In September we drove over to the Watson Rare Native Plant Preserve to help with the scheduled wildflower walk. The preserve typically holds monthly guided wildflower walks for visitors, with a break in July and sometimes August as well as some of the quieter times such as December-February at the preserve. I had primarily been volunteering on work days and wanted to come out for a bit of a lighter load than a work day—really I just wanted to take some photos and enjoy the blooms instead of doing the never ending task of trimming back ti-ti! It coincided with Chris’ birthday and I didn’t have to twist his arm very far at all to convince him to spend it in the Big Thicket.
I’m slowly getting more comfortable with naming the plants on location out there, though I feel like I need to immerse myself in the place for a few days at a time so I can easily recall where certain plants are each time. Most of those volunteer work days are 3-4 hours of hard work and then a strong desire to eat lunch and then either duck into a trail in the Big Thicket or head home, two hours away. I often find myself wishing I lived much closer so it was easier to visit with more regularity.
Here’s a little of what was blooming/out at the end of September in 2023!
Liatris acidota, maybe…
If you are local to the region and want to make the drive over, we have several wildflower walks already scheduled for spring and summer.
March 16th, April 20th, May 11th, June 15th, and August 3rd will all be wildflower walks, likely led by Joe Liggio, author of Wild Orchids of Texas, though if he is unavailable there will be other Preserve volunteers out there to guide the walk! The August 3rd walk is to see the Chapman’s orchid (Platanthera chapmanii) which is blooming at that time. Check the WRNPP Website or Facebook group for updates!
And of course, you don’t have to be on a wildflower walk to enjoy the preserve! Come at any time you want to see what’s blooming!