My attempt to make it to my 10 acres in Terlingua Ranch and make a go of living on it. From the start it hasn't gone good at all, but I'm hopeful things will turn around!
Monday, July 18, 2011
Desert Plants (Here)
Lately I noticed this small tree or bush has really greened up. I'm sure it was around last year, but everything was green then so it didn't stick out like a sore thumb. Its actually the greenest thing anywhere around it and that makes me wonder what it is. Its too small to have deep roots and is also competing for water with the ironwood its growing next to. It must manage water a lot better than other plants around here. I don't have a clue what it is do you?
The Creosotes would be second in line for hanging in there around here. Mesquites are few and far between on this property so that leaves them out, but they seem to be doing much better than anything else around here and are loaded with beans which I hear makes good meal for baking bread and other stuff IF you have a mill to process them. There are a few on this land, but I'm lazy and they are too far away and in grassy areas and I don't want to get snake bit trying to get a picture of one so just use your imagination please. ;)
Some of the Yuccas are starting to come around now while others? Well I think they are goners. I think its much too late in the season for them to bloom and bear fruit, but I guess time will tell.
All of the Ephedra around here looks like it is totally dead so I guess time will tell on that to.
The Sage seems to be greening up, but I don't remember what time of year it is that it puts on the purple flowers which no doubt brought about the old saying Purple Sage.
This is Ironwood (Which isn't even supposed to be in this desert), but it is. No telling how long it has been here but they can live for up to 1500 years and get up to about 45 feet tall. They also grow at a very slow rate. I've been watering this one regularly with ice melt and can't tell that it has grown a bit. Seems to be about the same as the ones I'm not watering and at about the same size. I've yet to see one over a few feet tall down here. At some point they put out small red berries that look about like holly berries and coyotes love them. (So does Pepper) Last year when they were loaded with berries there were days when she would have nothing to do with her dog food and would strip those bushes of the berries instead. They don't seem to digest too well because her poop was always full of what looked like undigested berries. The way she did and I suppose coyotes do is walk up to the bushed and open their mouth, bite down on twigs with the berries on them and them back up stripping the berries off. Ironwood is also a popular hobby wood and it is so hard that it has to be worked like steel. Can be ground turned on metal lathes and so on. A lot of people make handles for knives and so on out of it.
Some of the Prickly Pear seem to be coming around now and others seem to be goners. I think they only bloom later in the season or maybe in the Fall so maybe there's hope for them yet? A lot of people make jam, jelly and wine from the fruit. Last year several of us were lucky enough to sample some that Just Me made and it was delicious. A mescal type liquor can also be distilled from fermenting the pads. Haven't had a chance to try that. :(
The strawberry cactus seem to be making a comeback and as you can see here this one is actually trying to bloom. They put on some really beautiful flowers before the fruit comes under them. The fruit on these is GREAT and taste a lot like kiwi fruit and also make some good jam or jelly from what I hear. Some even make wine from the fruit, but as of yet I've not had the chance to sample it.
Evidently the 3/4 inch and 2/10 inch of rain we've had was enough to trigger the comeback for some plants. Of course as said in an earlier thread the Ocotilla was the first to start reviving.