Perfect weather for the LBJ National Grasslands

 Weather was sooooo nice for exploring the grasslands today!  Found lots of cool stuff.

Left the house by 7:30am
A dandy group of small mushrooms. They were a bit wet to the feel and the stem was almost translucent.

Shelf mushroom (Polypore)

This small shelf type mushroom reminds me of shell
Turkeytail polypore

Short and stubby bolete mushroom. 
It bruised blue-green.
Had a rough life mushroom
Seems to be lot of these bolete mushrooms popping up
Its insides are pretty too.

These are only about 1/2 inch tall. Bright orange yellow fungus
Earthstar  (Geastrum genus)  It has a rough fruitbody( the whitish ball)
This might be Geastrum fimbriatum but I don’t know for sure because I did not collect it. So another cool earthstar!

A funnel shaped mushroom with pores
This mushroom was nestled in at the base of a tree root. 

View up and under
Even the inside was yellow. Notice the “skin” was yellow too.
These little salmon colored fungus guys were so cute. Only about 1/2 inch tall on dead wood

I loved the white margins on this shelf polypore

The orange against the white was just brilliant!

So as you can see, a lot of fungus was seen today!

But wait there is more as they say 😉

This Melanoplus grasshopper was really hidden

Unknown insect exuviae

Cicada exuviae
This weird nymph was found on the Leafy Elephantopus (Elephantopus carolinianus)

Leafy Elephantopus (Elephantopus carolinianus) flower is common in wet areas. I usually find it near  creek banks on the grasslands.

The Hairy Leafcup (Smallanthus uvedalia) is a new plant for the grasslands. A nice find!
The ever gorgeous Eryngo (Eryngium leavenworthii)
This insect was very interesting. It made these tunnel-like things on the face of the sandstone. No idea what it is. I tried to catch it to bring home but it was not going to have it. It was a big jumper. 
Update: So the insect that was burrowing in the sandstone has been identified by BugGuide to genus. They say there are 5 described species in the U.S and the only two in our area are the Smaller Sand Cricket (Ellipes minuta) and  Ellipes gurneyi. So maybe I can catch it and see which it is. Fingers crossed..

The tunnel-like thing on sandstone.

Ebony Spleenwort is a type of fern. See the spores on the back of leaf

Purple Cliff brake another type of fern

Liverwort species
Mosses were so bright green today.

Lichens were vibrant as well. This is Cladonia pezzizformis or commonly called Turban Lichen. One of my favorite lichens.
Ebony Jewelwing female. The white spots make it a female.

Creek bed

Tree with roots showing and moss at the base

Fun stuff to see so keep looking!


  1. I was going to guess order Embioptera (Webspinners) by the webby tunnels but the insect doesn't look right and I'm not sure they jump. I am going to send it to Brittany and ask her.

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