Prairie Seeker Saturday

So I am putting a short pause on the Fossil Hill posts. However, I still have seven more posts from Fossil Hill to share.

Saturday was the Prairie Seeker class. Indeed the weather was perfect!

Only a little bit chilly. We were all ready to warm up for the tour!

First stop! Suzanne was giving the group a short overview. This lovely 1200 acres ranch had been in the family for over hundred years. Developments are closing in. But lucky for the prairie and native flora, the family plans to keep it as it is now.

A native Prairie Rose was just down the hill from the above location.

Two tiny beetles (Coleoptera) were hard at work!

An almost equally small fly stopped on the Indian Plantain (Arnoglossum plantagineum).

Another critter, the Green Lacewing (Chrysopidae) blends in with the leaf.

There was perennial creek that ran through a different area of the ranch in which I found this crawdad.

Suzanne said as a kid, they called them blue crawdads. However, when I did a search for that term I found this (click the link). Obviously, this was not that. LOL

What I did find was a tentative ID of Procambarus clarkii. It is also know as as the red swamp crayfish, Louisiana crawfish or mudbug. Its ranges includes a big part of the middle of the US,. However, it has become invasive outside of its native range. So whatever you call the critter, he became a star among the Prairie Seekers. I think some were posing photo shoots. πŸ™‚ Also near the creek, we saw three Greater Yellowlegs and a Wilson’s Snipe. Plus a bonus at the end of day, a Bald Eagle!

A tiny critter on Fleabane. While I did a brief search, I found a new word…Pterygota. It is a subclass of insects that includes all winged insects and the orders that are secondarily wingless (that is, insect groups whose ancestors once had wings but that have lost them as a result of subsequent evolution). Certainly, that covers the identification pretty good in this case. πŸ˜‰ However, I did come up with a tentative ID of Dark-winged Fungus Gnat (Sciaridae).

Tharp’s Spiderwort (Tradescantia tharpii). Indeed, this was a great find for me. Furthermore it was in the yard. So I have one plant at home. And Skip and Janice kindly let me get a companion.

To sum it up, a great day was had by the Prairie Seekers. For this reason, you may want to participate in a future Prairie Seeker class or a field trip with the Fort Worth Chapter of NPAT.

Keep looking!

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


  1. It was an excellent day to be looking out, up, down, and all around. Really appreciate this program and the hosts!

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