January 2018

This apparently blind porcupine was found wandering in an open upland on an exceptionally cold day.  Found with his supply of quills exhausted, perhaps he was recently forced out of a nearby cave by some intrepid animal (or group) suddenly in need of a better insulated den.  Porcupines generally have very poor vision, and a defensive mechanism that is particularly advantageous in close quarters.  These traits may have helped them find their niche in Central Texas caves.  Maybe humans too have found an evolutionary hidey-hole in the form of screen time.  I suspect that caves do not provide enough energy for evolution by natural selection to one day produce a blind albino porcupine, and hope the same for our virtual hovels.

This is an excellent winter for prescribed burning.  Rain in late August boosted soil moisture through the fall growing season, leaving strong fine fuel loads.  Plenty of multi-day stretches with moderately low north or south winds (and due reversals via shifty frontal passages).  Daily humidity recovery characteristic of area winters.  October and January offered essentially zero rainfall, creating a soil moisture deficit that above average rain in December could not offset.  Caves throughout the Austin area are notably dry this winter.  Those of us working in karst areas are privileged for our ability to conveniently venture into the root zone and have a look around.

A half century ago, Noam Chomsky proposed that human beings are born with the mental capacity to learn language.  We find evidence supporting the theory of an inherited Language Acquisition Device (LAD) in the innate ability of young children to learn language quickly via largely unconscious or passive processes.  It would take a much greater effort for an adult to master a new language, with the full complement and complexity of a grammar system and workable vocabulary.

Chomsky’s idea stunned the world.  What distinguishes human beings from other animals?  Is this an observable threshold between learned and innate cognitive capacity?  The LAD and its implications have been near the center of a half century of discussion.

Namesake behavior of Frostweed.  Several species of Salvia, including S. coccinea, will do the same thing in a hard enough freeze.


We have had some good hard cold days and nights this winter.  My hope is that this will weaken some of the noxious old-world bluestems that have been roaring north at an alarming pace from south Texas over the past decade.  Silky Bluestem and Kleberg Bluestem are visibly altering grassland habitats each year.  Most kinds of plant community succession, in order to be noticed, require us to design and implement sensitive monitoring protocols.  Others are obvious.  Hopefully the cold will render this particular transition a bit more subtle, and buy us a chance to brace ourselves against the onslaught.  To do so, we lean on high-diversity seeding as the crutch of the land.   All hands on deck!

We moderns spend a lot of time and energy in the verbal realms of our minds.  Meditation is an exercise in relaxing our mental grasp.  We learn to experience our lives from a stable perspective of silence and stillness, from beneath the fleeting cognitive phenomena of knowing and speaking.  Perhaps the sort of drudgery associated with restoration work can serve as a chance to practice holistic awareness.  Sometimes our drudgery must be brilliant, where discernment draws from an expansive ecological “vocabulary”.  Other times, our drudgery may be mindless.  Jam the shovel between the rocks… and again… and again…  Can we offer our full attention to a rote task?  Even where discernment is minimal, can we engage in mindful drudgery?  What are we digging for, between the rocks?  Some fertile plug of clay?  To create a small, low, open space?  For what transplant?  Can we dig for our own humility?

By now, many seeds have dropped, and we are past mid-way through the perfect time to sow.  Tall grama is having a very prolific year, and the seed is still hanging on the plant, fully ripe.

Perhaps we have other evolved psychological modules and mechanisms.  Perhaps our innate capacity to speak the conceptual world into existence is premised on our capacity to recognize, name, and thus engage with the various species that occur in our ecological context.  Perhaps we are born with a spatial-orientation module that is activated by surface water, food sources, and predator sign.  Such a discovery might not separate us from other animals (maybe it would do the opposite?), so perhaps it would not be so interesting to the heavenly masses.  We would apparently prefer to maintain our consumption of (or is it by?) technological disembodiment.  But how does the old adage go?  If you don’t use it…  maybe a blind cave salamander can remember the rest…


December 2017

May the upright posture and relxed self-confidence of Big Muhly serve as a lesson to all humanity.  Plenty of seed still hanging ripe in late December.

December is a busy time of year for restoration work.  We need to do almost everything at once.  The only things we do not do are plant ID (transect monitoring is more difficullt when many species are cured or dormant), non-native invasive species managment (for the same reason as the former, target species can be harder to spot in winter, also, some treatments will be more effective during the growing season), and planting herbaceous plants (it is too cold for them to grow, so they will just sit there and get chewed-on or dried-up or flood-battered with no ability to respond).

