Texas Virgin’s Bower


Texas Virgin’s Bower in full flowering glory along the east side of Kirby. My favorite common name for this plant is Old Man’s Beard. This species has separate male and female plants and it's the female plants only that have the “beard.” Closeup of a male flower is shown. A male flower is really just a bundle of stamens, which are the pollen-producing parts of flowers. The common name “Old Man’s Beard” comes from the showy flowers found on the female plants. #DoctorBot #LakeKirby


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Rain-Lilies in flower

Rain-Lilies in flower at Kirby and all over Abilene. I am always amazed at how quickly these plants can grow a flowering stem in just a few days after a decent rain. They rarely have any leaves noticeable. Lilies grow from bulbs and the flowers produce large, flat, black seeds. Rain Lilies can now be seen in scattered areas at Kirby for the next several days before the flowers fade and the stems die back to await the next significant rainfall. I love their #DoctorBot #LakeKirby

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Kirby Birds: Black-necked Stilt

Kirby Birds: Black-necked Stilt, photographed by Jay Packer. A tall, slim shorebird of shallow, freshwater habitats. A spring through fall resident at Kirby and will migrate south for winter. Some will spend the winter along the Texas Gulf Coast. Seen recently at Kirby. #DoctorBot #LakeKirby

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Mature seeds of Illinois Bundleflower

Mature seeds of Illinois Bundleflower. I noticed these plants and seedheads scattered along the main park road as I was enjoying Gayfeather's showy (see yesterday's post!) fireworks display. The Bundleflowers are gone now but the distinctly-shaped bundle of seeds are now noticeable. Most of the seeds will eventually fall to the ground to be eaten by wildlife such as mice, birds, and ants or remain dormant for years buried in the soil if they are lucky. This is a native prairies species. #DoctorBot #LakeKirby


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Blazing Star or Gayfeather

Blazing Star or Gayfeather now putting on a spectacular show at Kirby! A field of these tall stems covered with purple flowers reminds me of a fireworks display. I encourage you to take a drive along the main Kirby dam road to see the botanical fireworks! Our extended lack of rainfall has not affected this drought tolerant species. The flowers provide nectar for butterflies, including Monarchs and the seeds will remain on the flower stem well into winter and will provide food for quail and other birds. #DoctorBot #LakeKirby

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