Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Taking Pictures in Rest Stops

After we left Fort Worth, Texas on May 16 we stopped at a rest stop and the next day after leaving Amarillo we stopped at another rest stop in New Mexico. I normally don't take the time to shoot pictures at those times but I did those two days and thought it was great to see the little things I normally miss.

The Texas rest stop had some of our favorites now past prime - the Texas Bluebonnets.

I do miss these blue jewels that line many of the highways in Texas especially I-45 between Houston and Dallas.

Anyone who has followed my blogs know I'm no botany expert so don't expect names that are accurate just guesses or descriptions. I do know this is a purple thistle.

This one not yet open appears to have sunshine within the bloom.

One of the most interesting characteristics of the purple thistle is its ability to move toward anything which disturbs it. For instance, if you were to touch the flower with your finger, the anthers (pollen producing part of flower) would move and curl themselves toward you in a protective effort. If something as small as an insect should try to crawl along the flower, the anthers would move to curl themselves around the insect, covering it with pollen at the same time. This movement is called a thigmonastic motion. The plant can use the motion to protect itself from intruders.

Sensitive Brier (Schrankia uncinata) - This flower is about the size of am Quarter is also known as bashful brier, the leaves of this plant immediately fold upon contact, and its stems grow two to three feet in length.

Sensitive brier ranges from Texas and Arkansas, north to Kansas and Missouri. In Missouri, the plant has not been recorded in the extreme northwest or southeast counties. It grows well under a variety of conditions, occurring on rocky open glades, open woods and thickets, roadside banks and pastures.

This blue flower is a Spiderwort.

Spiderwort Commelinaceae are low growing perennial with three petals, occurring in a variety of shades of blue, rose and purple.

This is a Spiderwort with bee.

I'm not sure but this looks like a Gerber Daisey in red but I'd guess that is not correct. My best guess is Indian Blanket.

Indian Blanket (Gaillardia pulchella) - Also called firewheel, Indian Blanket flowers from April to June. When viewed in mass, its brilliant combinations of red, orange and yellow resemble brightly woven tapestries.

After driving through Arizona I'd say this was a Yucca but these Texas flowers looked smaller in height...

... but with larger blooms but still a Yucca

Maybe an old bluebonnet with some purple grass stem behind.

This beautiful Texas Wildflower blooms from May through June.

There are several common names for this plant: Fairy Thimbles, Wild Belladonna, Dewflower and Beardtongue.

I have no clue but I like them.

I liked this view down in a gully with a foreground of Indian Blanket flowers.

"Don't mess with Texas" is the anti-litter slogan that someone ignored - sad.

Prickly Pear or as they are known on the Food Channel as Nopal.

Nopales are very rich in insoluble and especially soluble dietary fiber. They are also rich in vitamins (especially vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K, but also riboflavin and vitamin B6) and minerals (especially magnesium, potassium, and manganese, but also iron and copper). Nopales have a high calcium content, but the nutrient is not biologically available because it is present as calcium oxalate, which is neither highly soluble nor easily absorbed through the intestinal wall. Addition of nopales also reduces the glycemic effect of a mixed meal. Nopales are low carbohydrate and may help in the treatment of diabetes.

Nopal with a lady bug as it's pal.

More Sensitive Brier - these little guys are really cool.

One final look at the Foxglove - this rest stop was terrific and ...

Still in the rest stop Sharyn spotted and shot these pictures of a scissor-tailed flycatcher...

the state bird of Oklahoma, and is displayed in flight with tail feathers spread on the reverse of the Oklahoma Commemorative Quarter.

A little farther down the road we stopped in Chillicothe, Texas for some famous Texas pecans and while Sharyn was shopping I took this picture of an interesting home across the street.

The next day we stopped in a rest area in New Mexico on I-40 east of Albuquerque. I'm not positive about this flower but it may be Lesquerella fendleri.

Lesquerella fendleri is a species of flowering plant in the mustard family known by several common names, including Fendler's bladderpod, yellowtop, and, simply, lesquerella. It is best known as the richest source of bladderpod oil.

Cane Cholla Cactus, or "walking stick cactus," is the tall slender cactus with a wood skeleton that is used for canes and walking sticks.

Cane Cholla Cactus
The cane cholla is the most common species of cholla in New Mexico. It is a bushy cactus with spiny, cylindrical, fleshy stems, which when dead show a latticed woody skeleton. The spines are very finely barbed and difficult to remove from flesh.

I liked the white Evening Primrose and the ...

I'm guessing Desert Mallow on these salmon colored beauties.

I will not guess on these but I liked them.

It's getting late and my botany skills and my search ability are wearing thin but this is one of my favorites at the rest area...

...as are these colorful little flowers.

Giving up on flowers I took a panorama of the area...

and a close up of a wild something growing in the sandstone...

...and this plant that looked like the rattle of a rattlesnake.

'I kind of got a bird like Sharyn but it wasn't as good of a picture of the scissortail she shot.

Meanwhile Sharyn was reading her book and enjoying just being out in the Musemobile.

When we got to Albuquerque we filled up with gas at Costco then enjoyed a great lunch at Pappadeaux's served by Helen our really nice waitperson.

No Scrabble

Quote of the Day ~ "Sometimes the most urgent thing you can possibly do is take a complete rest" ~ Ashleigh Brilliant (English Author and Cartoonist, b.1933)


Anonymous said...

THANKS, Paul, for these awesome images of our family celebration for Mama!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for placing the Frank Schatte home in your musings. This was the "interesting" home in Chillicothe, Texas. Frank was the coach at Chillicothe High School for several years. Since retired. Love that home. Also across from the Dairy Queen where many of the townsfolk meet.


©Paul Viel