But every single other thing we do for restoration is in full swing.  December is when a lot of seed drops, so it is the best time of year both for harvest and for sowing, which means seed also needs to be cleaned in between.  I find the combination of seed work and prepping winter burn units and fire equipment to be a particularly untenable burden of work.  But somehow we must proceed.

In case that is not enough things, this is also a special time of year for thinning.  We can easily see the sex of Juniper trees.  If we do not have the resources to treat the whole area, if we remove the females only, we remove the seed source, and have made the work of grassland management that much easier for the next generation.  This has the added “benefit” of leaving all those pollen producing males on the site, which can ward off humans in a most insideous way.  I fully appreciate that the ability of society to coexist with natural ecosystems is premised on our emotional connection with wilderness, but I also appreciate that there are some places where we just don’t need a bunch of yahoos wandering around.  This pollen-garden method is for yahoo-proofing such places.  The inverse here is that if we do want a place to be more accomodating to human presence but need to so some thinning, either for grassland restoration, to promote oak recruitment, create a fire break, etc, we can target the males and leave the females.  Late December into January is a special chance to act on these distinctions, as male Ashe Juniper are lewdly bedecked in red pollen.

Since we glanced the topic of yahoo-proofing, I recently heard another dastardly method involving junipers that I hope you’ll agree is worth sharing.  Behold a method for decommissioning trails:

There are several reasons we need to close-off trails.  Vehicle trails can provide a source of sediment pollution to storm water runoff in natural areas for decades after their intended function has been exhausted, yet people will continue to use them if they are there.  Another problem is illict access by unauthorized users.  It is hard to safely manage land if you can not control when and where and how many yahoos are out running amok.  Other problems are when trails facilitate the dispersal of non-native invasive species, or overuse of sensitive sites like caves, recharge features, or rare, threatened, or endangered species habitats, or access for looting and poaching.  So sometimes we close trails.

Patching fences and putting up threatening signs are good places to start.  Game cameras can be helpful too, but only if you can recognize the yahoo (unlikely) or a pattern in their access that can lead to a bust.  That stuff can take a heck of a lot of time and resources to execute, and may or may not be effective.  We don’t want riffraff to run our lives.

My initial approach to this problem was to lay slash across the trail.  It helps but the obvious work-around by yahoos is to just… go around the slash, or drag it out of the way if they are really committed.  From there, we started to lay a more extensive bed of slash over the entire area.  This helped a lot but takes more work, and we have seed to clean and pressure gauges to repair.

Here is the fun part: cut Juniper brush so it lays across the trail, but do not complete the cut.  Leave it connected by a few strands of vascular tissue and the whole mass is likely to stay viable.  There will be no dragging it out of the way, one would need a saw.  If you treat a whole trail in this fashion, leaving connected, still growing plants all layed across it, it would be a lot more work to move all this than to build a new trail.  This sends a clear message that it will not be worth it to try again.  It takes a lot less effort to decommission the trail  in this way than it does to build, so we are likely to stay ahead of the yahoos, that is, if the habitat is brushy enough, and in Central Texas, most are.

When harvesting tall grama, we need to shake it enough to get the moisture off, and enough to get the bugs off, but not too much that we lose seed.  A seed picker must muster the appropriate vigor without excess.


It can at times be difficult to maintain our commitment to restoration.  Much of our work may be unseen by human eyes, or scrutinized more than it is appreciated, or only criticized and forgotten.  We must be able to work independently of our basic human need to be appreciated by other people.  Further, we often cannot fully anticipate the efficacy of our efforts in a changing world, yet we must try.

We know that human beings are a keystone species.  We know that we have inherent tendencies; to want to live among thriving communities, to exert a controling influence over the habitats we live in, and for discernment during an era of environmental collapse.  So we know that we must try to restore the natural heritage of the earth.  We cannot count on others for support, our work is too subtle.  We cannot count on ourselves, because we are subject to our own moods and are never really certain.  Still, we must try.  With the land as our witness, we must stay present with our work.

Snow in Texas | sets the land untrammeled | for a moment.


November 2017

The cool wind mixes

and touches without harming

every changing thing.


As we take it in

the medicine of the own

body is revealed.


As we release it

the own medicine of land

awakens eyes, hands.



