Great day in the field

 It was cloudy start on the grasslands this morning.

The prairie was looking good!
 Our first exciting find of the day was the Nodding Ladies-tresses (Spiranthes cernua).

This species of orchid a lot times is self-pollinating  (another word for it is androgyny) and the flower never opens. Update: Oct 25, 2020  I have since learned that a better word for the self-pollination of this small flower is might be cleistogamy). Thanks Jeanne!
Ever cooler was the Great Plains Ladies-tresses (Spiranthes magnicamporum).

A great way to tell that it is this species, is the lovely fragrant it has.  Our orchids are always a special part of the fall flowers.

Closeup of another one.
We saw more than hundred (guesstimate) along the slope below a mesa. It was spectacular! This is all for the day. I will share the other cool stuff we saw tomorrow. I watched Carol Clark’s NPSOT presentation this afternoon. It was very informative, Carol always does a great job. The talk was about historical uses of plants.

Keep looking!


  1. I can't imagine what that many looked like. Wow!!!
    Mary, I sent you a hi in the chat of Carol's presentation. you can do private messages in the chat section. glad you got to tune in. I'm looking forward to seeing the Carroll Abbott garden in today's talk.
    Friday night will be special since it is about the beginning of NPSOT, the role TWU had in it and Dr. Camelia will present it.

  2. I forgot to say I'll be part of the panel on Saturday morning, 9am.
    And for the awards Saturday night Jeff Quayle will be presented the Shirley Lusk award. another good one for our north TX friends to watch. 7pm

  3. Kathy,
    They were good presentations. I enjoyed them. I planned to watch Ricky's tonight. I know about the chat thing. I hope a lot of people tune in for the programs.

    And yes, it was special seeing the orchids. It is a new place on the grasslands for them to found!

  4. It is apparently the main bumblebee down here. last year there was a nest of them under the old barn but didn't see any there this year. I do see one now and again on flowers but not tons. Seems we have a large mix of insects but not a lot of any one thing.

  5. Kathy,
    Here is a mix too. A mix is good thing so it is not a mono-culture. Sometimes only see an insect only one time and never again. To me, it seems there are less insects, less birds each year 🙁

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