My sojourn to Austin TX and return trip unfurl a study in contrasts. I journey through green, gently rolling rises of the Texas Hill Country, shed tears over the devastation left by recent West Texas range fires, skirt and finally breach the Llano Estacado escarpments near Post and finally race through 105°F winds and dust devils at Lubbock. My destination is the Northern Llano Estacado.
Upon entering the Llano tablelands, I find the shortgrass prairie in the continuing grip of drought. Although the Engelmann Daisy (engelmannia peristenia or pinnatifida) blooms well, even in drought conditions, the long-stalked, yellow, eight-petaled beauties are few and far between. Their deeply cleft leaves are mostly basal. The flowers open late in the afternoon and curl under intense heat and sunlight the next day. Their appearance reminds me of SETI antenna arrays searching the universe for signs of life.
© Ilija Lukić 2011
|SETI Antenna Array|
|Plumed Estacado Warrior|
|Beebalm And Mallow Blanket|
|Free At Last (shed Bullsnake skin)|
|Goat's Beard On Indian Blanket|