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A Maddin Summer

One of my duties (and commitments) is to keep an eye on our Maddin Prairie Preserve. It is a labor of love, even during the heat of summer. There is always something to see there.

Some passing showers and clouds made for a dramatic evening sky.

I made a quick visit this week, to check on our wildlife water. It was supposed to be not-as-hot, which means still hot, but bearable. Luckily there were some passing showers in the area, so I had some cloud cover in the evening… and spectacular skies, as is often the case out there. I even saw the comet. Sort of. A blurry thing visible with binoculars. The night skies can be very rewarding in this part of Texas.

While touring the property, I had to drive very, very slowly because the horned lizards were out on the road in the morning. I counted seven and even got photos of each one. They didn’t want to move until I actively got them to scoot along. Maybe they think they own the place!

This hoverfly was hanging around the trailer. Maybe it was looking for water…

The birds were being pretty quiet. The Cassin’s sparrows were still singing though. That is the sound of summer out there. The Common Nighthawks were active. Our other summer resident birds are still around, but less visible.

Nighthawks resting. I shot this a couple of years ago at the same time in July.

The grasses at the prairie dog town are looking good. But we lost our restored colony and I need to research how and when would be best to bring it back. I am pretty sure it was disease. I don’t want to give up on the restoration, but don’t want to resume until we have a better understanding of what caused the colony to disappear.

Beautiful, but sad too. The prairie dogs are gone and the grasses are getting taller.
Western horsenettle (Solanum dimidiatum). A pretty flower with an unglamorous name.

I hope some of you will be able to come out for a visit one day.

-Kirsti Harms, July 29, 2020