Dr. John Kartesz, guest lecturer for BOTN 620 this week, stands with Monique Reed beside the ancient 'trophy' Texas Persimmon (Diospyros texana Scheele) that has inhabited the rocky bluff above Koontz Bayou for many years. While the main shoot (pictured) is clearly dead, adjacent, smaller plants - probably clonal extensions are present and healthy. This trip featured an extensive hike along the length of the bluff and, while no other plants of this species were located, Deborah Cowman and Imelda Mercado Uribe (below) found a few items of interest.
Exploration of the Koontz Bayou area of Old River Ranch (private property, permission required) included a trip to the top of a sandy hill just South of the Bluff:
This hill carries a large population of Phlox drummondii, an attractive and conspicuous indicator of deep, sandy soils in our part of the state:
The view from the top of this hill, looking up the Brazos River Valley to the northeast, reveals tall buildings of the Texas A&M campus on the horizon, just above tree tops of the Bluff above Koontz Bayou. Select this image (below) to get a closer view.
This outing also featured visits to the Antique Rose Emporium in Independence, Texas (just South of Clay to hwy. 50), a drive along the Hidalgo Bluffs and other back-county areas between Independence and Navasota, and a late afternoon visit to the Moore's Hill site, just East of Navasota.