Tuesday Drive-about

Since it was pretty chilly on Tuesday (9th) a drive-about was in order. Besides I wanted to check on a plant. 🙂 Jeanne and Kate agreed to go along.

Stepping out of the car at the first stop, a Pin Clover (Erodium cicutarium) caught my eye. The stems were like spokes on a wheel. The Pin Clover of course has many common names that include Common Stork’s-bill and Redstem Stork’s-Bill. For the common name I usually use Pin Clover. Shirley called it that. It is a non-native that was introduced to North America in the eighteenth century. The seeds use a self-burial method. The awns coil and uncoil with the moisture. Then they drill into the ground. Other plants including some grasses use the same method.

Cymopterus (Vesper macrorhizus) is another plant to be observed at the beginning of a new year. I suspect it might even bloom as early as late December. However I have never checked. The Cymopterus was my reason to stop at this location. The grass is mown close to the ground. Thus it is easy to locate. Well, if you are looking. They hug the ground in the mowed areas. However if you look in wild areas the plants can shoot their leaf stalks up as high as a foot.
The plants in this location are fairly small.
The Cymopterus is known in three states, Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. The tiny flowers range from a dusty white to a dusty or dingy lavender color. Shirley always liked to make a stop for it. However it was the winged seeds that shoot up later that made Shirley smile. In FNCT the genus is Cymopterus. It changed to Vesper by Sun and Downie who did the molecular analyses. I refer to it as Cymopterus. Why? Because that is the genus that I came to know this lovely plant.

Rabbit’s Tobacco (Diaperia prolifera) is another inconspicuous plant. So I wonder if someone saw a rabbit smoking it? LOL. More likely that person was smoking something. It will hold off flowering until April.

Indeed we were the only ones admiring the plants on the NCTC campus that day. However sometimes you might see the college students searching the lawn for their class botanical assignment.
So it was time to move on. We drove passed the concrete piers of the remains of Camp Howze. The Santa Fe Depot Morton Museum of Cooke County has a short history of the camp.
A short stop at unnamed creek north of Gainesville. Well I don’t know it name. Somebody probably does.
The only things of note under the bridge were raccoon tracks, Cliff Swallow nests, and mud dauber nests.

More tomorrow!

This is the oldest fossilized reptile skin ever found — it pre-dates the dinosaurs

In Graphic Detail: Sea Turtle Feminization

Keep looking!

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


  1. Interesting history about Camp Howze. All that work and money for such a short time then torn down. Not to mention all the farmers forced off their land which is especially sad.
    Yes another Shirley plant. I think the Cymopterus was even called Big Top Cymopterus or Big Root or something wasn’t it.

  2. Wow, I never heard of Camp Howze. I agree with Kathy – so much money and effort and sorrow for such a short term benefit. I’d still be interested in seeing the site sometime.

    I’ll always think of it as Cymopterus first, just like Cacalia instead of Arnoglossum for prairie Indian plantain.

    1. Easy to see Camp Howze from the road only. HOwever I have not noticed a historical marker there. Shirley of course was the one that told me about it existence.

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