Both this November and last have been bums for planting.  A little too dry and too cool.  New plantings seem to require a lot of watering effort just to have them sit there and do nothing.  Wait a minute, you may think, plants do nothing all the time, that is all they do.  However, I think that from our experience as humans we can tell that being healthy is not the same as doing nothing.  I suspect that this is true for the rest of nature as well.  I strongly suspect it.  Central Texas typically has a winter dry snap that sometimes starts in November and sometimes starts in December or January, and maybe it is ok to plant woodies at this time, but for grasses and forbs on dry land sites, I recommend timing planting with wet spells in fall or early spring instead.

Tall Grama seed is ripe in late November

The second half of November is the best time for harvesting seed.  It is a bonanza out there.  Some people are saying it is a good year for seed harvest.  I say it is an average year, and an average year for a good thing is a good year.  So despite that I see it a little differently, I do not exactly disagree.

In the Findings section of a recent issue of Harpers, it was reported that, “People think of themselves as better than average because they think of average as below average.”  I think this is a mistake.  It is a common mistake.  I think our value as human beings is incalculable because we come from the land.  It is a very lucky heritage to emerge from the land with the full breadth of its intelligence, grit, and sensitivity.  We are all the same in this way, and not just humans, but also every tissue and organ of us.  And not just humans and every part of us, but also every other organism and every part of them, and their environments.

Every drop of water, and grain of sand, and star.

This green lynx spider has made a web for its spiderlings around a bunch of cured wedelia seed heads.
I feel a kinship with this fellow seed-gatherer, but only a little.  She and I probably understand each others motives to equal degrees.  We are like strangers passing on a road where there is no obvious reason to be walking… there is nothing to say.

Not buildings though, or parking lots.  Those can be priced, and I suspect that only by gross errors of accounting, in this late hour, are they likely to outmatch the value of their razing.  I strongly suspect it.  Maybe you see it differently, but maybe you do not exactly disagree.  If you share these concerns, or something like them, there are a number of ways you can participate.

The six year old progeny of a drought-killed Juniper certainly cover more of the land than their mother would by now, had she pulled through.

October 2017

This patch of Buffalo Grass originated from a single seed, planted in bare soil about 10 months before this photo was taken.  It is important to have rhizomatous and stoloniferous species included in seed mixes designed to cover bare soil.  No bunch grass can cover this much ground in less than a year.

October is a good time to be outside.  It is a good time to plant.  You can get away with watering less than in September, but there is enough time before a freeze to get some root development, which begets plant establishment.

Opposites come up together.  The physical properties of nature play out in human lives and the trajectories of human cultures.  Cultural polarity smacks of Newton’s third law.  In America today (but not for the first time), there is a mutual feeling among one half of the voting populace that the other half is not just mistaken, but despicable.  One man loses his media empire for the same offense committed by another who is elected president.  Fear and change come up together.  Progress is real.

“This is fine.”

It is a bit too early for most seed harvesting because the warm season grasses that dominate Central Texas savannas mostly turn ripe in November.  You can, however, get some of the stuff that ripened in the summer, when for many it was too hot to collect.  A few species hold their seed for quite a while after ripening, like Marbleseed.  It started producing ripe seed around June, and by early October about a quarter of the year’s seed is still on the plant.

Onosmodium, aptly nicknamed Marbleseed













Silver bluestem is also available in October, if we get enough rain in the late summer and early fall.  The rains of Hurricane Harvey made a good crop of Silver Bluestem this year, and boosted fall seed production across the board.  Those rains also scoured some reveg projects of less than a year old, where White Tridens and Buffalo Grass (pictured above) performed especially well.  Pedestaling occurs when soil is washed away from the base of the plant but roots remain, and this happened among bunch grasses (shown above), while Buffalo Grass in a low spot seemed to trap all or nearly all the sediment before it had a chance to move off-site.  This is a case of functional diversity, both structural and biological, improving the resilience of the project.

A few of us filled 2 brown paper grocery bags with Silver Bluestem seed harvested from this meadow in about 2 hours.  We didn’t make a dent in the available supply.  This site was burned 26 months ago.


The physical properties of nature pervade biological systems.  In Everyday Survival, Laurence Gonzalez posits that life expresses the second law of thermodynamics despite the common sense appearance that life defies it.  In summary, the second law of thermodynamics states that high concentrations of energy will naturally spread into low concentrations of energy.  Our bodies collect and organize calories into tissues, and this process appears to run contrary to the normal march towards equilibrium that characterizes all matter in the universe.  However, when we consume energy from our environments, we burn most it, and what we keep to actually build tissue is but a small fraction.  Thus living things accelerate energy dissipation from that stored in our environments.  We are just like other organized systems that form in nature for the same purpose, like vortices and lightning bolts.  Gonzalez extends this idea to the apparent vagary of nature that is modern society; waste is deeper in our natural history than even life itself.

