Control line

Along many of the boundary fences on the grasslands, the Forest Service has cleared the brush and trees. The cleared area is about twenty feet wide from the fence. So it is constructed to create fire edges to control a fire. In fact, it is called a control line. I had always just called them fire lines on the grasslands. However, technically speaking fire lines are scaped to the bare earth. Whereas control lines are not. Anyway, fire trucks can drive down the line. So the lines are along the boundary fences, but also can be across any part of a unit. But whatever you call them, the lines make for easier walking. 🙂

We left the pond. And headed back towards the control line.

Indeed, the Asteraceae wildflower seeds were beautiful!

A bearing marker snag. They may need to find another tree soon. 😉

Here was a cool find! So at first glance, I thought it looked like a balloon caught in the tree.

A closer examination! Jeanne called it a Hedge Hog fungus. It goes by several common name which also includes Lion’s Mane mushroom, Mountain-priest mushroom, or Bearded tooth fungus. The scientific name is Hericium erinaceus. After checking others in that genus, Hericium erinaceus is the only one that grows on a live tree. Additionally, it is unbranched. The genus is easy to ID with its dangling spines. As a group, this type of fungi are known as tooth fungi or hydnoid fungi.

Knobby twin Cedar Elms!

On the control/fire line in some places the bank was cut exposing the the roots. Moreover, the mosses and lichens were dripping off the edge. Holding the soil in place for now.

Indeed a tiny bone! Cute!

Mud nests…inside a tiny hole in a big rock!

This is one of the two common species of Teloschistes. Goldeneye Lichen (Teloschistes chrysophthalmus)! In fact, it looks almost identical to T. exilis. However, this one has ciliate at the edge of apothecia (orange disks).

A beautiful stand of Three-awn grass along the control line!


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Keep looking!

The more you know, the more you see and the more you see, the more you know


  1. Ive never seen a hedge hog fungus. Pretty cool. And the goldeneye reminds me of Seymour in “Little house of horrors”.

  2. Hedge hog fungus is cool. Have seen a similar smaller one on a rock at Mineral Wells SP about a month ago.
    The grasses are so beautiful this time of year.

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