It is a banner year for wildflowers in South Texas, and as Richard Moore shows us some very rare cactus is also in peak bloom.
The sandy soiled ranch country of deep South Texas is bursting with color. We are barely into the official second week of spring and myriad wildflowers are in peak bloom.
Colorful blends of orange, yellow and various shades of purple carpet the landscape.
The aptly named wine cups are prolific, garnishing the ground in a sea of velvety purple. Their richly hued petals begin the day delicately folded, appearing more like a long stemmed champagne glass, but as the sun warms them they open into their namesake shape quivering in the morning breeze.
Mixed in with the wine cups are blanket flowers or fire wheels, yellow gold coreopsis and bright white lazy daisies.
Gently swaying with lazy daises are beautiful flowerings of meadow pink. These gorgeous little flowers are not only a joy to behold, but if you take the time to stop and sniff they will reward you with a sublimely subtle fragrance.
While the sandy soiled wildlands overwhelm with an abundance of color, the arid regions of southernmost Texas offer a sparser spring flowering, but the scattered individual cactus blooms are enthralling.
The single fluorescent pink bloom on this Wilcox or rat-tail cactus is riveting, and if it were not for the flashy flower you would probably not even notice the slender stalk it emerges from.
The increasingly rare peyote cactus is also flowering, albeit somewhat subdued compared to the Wilcox. The even rarer Star cactus sports a creamy yellow flower atop its distinctive star shaped form.
The horse-crippler or devils head is blooming, which fortunately makes this impressively thorned cactus easier to spot and avoid treading on.
These bountiful wildflowers and spectacular cactus blooms won’t last long, but if you venture out soon you will surely savor a spectacular spring.