A typical seeded patch.  Green Sprangletop, Sideoats Grama, Indiangrass, Plains Lovegrass, and others start to cover bare ash 14 months after burning.

October is our last chance before winter to easily target non-native invasive deciduous woody plants.  They will be harder to spot once their leaves drop.

Can our innate tendency to release energy actually benefit the land?  Or are living things, along with all matter in the universe, predisposed to disintegration?  We can build tissue while the world burns, so maybe a bit of both…

…but only with the right kind of love.


September 2017

Pollen records show that mesquite mysteriously showed up in North America about 14,000 years ago.  They appeared suddenly in the desert southwest, 5,000 miles disjunct from the nearest native population in South America.  They can be locally invasive in the eastern Hill County (site scale), and in the drought prone, deep soil grasslands of Texas (and beyond), they have earned a terrible reputation for taking over.  Despite the occurrence of large, dense stands, according to recent transect data analysis, they occupy less than 1% of natural areas in the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone.

When our back is really against a wall, and there is nowhere left to go and nothing left to be done, we must be still.  We have no choice.  If we look carefully, somehow our life is always in this condition.  Still, there is also always activity.  So to realize the true urgency of our situation, we must not be tossed aside by necessary work.  Our task in restoration is to find this stillness amidst the urgent needs of the land.

The recharge zone reach of Onion Creek ran dry for about 2 weeks in the summer of 2016, following a long flow period, and then went dry again for about 8 weeks in the summer of 2017.  In late August, it flowed vigorously for another 5 days before drying again, and the abundance of aquatic life was truly remarkable.  The water column was teeming with all manner of frogs, fish, and water bugs, pioneering this new and unclaimed water.  The creek was characteristically indifferent to this zealous pulse of life.  Even on this shallowly-crusted plane of hard limestone, soil moisture begets base flow, and without that, a flood is just a flash and nothing more.

This fellow is looking rather plucky for one whose creek has unceremoniously parched… isn’t that how we can be?

We are nearing the season when the most hands will be needed. For now we can stake out the best quality seed harvest sites, the ones to monitor steadily because they offer the greatest rewards. Also for now, we can stake out the spots with the greatest need for seeding: those bare areas where KR died, tree canopy declined, or those few, small, anomalous extremes of fire severity or flooding that left patches of ecological opportunity in their wake. We have until about mid-October to find them, and once we do, it is time to stay with them until all the seeds each site can afford to lose have been collected and redistributed.

The shortness of the “tall” stands this year reassure us that seeded bare spots from last year persist at no fault of our own.  It really has not been a dry year, but the rainfall distribution was never quite right for plant establishment.  The sometimes 12″ tall stands of Maximillian Sunflower (that have been established longer than memory) tell the story well.  Perhaps the months with the strongest pull over the thriving (or not) of native plants in Central Texas are October and April.  If those are particularly hot and dry, spread your efforts elsewhere from planting.


If one is so inclined, the late summer is a good time to travel.  Everyone knows that excessive heat exposure inspires surliness (though some are too surly to admit it), and if you get out a little early and come back after the worst is passed, you may lessen or stave it off a bit.  Travel reveals the largely unconscious assumptions and habits of first the land visited and then in turn of home.  The way people drive their cars, the things we are inclined to talk about, our most vital sources of pride, and subtle expressions of power or grace, all show in big and small ways, and all say something about who we are.  These are mostly unintentional and unexamined habits, but they don’t need to be.  We all contribute to the shared moral character of the cultures that we participate in.  In the same way that travel can help us see our lives more clearly (by breaking us from the narrow vantage of our routines and associated coping mechanisms), it can also help us see how everyone contributes to a shared sense of place, normalcy, and decency.  When we do restoration work together, we take that up with open eyes and open hands.

Let’s go!

August 2017


It has been said that one hour of running will add seven hours to your life.   We are built to work hard.  We need to work hard to survive.  Running is good, and there are other ways to work hard.  We can run to benefit everyone.

