|Art in the parking lot|
|Stone Crop ground cover|
A few flowers bloomed outside the Carriage House in the entryway to the garden:
|Tulips and snapdragons|
South Texas has some unique plants such as Candelilla/Wax Plant. These rod-like stems have no leaves and are covered in a wax-like substance that is used to make candles, chewing gum, cosmetics, lubricants, and varnishes. The wax coating the stems also helps the plant conserve water in hot Texas climes.
The agarita below has berries which birds and small mammals like to eat. The berries can be used to make jelly. From February to April it has small, fragrant yellow flowers. The leaves are similar to holly.
|Agarita berries and holly-like foliage|
|Small yellow agarita flower|
A lot of plants in South Texas have spines or spikes, so watch out if you're hiking here. Our guide told us a story about roadrunners and the spiny hackberry shrub. Apparently, roadrunners have been known to catch lizards and impale them on the spines of the spiny hackberry and come back to eat them later.
|Gum Bumelia tree's bark|
|Texas and gray sotol plants|
|Mat woven from sotol leaves|
|Notice the sharp edges on the leaves|
|Spanish dagger plants|
|Spanish dagger flowers|
|Texas ebony seed pods|
|Love these starburst-shaped flowers -|
can't remember what they are.
|Guayacan (Soap Bush)|
|Beautiful flower of the Mexican Buckeye|
|Our guide telling us about Catclaw Acacia|
|Catclaw Acacia - notice the cat claw-like|
thorns on the branch on the right.
|Honey mesquite - the drooping foliage is in the|
shape of a wish bone.
|Honey mesquite legume pods|
|Texas prickly pear's new growth|
|Texas Sabal Palm|
|Texas Sabal Palm bark|
|Deep in the "heart" of Texas|
|Turtles hanging out on a downed log in the lake|
I intend to return to the gardens for more nature walks. It was a slow-paced, relaxing time spent in nature. We were on the trail about two hours (over a distance of 1/2 mile or so).
So ends part 1 of Friday. We have some news to share. I'll tell you about it in the next blog.