Ricky Linex–a wildlife biologist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Weatherford–recently emailed me an Aug. 21 photo of what he calls mares tail (horseweed, Conyza canandensis) in front of an old fireplace at the ruins of Fort Phantom Hill, located north of Abilene, Texas. He said I could share the photo.
"These ruins are what remain of an old U.S. military outpost from the 1850's," he wrote. "I was in the eastern Panhandle last week and the mares tail there was approaching 5 feet in height, which is large for free range plants that don't get watered and pampered. Some volunteer plants are desirable and some are not. Perhaps the next one will be a keeper."