July was an excellent month for prescribed burning on the Edwards Plateau.  There was a high potential to reduce woody plant cover.  High air and fuel temperatures, good fine fuel loading, moderate low humidity, moderate low wind speed, consistent wind direction, and low live fuel moisture in Ashe Juniper all prevailed.  Part of what makes current fine fuel conditions “good” is the continuity: the past few years have been wet enough for annual cool season grasses to punch into otherwise low fine fuel areas (rock/forby/dry sites), so even though it hasn’t been wet enough for grasses to get giant, there are more grass plants around due to several years of abundant seed and good conditions for germination and establishment.

This can also be a high-risk time to burn.  Hot temps exact a tax on staff and gadgetry, and lower combustion thresholds.  An integrative approach using fire physics and fire ecology found that fire models rely on overly simplistic tools to predict fire behavior, whereas any of a more comprehensive suite of physical factors can combine to determine ignition thresholds.  That article cites a model that uses fine fuel load to predict juniper mortality, and another (paywalled) by the same lead author (Twidwell) cites that managers rely on live fuel moisture for the same purpose.  Researchers have been pointing to a subtle confluence of factors that contribute to flammability and fire intensity for decades, but the practical reality is that fire managers can only effectively communicate a limited number of variables to working crews of fire fighters, who mostly already think they know everything, and need to be somewhat autonomous to function effectively.  So as with other restoration tasks, we must stay close to our innate and underlying humbleness, which is to stay open to the vast field of latent possibilities that might erupt from the familiar graveyard that stretches out before us.

Restoration is practice for dying.  Natural land and waterscapes, as comprised by their historic species assemblies, are failing all over the world.  Does that mean they don’t matter?  I hope not.  What is happening now is not separate from what came before or what is to come.  Restoration is a way of bracing ourselves, together with the land.

Skeleton plant occurs sporadically as individuals or in small stands among mixed native grass, and produces new buds, ripe seed, and pollen-bearing flowers concurrently through the summer.

In restoration practice, we accept that we must do something that we don’t know how to do.  This is the conundrum we live with.  The system-response to our efforts is slow and ongoing and at least some aspects will be beyond our predictive capacity, and some even contrary to our aspirations.  Nature is the process of self-determination, and yet, we have influenced natural areas, and we go on influencing them.  We have to do something.  Nature is a fountain of unconditioned energy, moving through conditioned forms, such as ourselves.


South of the Colorado River, live fuel moisture in Ashe Juniper has been exceptionally low.  In fact, they are as low as any time on record except for the devastating drought of 2011.  The early spring was dry, so the epikarst never had a chance to build a slug of near surface moisture before it got hot.  Early fall (2016) was hot, and the late winter (2017) was warm too (climate change), so evapotranspiration rates died down later and picked up earlier than normal surrounding winter.  Epikarst is the area below the soil but above the aquifer (water table) in karst areas (limestone with caves).  Compared to surface soils, epikarst is less exposed to direct evaporative demand, but is partially accessible by plant roots and also contributes to deep drainage aka aquifer recharge.  In the eastern Edwards Plateau, water has about a six month shelf-life in the epikarst.  Normal rains in part of the spring may have obscured the reality of plant dryness, which is in part determined by the six month average, and in this case, down-weighted by the outer limit of that legacy.

Our spring transect data show enormous increases in canopy cover since 2012.  As McPherson has pointed out, while extreme drought (2011) may seem like a boon that can slow or partially reverse the trajectory of woody plants encroaching grassland habitats, the net result is often the opposite.  Apparently, mass plant mortality can lead to rapid increases in woody plant encroachment when followed by a series of wet years (2013-2016).  Drought destabilizes the existing community, and then wet years strongly favor woodies.  Luckily, this rapid increase is mostly due to new plants, not canopy expansion from existing trees, and new plants are more susceptible to change than old.  So current dry woody plant/epikarst conditions may offer some relief to grassland habitats in this regard.

According to the forecast, August will be wetter than July.  If not, the fall seed crop will likely be quite lame.


July 2017

We cannot succeed in restoring ecosystems unless we take care of ourselves and each other in the process.

A Carolina Wolf Spider has made a home of a hollow, broken-off limb of Cedar Elm.  If I were as big as a bug (but not as smart), this might look like a nice hammock to loaf in.  It isn’t.

