Thursday, May 21, 2020

Rare Ghost White Thistle Lily Haunts Today's Wichita Bluff Nature Area Hike

A raindrop or two dripped whilst taking a nature walk in the Wichita Bluff Nature Area this third Thursday of the 2020 version of May.

And on that nature walk I came upon the rare wildflower you see above. A ghost white thistle lily.

This 2020 version of the spring season seems way greener than the North Texas norm of recent years.

I find myself surrounded by jungle-like foliage vegetation frequently of late. Or so it seems.

Above we are looking at one of the swinging benches one finds in the Wichita Bluff Nature Area. This particular bench is found on one of the side spurs of the main Circle Trail which meanders through the Nature Area.

The view here is from what may be the high point on the Wichita Bluffs. That spot of orange you see in the center left of the picture is the Wichita River, currently running a bit high due to last weekend's rain.

Make note of the jungle of green you see above.

Years ago, whilst I lived in the DFW zone I recollect blogging some photos of the Village Creek Historical Area in Arlington. This Historical Area is also naturally green, like the Wichita Bluffs, though not as hilly.

I recollect Betty Jo Bouvier seeing those photos of the Village Creek zone and then asking me if it really is that green there, because she thought all of Texas was dusty brown desert. I disabused Betty Jo of that erroneous assumption.

Years before disabusing Betty Jo regarding her Texas landscape stereotyping, I was back in Washington, soon before moving to Texas, in a movie theater in North Seattle with Wanda to watch The X Files movie.

The X Files movie opens in Dallas. When I saw what was being shown as being the outskirts of Dallas I leaned over to Wanda and whispered "it's not really like that, it's not all flat brown desert, it's slightly hilly with a lot of green and trees".

Wanda made some disparaging remark indicating she did not believe me. A short time later, about four months after I made the move to Texas, Wanda made her one and only visit. I do not remember reminding her of her skepticism regarding the North Texas topography when she saw it for herself. I have never been big on doing the 'I told you so' thing.

In July of 2017 when I drove myself to Arizona, having a bad vehicular breakdown on the way, stranded a few miles east of Flagstaff, I was a bit nervous when it came time to return to Texas, what with record breaking high temperatures and still feeling traumatized by coming to an unwanted halt on a freeway which seemed to be in the middle of nowhere.

So, my little brother suggested following me back to Texas, to make sure I made it back without any more vehicular nightmares traumatizing me. I did not think that was a good idea, due to having experienced many a time previous the pain of traveling with more than one vehicle. Way too easy to get separated, along with all sorts of other issues.

That drive back, by the time I got to West Texas, to the Van Horn, Pecos, Wink, Odessa, Midlands zone I was tired, but could find no place to stay with a vacancy. Eventually I gave up, made it to a rest area between Sweetwater and Abilene, managing to rest for a few hours before driving the final leg back to Wichita Falls.

That morning the sun began to rise by the time I got to Seymour, about 50 miles southwest of Wichita Falls. I was so surprised at how beautiful that sunrise was, and how, as the illumination grew brighter, the landscape became greener and greener.

I had been in the monochrome desert of Arizona for almost a month. The landscape stays that same monochrome well into Texas. I recollect thinking it would have been so amusing if my little brother had followed me, with him being totally shocked at the jungle of green he was seeing, no longer in a desert...

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