I watched a zoom presentation by Suzanne and I was reminded our LBJ grasslands are more of savanna than a prairie. The difference I found on the internet was “between the two is based on the percent of land covered by trees. Prairies have virtually no tree cover (less than 10 percent), and savannas have less than 30 percent tree cover”. It also said rainfall was less in the prairie than on a savanna. Of course with the suppression of fire and no more bison roaming through our area, the percentage has changed. Thanks Suzanne!  Suzanne’s presentation of “Inviting the Prairie into your Home Garden” was recorded, so for more information watch the  Prairie Rose Chapter website to see when it will be posted. 
So this is the last part to Monday’s adventure that is not in a ravine ;-).
After being down in the creek and ravines for a few hours, we headed out into the field for the last hour or so.

The cattle are a part of the Forest Service management tool. This cow patty had a puddle. 

This willow tree branch looked to be a recent break. You find plenty of willows around the ponds on the grasslands. The color is awesome.
This puffball had already dispersed its spores.
Out in the field, we found some rocks with crustose lichens on them.

And of course I had to look what was under them. All we found that day were these millipedes.

I just love dead wood. I vote it looks like either a shoe tree or a duck??

Another old log knot.

Out among the grasses, mosses are hiding.

Often times there are lichens as well as the mosses. This lichen is a Cladonia species.

There are quite of few ravines on the grasslands. In the 1950’s, the NRCS (old name Soil Conservation Service) built berms, terraces, and ponds to stop the erosion.
Gracie frequently uses the ponds for cooling off and getting a drink.

But there is also recreation 🙂

We found a lone Ashe Juniper (Juniperus ashei) in the field.

On some of the Post Oak’s branches were these galls. They were soft and fuzzy.

In one part of the field there was this small acreage of Mesquite trees with all this old Broomweed. We wondered if there might have been a corral there long ago.

Near a tree this paper wasp nest had fallen to the ground. This side (the top) had a shiny-ness to it.

Such incredible engineers. 

Gumweed stalks
This morning in the Texbirds listserve, Brush Freeman posted this interesting read:

Keep looking!


  1. Thanks for the shoutout, Mary! I saw your and Jeanne's names pop up in the gallery view. It always makes me feel calmer when there are friends in the audience.

    Re: savanna woody cover, sources I've researched state a pretty wide range between 25% and 65% of the ground shaded by woody plants. That may reflect the expansion of woody cover due to fire suppression as you mentioned.

  2. Suzanne, Good to know about your research. Twenty plus years ago when I first started to volunteer at the grasslands, the wildlife biologist had told me that since long ago that that the woodys had increased a bunch. Fits more with your research numbers. They have gotten grants in the last couple of years and trying to do more burning and pushing of cedars and building new fences. I should take a photo of what they have done recently.

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