spring: Northern Milam Edition

by Sue Ann Kendall

Like many of our Chapter members, I always get excited when there are indications that maybe we’ll stop getting frozen participation, then heat, then cold, and over and over. Spring flowers give me hope. In the past couple of days, both Donna Lewis and Linda Jo Conn have shared flowers from different parts of Milam County. I’d already been thinking of writing a similar post, but they got there ahead of me. Or did they? We can all get into the search for spring!

It might be interesting to see what kinds of flowers are blooming just a bit north of where they observed (near Gause, and in Cameron). Plus, I needed to get outside for my nature fix.

I’ve always found henbit deadnettle (Lamium amplexicaule) pretty. Here it’s encouraging the other flowers, like the field madder, to get blooming.

I had intended to spend 20 minutes outside taking photos, but I ended up wandering around for an hour. It had been raining, so some of my specimens didn’t look too great. All the storksbills were bedraggled, the anemones were missing petals, and the crow poison had their blossoms firmly shut. So, a couple of these photos are actually from last week. But the plants ARE blooming now!

I’m fond of the showy blossoms that eventually show up each year, but my secret love are the little bitty flowers. Tiny bluets make me especially happy, and this is a great year for them out in my horse pasture.

Of course, everyone is out looking for their first bluebonnets, which are already up in Austin, from what I hear. In northern Milam County, they are usually a bit later than in many places, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a bumper crop of them! This year will be no exception. I found beautiful leaf clusters holding raindrops in their centers, a few buds, and one just starting to bloom. I predict some great smells in the upcoming weeks!

It’s fun to see how the cold weather affects the new leaves on some of the plants, like this prickly sowthistle. I didn’t get any photos of it, but the dewberries have bright red leaves right now, too. Everything will get back to normal soon.

There are also some dandelions and field madder hiding in here with the prickly sowthistle (Sonchus asper). Notice the water droplets. I just noticed on iNat that this plant is even found in Hawaii. Those seeds stick to stuff!

I’d have a photo of my native plum tree, but it was too muddy to get to the reclusive shrubby tree. Maybe next week, if it’s still in bloom. I love those harbingers of spring, too. Some of the other plants I found were also shared by Linda Jo, but I love them so much that I can’t resist sharing.

So, fellow El Camino Real Master Naturalist Chapter members, what’s growing in your part of Milam County? No doubt that answer will be changing every day for the next few weeks. The weather will get nice one of these days, I know. Mother Nature has her own time clock.

3 thoughts on “Signs of Spring: Northern Milam Edition”

  1. IT SEEMS FOREVER SINCE I POTTERED AROUND WITH MY FAMILY ON WALKS THROUGH THE PEAK DISTRICT, GEEKING DOWN THE STREET NAMING ALL THE NEW PLANTS I HAD BEEN LEARNING IN ONE OF THE NATURE BOOKS! LOVE YOUR WORK!

    Liked by 1 person

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