This site follows an array of ecological trajectories with an eye for intervention.  Ecosystems can move in slow or subtle ways, which can cause the illusion of a stable state.  Actually though, the land is always leaning.  Every part of the land is leaning.  Some parts lean in the same direction as others, or they can lean in opposing, or more often, cockeyed, directions.  For the most part, “balance” does not really come up.  Something can lean one way or another for a long time, and then just stand right back up, or lean the other way.  If we are watching, though, we can time it just right and push it over the edge.  Or on the verge of collapsing, we can swoop in and prop it up until it finds it’s feet again.

Take for example a grassland in Texas.  A relatively cool and stable climate in the late Holocene has allowed an increasingly ornate landscape to form.  Endemic species form in caves and on steep slopes and mild valleys.  Suddenly, species migration rates accelerate rapidly and the climate warms (both associated with mass release of fossil energy for human economy).  Several keystone animal species are lost (prairie chickens, buffalo) and many others are in sharp decline (migratory songbirds).  At this point, parts of the system lean towards closed canopy woodlands, other parts lean towards dominance by exotic grasses.  Both outcomes would make the system less resilient to the disturbances that are typical of the landscape, and would collapse a land that many declining species have come to rely on.  Woodlands or exotic grasslands both have ecological functions and provide ecological services to society.  Intervention, though, is to optimize the land for its own health and for the benefit of society.  Fluctuations in weather provide opportunities to hold up the parts that sustain the historic assembly or undermine the parts that lead to a loss of ecological integrity.  This site is about those parts, and the methods we use to interact with them.

Side view of the above.

Every aspect of the ecosystem has an edge.  Maybe deer browse is limiting the food supply for migratory pollinators.  Where is that edge?  Can we push it?  Maximilian Sunflower and Plateau Goldeneye grow fine, but more palatable species, like Cutleaf Daisy are uncommon, and Purple Coneflower is absent.  Can we we manage the habitat to promote Cutleaf Daisy?  Introduce Purple Coneflower?  Beyond that, Compass Plant?

We can search for this edge, and cultivate our response to it, in every aspect of our lives.  It is the present moment.  It is an endless wellspring of energy that cannot be grasped.

What is happening now?

It is hot and dry of late, a good time for burning.  There was a short burn window in late June (we didn’t catch it), and now another one starting about two weeks after the last rain.  It wasn’t a big rain, a week or ten days may have been enough.

Live fuel moisture in Ashe Junipers is under 100%, which is good, they will readily combust with moderate fine fuels underneath if the wind and humidity are adequate to carry a flame front, but they are not dry enough for crown fire (tree to tree transmission).  Ashe Junipers are highly drought tolerant (anisohydric), meaning they keep their stomata open during drought.  They keep breathing (respiration) and making energy (photosynthesis) through the worst droughts, despite that they loose water in the process.  As a result, live fuel moisture in Ashe Junipers can be a rough proxy for drought condition on the whole ecosystem, including the part of the soil profile that is colonized by roots.  They keep pumping water no matter what, so if the land is dry, they are dry, and same if wet.  Another woody plant that grows in about the same places as Ashe Juniper is Plateau Live Oak.  Plateau Live Oak is isohyrdic, which means that it closes its stomata during drought.  As a result, the live fuel moisture content of live oak leaves does not fluctuate with drought condition.  It sort of holds its breath (to conserve water), and maintains a very low metabolic rate, a form of dormancy.  Plant dryness in Ashe Juniper fluctuates with drought status, whereas plant dryness is relatively constant in live oak.  Live oak mortality from fire is probably related to drought status, even though live oak plant dryness is not related to drought status, because drought stress on the plant (i.e. embolism, cavitation) makes it less resilient to additional stress from fire, just like it is less resilient to other stresses, like infection.  Or so it seems.  This may be true for several species, but Mountain Laurel?   Who knows…  A recent study found it is the least likely woody plant in Texas to die from drought.

The crop of Silver Bluestem seed is still standing but weakening, I suspect it produces seed in response to rain, so these past couple of weeks it has been just dropping seed but not replacing it.  Texas Cupgrass seed is all dropped, not a one yet at hand.  White tridens is ripe on shallow soils, but green on deeper clay.  Wedelia is at peak ripeness, and Golden Gray Aster is getting close, it looks like it will synch with most of the White Tridens.  Texas fescue still holds ripe seed.

The northward march of non-native invasive species continues…  As of this spring, single plants of Kleberg Bluestem are almost common in the natural areas Travis County, but I have found no actual stands (clusters of several plants).  Silky and KR bluestem are cured and have dropped their seed, but Kleberg is still green, which might indicate a longer treatment window.