Friday, November 30, 2018

Where there's a crack, there's a way

Sometimes, what we do to save a piece of nature, can seem a bit extreme. Then, out of the blue, nature surprises us with an incredible miracle, and we stand by amazed. This surprising story stems from our grape hyacinth bulb rescue, which included discovery of a rare population of Edwards Plateau morning-glory
When I spotted what I believed to be Hill Country rain lilies (Cooperia pedunculata) that morning, James got out his shovel and dug up the ones I couldn't get with my hand trowel. The bulbs were HUGE. On the last one, James hit rock. He kept digging and hit MORE rock. Around and around he dug until he finally lifted up the limestone boulder. The bulb was growing INSIDE THE ROCK! A paper-thin seed had somehow slipped inside a crack, germinated, and kept growing, probably for years. How could we ever save it?

"Oh, forget it, James," I said. "It's not worth all this work."

"No, I'm not giving up now!" he replied.     

So James kept digging and digging and digging.

Finally, he unearthed the rock, bulb and all. At first, he offered to bust the rock apart to retrieve the bulb. But I thought a bit. "Can we take the whole thing?" I proposed. Without so much of a grimace, he agreed. Then James lifted up the rock and set it in the back seat of his Corolla. Later, he guessimated that the rock must have weighed at least 50 pounds.

Back at home, he dug a hole in a bed and set the rock, bulb and all, in the ground. So now we have a Hill Country rain lily grouping, complete with boulder, in our Wildscape. We'll see what happens next spring! 


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