Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The many sides of Acourtia nana

"The Many Sides of Acourtia nana" aka dwarf desert holly
South end of Tahoka Lake Pasture, Texas

I have quite a few favorite, "pet" wild plants. The dwarf desert holly that is native to Texas (also New Mexico and Arizona) is one of them. I love it not only for its delicate bloom in summer, but because its leaves in winter frequently skeletonize. And even those that don't are paper thin so that in the evening when the sun is at its lowest they look like small, scattered, dancing flames on the desert floor.

Some at Tahoka Lake, though, had these little marks (fungus? bacteria? disease? insect damage?). I'll have to keep a keener eye to see if I find any that have the same markings around here.

I have this thing for circle/dot designs and so these really pleased me.


John said...

My God, this is amazing. Simply amazing. Eyes in the leaf litter - wonderful colors....

That weekend project is so perfect - when I think of where I live so much has been spoiled - farmed, developed, etc. Very little real nature left. Your area for lack of humans and due to bio diveristy is a natural naturalist candy shop.

Some of my most amazing birding experiences occured in Tejas - near Houston towards Galveston and then to Brownsville and the Rio Grande.

The Finely Tuned Woman said...

That' more than neat, Debi. It's a phenomenal photograph. Perfect light, clear definition, brilliant subject. You did it again.

Bobbie said...

I love this little plant too, having seen it often when I was growing up and thinking of it as a holly, but never knowing for sure. Thanks! Do you suppose those are spots left by eggs that hatched?

Bev said...

Interesting to see the leaves photographed so well.

Remind me of eyes in peacock feathers.