Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A visit to Lake Buchanan - Let's Play Guess That Plant!I

{Reminder - simply click with your cursor on any photo to retrieve a larger version}
Growing up my Daddy liked to pile us all in the car after church was over and then drive us what felt like hundreds of miles out into the country to eat Sunday lunch at a family style restaurant in the Hill Country.

Funny how the ride home was always so much shorter than the ride there.

Along the way he would point out flowers that caught his eye, every single cow or horse or goat grazing behind a fence.  My little brother and I would sigh and complain and sure, yes, we would ask "are we there yet?".   I would roll my eyes and wish for the earth to swallow me up and get me A W A Y from these old people in the front seat who thought driving out to the boonies was a reasonable enterprise, much less a fun way to spend time.

Fast forward a few decades and predictably enough, the Hub and I are now the geezers in the front seats, enjoying the countryside, pointing out livestock and wondering aloud what the name of this or that flowering plant might be.

Our own experiences as kids taught us a thing or two.  Our children are all grown up now.   We don't drag them along, heck, last go round we didn't even invite them.

This past weekend specifically, when we took the opportunity to check out the relatively new Canyon of the Eagles Resort out on Lake Buchanan, set in a 940 acre nature park.
I'll let you peruse their web site on your own if you're interested.

We had a nice lunch in the all but deserted restaurant with spectacular views from a high bluff overlooking the North shores of the lake.

We were both quite taken with the Senna Lindheimeriana.  These were in bloom all over the Hill Country.

I'd never seen climbing snapdragon before.  I think it is charming.

Art imitates life or life imitates art?  You decide.

Pollinators were busy everywhere we looked.  This hummingbird was really working over the Turk's Cap.

The grounds featured very lightly landscaped mostly native plants.
Not sure if this was intended to be scenic or is the resort's actual firetruck.

Down by the water there were huge slabs set out as tables and benches for picnic lunches.
Truth be told however, what we enjoyed most was the overcast day bringing cooler temperatures.  The change of scenery included a good look close up at the after effects of so many inches of rain from Hermine on the Texas Hill Country.  Many plants I knew or could easily identify.  There are a few however that I simply can't get a handle on.  Anybody want to help out?

I think this was a blue heron (left) sharing shoreline with an egret.

Final Update:  Winner winner chicken dinner!  This is (according to Mr Smarty Plants again - this guy is absolutely THE go-to guy for help with plant ID - Croptilon divaricatum, otherwise known as Slender Scratchdaisy.  How fun is that for a common plant name?
This was my first sighting of Spurred Butterfly Pea (Centrosema virginianum).
Update:  I have on authority (Mr Smarty Plants himself!) this dragonfly is a Flag-tailed Spinyleg - probably a male. 
Update:  Mr. Smarty Plants and Lancashire Rose have both IDed this as Bull Nettle.  Thank you!
Yet another heron - they were all along the shores of the lake.
I think these large fellas are quite handsome when they are found far far away from my own plants.
Please feel free to chime in with the missing plant names in the comments section.  All part of the fun.


  1. Beautiful photos of a beautiful lake area. I love that image of the lizard with the lizard light -- great shot! Can't help you with the plant IDs, but now you've got me curious, too!

  2. Hiya Deb,
    What an explosion of delight.

    Can't get enough of these pictures. I have no business being up at this hour (3 am and onwards), but I am having such a good time looking at all this. The rocky bits delight me most. Rock being in short supply in our environs. And of course that scuttling beastie, salamander type thingie, is priceless with its artistic version only inches away. How did you manage to get those in one picture.

    I recognize the shape of the yellow starlike flower and will hunt out its name.

  3. Meredith - thanks for dropping in. At least you aren't heaping scorn for my not knowing the names of plants that "everybody" easily recognizes. I welcome you as a fellow occasionally curious traveler. Feel free to drop back in if you have any luck with the plant ID.

    Jo - I had lots more shots of rocky spots. The Hub and I are similarly taken with the interesting colors and shapes, really different from the limestone prominent here in the Austin area. I will welcome any help with the plant names - I know you have a wonderful eye and am betting on your success. (Hope you get a few hours of shuteye though....).

  4. Enjoyed visiting with you. I think the white flower is bull nettle. I remember seeing this plant for the first time along the trail at Zilker. If you go up to Mount Bonnell you will see lots of the snapdragon vine along the edges of the cliff. I have it in my garden. It is a sweet airy vine. You can grow it from seed.

  5. LRose: Aha! By golly Ms J I do believe you've nailed it down. I am sure glad I only took a photo and didn't try to get a seed pod because I was tempted to try. It looked so very deer resistant wouldn't you agree? Apparently it might be everything resistant... I will look for a seed source for the snapdragon vine. Does yours reseed year to year or must you start from scratch each time?

  6. Great pics! Impressed how you got the hummingbird shot- I have tried sooooo many times and can't catch them. They are all over the Mexican Honeysuckle and the Mexican Sage. Supposedly they like Firebush but they don't seem to pay attention to mine. Great shots though!!!

  7. I don't know how I missed this until now! What a great excursion. I haven't been to Lake Buchanan since I was a child but have been thinking it would be fun to go this winter and see the eagles. Are you recommending the dining at the resort?

  8. The lizard and the light picture is great. I think I've got to have some of that Snap Dragon Vine as well.

  9. What a scenic lake. Just looking at your pictures makes me relax. It's always amazing how more beautiful nature looks when you slow down and take time to actually look at things.

    Jeff | Plant Protection For Gardeners

  10. What great pictures and thanks for the plant IDs. The snapdragon vine is one that likes shade, which is great, since shade vines are hard to find. And it's a nectar source for butterflies too. Thanks again for the tour, you old geez!

  11. That place is so beautiful, love the pics!

  12. I have not a clue. But this gives me an appreciation for when rosarian Tom Carruth said he came to California and had not a clue what we called many of the natives that grow here:)-

  13. Great photos! I am jealous of the hummingbird photo/capture. I have tried and tried and just can't get a clean clear shot. Love the photo of "life imitating art" hahah. Classic.


About Me

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Rollingwood, Central Texas
Family historian by default. Oldest surviving matriarch on my branch of the Family Tree. Story teller, photo taker, gardener, cook, blabbermouth.