Mitchell County is currently listed with severe drought conditions. However, they had gotten some much needed rain on the morning before we arrived at Lake Colorado City State Park.

Indeed, the Rain Lily (Zephyranthes chlorosolen) was quick to take advantage!

Asclepias oenotheroides is pretty sparse in North Texas. So it was a very pleasant find at the state park. It goes by many common names which includes Zizotes Milkweed, Hierba De Zizotes, Side-cluster Milkweed, Longhorn Milkweed, Primrose Milkweed, and Lindheimer’s Milkweed according to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.
The White Prickly Poppy (Argemone albiflora) does pretty well even with out a lot of water. Some areas we drove through had tons of it in the fields.
I saw two millipedes at the park. And even though it was big, I knew that it was millipede because it had double legs on each segment.

Now here comes the really cool find because of the rain.

When I saw it I immediately thought spider because of the eight legs. This animal was eight to ten millimeters in size! A quick search and its identity was discovered. It was Giant Velvet Mite or sometimes called a Rain Bug ((Dinothrombium)! I mean how awesome was this?

Apparently they only come out after a rain!

As I watched the one, I looked for others. Then I saw it! Some were digging their way out.

I observed this one as it was trying to come out.

Termite tubes were plentiful.

So why do these mites come out after a rain? It is for the swarming termites. I did not see any swarms, but I am certain the Giant Velvet Mites knew there would be soon. Well, fingers crossed for them.

Additionally, there is not a record for Mitchell County. In fact, most of the records on BugGuide are in the southern part of the state. There was one record for Travis County.

The Forest Floor Makes a Faint Sound, If You Listen Close

A sunspot four times the size of Earth is visible right now β€” here’s how to see it without a telescope

Keep looking!

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


    1. The milkweed is on at least two units according to the list. But I have not run across it. I have seen in Montague county.

  1. So lucky!! One of the instructors at the Summer Acarology Program had brought some live individuals for us to see. We took turns holding and gently petting them. So soft!! I have yet to see one in the wild, though.

    1. Hi Brittany!
      It was pretty exciting! Now thanks to you I know they are safe to pet. It was tempting at the time. 😊 My policy is don’t touch unknown animals or plants. (Mostly)

  2. I have the 3 flowers and the big millipede. Now I need to look for those mites. I have never seen such a critter. How neat! And we are crawling with termites here.

  3. That’s a good policy! I try to maintain that as well. But, yes, these are very soft and won’t hurt you! The only concern is not accidentally squishing it, but I think you are certified for the gentle handling of small creatures.

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