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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Soft Pricklies

Cooper and I enjoy a rewarding early morning jaunt on the Llano Estacado.  A slow meander down game trails and ranch roads serves as a leisurely two-mile jog under a partly cloudy sky. While Cooper plays cat and mouse with prairie dogs, I bag some interesting images of soft pricklies. The normally sharp-spiked Plains Prickly Pear cacti reveal their softer side as seedlings. I also find an inconspicuous little plant, Panamint Catseye (cryptantha angustifolia). The little white blossoms are only two millimeters in size. It's also known as Bristlelobe Cryptantha, Narrow-leaved Forget-Me Not, Popcorn Flower, and Narrow-leaved Cryptantha. Its delicate beauty belies its tenacity to survive the harsh environment of the Llano.
Later in the day, our High Plains hamlet endures the chocking shrouds of a brownout. The usual lively afternoon winds unexpectedly kick up a notch and treat us to gusts of 60+ mph.  Except for the incessant winds and continuing drought, we are fortunate. This Spring, most of the really severe weather of tornados, tennis ball-sized hail, strong winds, and flooding rains continues to stream by and inundates lands to the East.

© Ilija Lukić 2011

Panamint Catseye

Soft Pricklies (Plains Prickly Pear)

Western Salsify Splash (tragopogon dubious)

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