A Year on Clear Lake-Jul 30, 2013

Bees and Bells–July 30, 2013

I don’t know if it was the big bee or the dainty, bell-shaped flower that caught my attention first. I later learned this native vine is the Purple Leatherflower, also known as Purple Clematis. Today was the first time I noticed the blooms so it must have been last week’s rains that helped it blossom out. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center reports that the flowers are long lasting; the plant is fairly heat and drought-tolerant. It dies to the ground in the fall. (Note: I’m thinking of introducing some of these native plants into my yard – at least they should survive our killer summer heat and drought-like conditions. These are very pretty.)

Activity continues on the outer banks, and as always the grass is greener on the other side of the lake. Tonight’s find was a Roseate Spoonbill on the far side, and just out of camera range. Like last night’s ibis, no clear photo, but you can certainly see its color. The roseate is described by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology as a “bizarre wading bird of the southern coasts.” It explains that the bird uses its odd bill to strain small food items out of the water. I’ve seen a couple of pairs of spoonbills fly over the peninsula, but this is the first time I’ve actually seen one working the shoreline. I’ve been told they also frequent the old Clear Lake Community Center golf course.

Our young yellow-crowned night heron was out again. It is interesting the way these birds claim territory. They do return to the same area each night, or at least the same vicinity. But you know, when you find a good fishing hole you keep going back.

Green Thought:Be a gentle friend to trees and they will give you back beauty, cool and fragrant shade, and many birds, singing. ~Unknown