This year has been great for rain in the Texas Rolling Plains area. The greens seem more vibrant this year and wildflowers have carpeted large areas with their blossoms. Yellows of Gordon’s bladderpod, to clasping coneflowers, to lavenders of horsemint and American basketflowers are just a few of the massive blooms.
I’ve been biologically monitoring Comanche Springs Astronomy Campus since 2015. As of June 15, 2019, the campus has received a little over 13 inches of rain. While wildflowers have emerged in the past they have not appeared like they have this year. I am seeing wildflowers that I have never seen before and often most times what greets me every time I go to the campus is new carpets of wildflowers whose seeds have remained dormant just waiting for the rain so they can surface and grow.
With all these wildflowers the pollinators are happy. There are hundreds of butterflies fluttering about. Butterflies from queens, monarchs, swallowtails, sulfur, grey hairstreaks, cabbage whites to tawny emperors are all dancing with delight amongst the wildflowers. There are white-lined sphinx moth caterpillars on the campus, with one seen flying a couple of weeks ago. They rarely sit still long enough to capture a photo of many of them, especially those swallowtails.
Come along and meet my favorite wildflowers of 2019.