Kathy Sharing

Over the past week Kathy has been sharing some photos and the accompanying comments with me. I enjoyed them and thought y’all might too.

“Ou[r] big double trunked live oak had to come down last week.  It had been dead about 15-20 years from Oak Wilt. This tree was hundreds of years old and if it could talk could tell us of the Native Americans that hung out under it.  We had tons of evidence of arrowhead making here.  And we are close to the river.
So I had hoped the tree would stand forever.  I planned to grow Trumpet Vine on it.  But about 2 weeks ago it began to shift.  A crack opened up between the two trunks and the tree was lifting about 6 inches off the ground on the side away from all the weight.  We had our arborist out on Friday to remove the danger.  He was able to leave about 5 ft of each trunk intact and will be a cool focal point in front of our house.  He came back today to cut the felled parts into small enough pieces that our tractor could move.  We are using them around a pair of stunted Post Oaks up on our prairie.  Everyone likes to park under them so this will stop that.
I need to take a photo of the remaining tree trunks as they stand but haven’t yet.  So I included #4908 [this photo is 4908 above] where JP had cut the big arms off of the two trunks and is paring them down.”

“These two pieces were together and when JP cut them in half so they could be moved, he discovered these two mirror image faces!  We are featuring them up on our prairie so visitors will see one as they come in and the other as they leave.”

The other face! Kathy, I like that we can see the pupils in this one.

Next up Kathy found some turds inside a mesquite tree.

“Here are the droppings or whatever that were inside the mesquite tree. And some critter made a cocoon with them adhered to it. The tree lost part of its huge top many years ago and in the crook of the two trunks, the dead one and the living one, a hackberry sprouted and grew to about 3 ft tall. It died last year. Little did we know the mesquite was dry rotted down the middle. Really interesting texture and gave off a very nice wood fragrance. But down in the hollow center were all these things. They are hard as a rock and way too big to be mouse droppings so I had been at a loss for what they were. Very interesting that you would post similar things this past week.” I wonder if could be a field rat???

Somehow Kathy and I seemed to be connected with our finds. 🙂

The cocoon Kathy mentioned above.

Next email Kathy sent these.

The mesquite’s big top that was cut down.

The mesquite up close.

Now as I was looking at Kathy’s photo I noticed the plants at the base of the snag. Of course I inquired about them. 🙂 Here’s the response:

“Those are Claret Cup Cacti. My grandma was given this species from 2 sources.  One was my aunt from a known ranch but we have no idea where the other was from.  And I have no data on which clump was which.  I have noticed that one group blooms a week sooner than the other.  I have rooted a specimen from each one and planted them side by side in my cabin cactus bed to observe.  But in the past year one of the clumps is yellowing so I am afraid it is diseased, but no idea why.

This whole cacti colony wraps 2/3rds of the tree, about 6-8 ft across and 3 ft deep and sure makes a statement when it is covered in red flowers.  Hummingbirds love it.  I never see fruit so seed isn’t produced.  I plan to take more pieces to root this spring to be sure the colony doesn’t die.  They have been there longer than I have been alive, as far as I can remember.  Or I was young when she planted them.  They are so important to me knowing how my grandma collected prizes like this.  Our Cholla is also a transplant from somewhere west of here but no history on it either.  Probably the Agave as well.

Other plants she moved to the yard like Rusty Blackhaw and American Germander were from on the acreage.  But I know of only 1 Rusty Blackhaw Viburnum left in the wild and it is in bad shape from deer rubs.  Same with my Eve’s Necklace.  The only one left in the wild was so torn up by the time I found it that we lost it.  But the ones I planted here are offshoots of the one my mom gave me that she dug in the fence line long ago.  Understory trees are pretty much unheard of unless well protected.”

Just loved the history! Thank you Kathy for sharing!

Ancient “Terror Beasts” Unearthed in Greenland: 518-Million-Year-Old Giant Predator Worms Challenge History

Should Endangered Turtles Have Legal Rights?

Keep looking!

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


  1. Thank you Kathy for sharing and Mary for sharing with the rest of us. Kathy the eves necklace you gave me years ago is big and beautiful. Thank you again. Good luck with the cacti

    1. Thank you Suzanne. I feel so blessed to be able to live and care for the farm that my great grandparents started their life on, then my grandparents. My mom and aunt were born in the house and now this farm is our home. I am 6th generation from the founding of Fredericksburg. Our 8th generation 2 year old grandson says it is fun to visit grandma and grandpa. He loves all the things we have exposed him to like our Sand Creek, the Pedernales River, looking out his window of our house being built, and pretending to drive the tractor. Even got to throw corn our for the deer this year. He would be 7th generation on this farm.

  2. Kathy, in reading about cacti, I think a lot of them require a second individual to make fruit (self-incompatible). So the whole colony is probably one clone. If you could find another one to bring in they might start fruiting. We have two Escobaria vivipara individuals here that finally both bloomed at the same time and they made a fruit this year finally. They’ve always bloomed but this is the first fruit.

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