Nature Trail Tour April, 2007
Take a virtual tour of the Sibley Nature Tour!
[Additional Tours: February, 2006 | April, 2006 | May, 2006 | July, 2006 | August, 2006 | October, 2006 | January, 2007 | February, 2007]
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By late March, the native and drought adaptive landscaping begins to bloom around the building. Blackfoot Daisy is common in either very sandy soil or very rocky soil throughout the region.
Mountain laurel is common in the canyons along the Pecos River and many other places in Texas.
Red Salvia greggii is native in the Glass Mountains, but is a very popular landscaping plant throughout the Southwestern United States. Agarita (or algerita) is native in the breaks of the Llano to the east, but also in the canyons of the Pecos, and on out to the Davis Mountains.
The pink to the right is Mexican buckeye, which is also common in the breaks of the Colorado, Concho, and Pecos Rivers. In Big Bend it becomes a tree, but is multi-trunked in the Midland-Big Spring area. The red is the salvia, and the purple is mountain laurel.
Huisache daisy is a common native wildflower, but it makes a great addition to a "lawn meadow" of native grasses.
A two-tailed swallowtailed butterfly found a blooming redbud a tasty early spring treat.
Coralberry, native to east Texas, leafs out before the birds finish eating all the berries. It is a great shade tolerant ornamental.
Texas redbuds perform well in Midland, but eventually succumb to bores and scale insects.
The following pictures are taken by Charlie, one of our volunteers, who once was one of our summer camp kids years ago.
The Sibley Nature Center from the soccer field across the street beckons a visitor.
Walking back to the building, one can begin to read the sign on the foyer.
Yucca sometimes becomes yellow, but from frost? Or from a beetle or moth larvae burrowing into its crown?
Cory ephedra in bloom creates a pointillist image.
Puccoon, a source of purple dye, hides in the shadows of the mesquites.
The green mounds will soon have strange white flowers. The plant is known as Germander. It is another rhizomatous plant of the region, and each of the mounds are connected by underground roots.
Huisache daisy and broomweed are the understory to the mesquite.
March of 2007 was rainy. The soil is dark where it was wet, and the whitish soil is silt that was carried by the moving rainwater as it ran down the footpath.
Alley mustard becomes a yellow carpet under the old Siberian Elms near the pond.
Giant sacaton grass is in front of the old stalks of last year's cattails. Beyond are willows and the playa bottom green with new tumbleweed.
The green is rescue grass (an exotic from South Africa). Beyond are reddish gold tumbleweeds (another exotic, from Russia), and mesquite that screens the willows near the pond.
The mesquite began to leaf out in mid March, but were frozen later in the April 7th ice and snowstorm, making the old saying "it won't freeze after the mesquites leaf out" a lie.
Richard Galle took the following pictures.
A cottontail believed the mesquite hid him from sight.
A coot swam away as Richard approached the pond.
A curve-billed thrasher hopped up one of the trees at the pond.
When the thrasher reached the top of the tree, he glared at Richard and yelled "TAXI!TAXI! to tell all the birds and animals of the property that an evil human was near.
A cactus wren was busy carrying nesting material to his nest in the prickly leaves of an agarita.
Charlie noticed the winter rosettes of wildflowers under the shadows of the mesquite.
Charlie also was struck by the pale tumbleweed lodged in the mesquite.
The lotebush was beginning to leaf out, and another cactus wren had finished his nest when Charlie found it.
The coyote had walked the trail the night before Charlie walked the trail.
The Siberian elm seeds turn a pale yellow when they mature.
On a warm day, one of the red-eared sliders sunned himself at the pond's edge.
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