Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Texas Bird of Paradise

The other morning I was lucky enough to capture a few photos of one of my favorite birds:
the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher!

Standing at the kitchen window, my attention was suddenly caught by the flash of an unmistakably long tail!

They are so delightful to see in flight - amazingly fast and agile!
And when their wings open they flash red epaulets.
Scissor-tails (Tyrannus forficatus) are part of the kingbird family, catching insects in flight.

These beauties are also known as the Texas Bird of Paradise.
I think that's a much better name!

The Bluebonnets are amazing this year,
blanketing the the sides of the roadways with cobalt blue.

The Indian Paintbrush are just starting to show.

I found some that were a deep reddish orange,

and other plants that were a softer, peachy orange.

The Pink Ladies are showing their faces, too.

Pink Ladies are sometimes called Pink Evening Primroses (Oenothera speciosa).

Bright yellow Texas Dandelions (Pyrrhopappus pauciflorus) often grow in the worst looking ground imaginable, right between the roadway and its gravelly edges.
Fluffy and tough, they are not related to common dandelions.

 Prairie Fleabane has tiny yellow pompom centers fringed with white petals.

Unfortunately, it doesn't really repeal fleas.

Low growing Yellow Wood-sorrel (Oxalis stricta) is able to spread quickly because its mature seed capsules actually explode, sending seed as far as a dozen feet!

These small orange flowers are about the size of a pencil eraser.

Called Bristly Mallow (Modiola caroliniana), they are in the same family as okra and cotton.
So much for this weeks discoveries in the fields around our house.
We are hoping for more rain to keep the wildflower show blooming!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, what beauty you were able to capture in your neck of the woods! I have never seen a Flycatcher before and all the beautiful Texas wildflowers! Thank you for sharing!