I have spent the last week catching up on editing a pile–a PILE–of photos from the last year and even some from our New Mexico trip in June 2022! That doesn’t even count the many photos I had edited months ago that are uploaded to Flickr that I never wrote about. This spring will be the Catch Up Spring. At one point in my blogging days (and for most of us) I would write almost daily but now no one has the time to to sit and read (they are scrolling instead) and so even batching posts and scheduling ahead of time for every day of the week seems excessive. Part of why I write is for me but also for readers and I don’t want to annoy y’all too much!
In all of this I realized I never finished a small series I was working on last year called Cemetery Botanizing. It turned out to be really cool project and fun exploring some easy to access cemeteries from the office on my lunch breaks, but then I started PT twice a week in March last year and then basically spent the rest of the years either tackling doctors appointments or more PT. I just didn’t have the time to dedicate to this project. But, I’m bringing it back and have already scouted out one of them again to check on a plant (coming in #5) to see if it was up and its blooming status (another 3-4 weeks).
So, let’s tidy up what I didn’t cover last year before this year barrels through and I just ignore last year all together!
This cemetery was really fascinating for several reasons. If you are local to northern Harris county you likely know of Kleb Woods. It’s a place we go to frequently, sometimes on our lunch breaks, and is now quickly becoming a little piece of nature surrounded by development. Until the last couple of years it was surrounded by farm fields but those are giving way to tract housing, sadly. Elmer Kleb and the Kleb family used to own this property and Elmer lived on it for years after his family had died, destitute and living very simply. Unfortunately the property was in arrears for taxes and eventually, with the help of TPWD, the county was able to purchase the property while allowing him to stay there until he passed away in 1999. I had no idea where he was buried, though, had never thought to look it up, so it was a delight to find the entire Kleb family lined up here at Roberts Cemetery not too far from Kleb Woods.
The other aspect of this cemetery is that it is a segregated cemetery, with the African American side separated by a fence and the care is definitely different.
When I arrived on March 22nd last year there were bluebonnets blooming on almost half of the cemetery. It was gorgeous!
Sandyland bluebonnet, Lupinus subcarnosus
Slimpod Milkvetch, Astragalus leptocarpus
The milkvetch and bluebonnet combo was gorgeous!
Roadside Blue-eyed Grass, Sisyrinchium pruinosum
Zebra Longhorn Beetle, Typocerus zebra on an allium I need to identify. Maybe Allium fraseri
Walking on the far end of the cemetery I came across this pipevine swallowtail caterpillar. I was dismayed because I didn’t see any pipevine for it but figured it had crawled from somewhere off in the edge of the woods on the private property next door, where maybe there was a pipevine. I said hello and went off on my way.
Swanflower, Aristolochia erecta
And then I found a pipevine! It was over by the Klebs and so I hoofed it back over to the caterpillar, hoping I could relocate it again, and I did. I brought it over to the pipevine and hoped it would be able to finish out its life cycle before the mowers came in after the bluebonnets were done.
Wild Blue Larkspur, Delphinium carolinianum
Another name that made me go, “Heyyy, I know you!” When Forest was smaller we spent a lot of time at the Zube Park splash pad. I think I’m going to have to get him back over to that park and playground this spring as it has been a while since we’ve been there. I went to a smaller cemetery closer towards town at another time last year after doing some errands and those names were all names of streets I see around this area. Funny, that! When developments swallow up the original farm lands and family names, there are still traces of them in cemeteries and roads.
I’m ready for spring, if you can’t tell. It’s coming, though. And soon I’ll be back out at these cemeteries prowling around for wildflowers.