We started to watch sedum plants at the Lost Madrone Ranch beginning March 4th. I will be honest, I did not realize it would take this many Saturdays to reach the peak blooming period for this little succulent. Thank you for watching the sedums with me!
I arrived at the ranch yesterday happy with the final yellow show. Full bloomed sedums were shining brightly.
It was not the most brilliant year of sedum blooms.
Nature is a good teacher — the seasons are unpredictable and changing from year to year — as are the seasons of life.
Dry grasses and parched sedum stems cast a golden hue to the sedum patch near the house.
But, there are thousands of individual sunshine-yellow flowers.
I have shared many stories of these wild little sedums, so as I close out my Saturday Sedum Watch posts, I’ll recap the walk as I share new photos this week. Click any of the links to go back and revisit the pictures and words from the journey.
My how tiny the sedums started out!
The March 4th post introduced sedums as a genus of flowering plants with succulent leaves belonging to a plant family referred to as “stonecrops.” A fitting family name for a plant growing wild in the rocky land of the Texas Hill Country, pictures of sedums nestled between limestone have characterized the environment of the growing sedums throughout this sedum watch.
Color variations as sedums mature is a feature first highlighted in the March 11th post. Shades of reds, greens, and yellows are on display in sedum stems, leaves, and flowers.
Early in the season, red tones were only found on the fleshy stems and succulent leaves, but as the flowers move past their peak and begin to dry,
the flowers also present a rosy red color.
The March 11th post also shared “Look Closer,” the game I play when I slow down and focus on a spot to allow the space to unveil an unexpected wonder. The slowness uncovers the mystery and marvel.
Yesterday, while taking sedum pictures up close, a tiny spider was jumping at the edge of the limestone near a clump of sedums. Remember how small the sedums are? Can you find the tiny unfocused speck on the rock?
When I was sitting crouched over this little spider, look who hopped right up to me in the sedum patch! I was surprised when I looked up, and I was more surprised when this jackrabbit lingered for a while to eat. I could not tell what was so tasty. Sedums? Surely not?
The March 18th post focused on how tenacious and resilient the teensy sedums are — growing through tough micro-environments filled with ant hills, cactus, rock, mats of leaves and grasses; not to mention footprints of feral hogs and longhorns.
A look back at the March 18th post shows tiny sedums making their way through these trials.
Remember the once stubby little sedums breaking through the woody skeleton of a decayed prickly pear pad? Look now.
Remember the itty-bitty sedum finding a place to grow in the middle of the solid rock? Look now.
Remember the far back corner of the property previously trampled by hogs and longhorns? Look now.
Being on the ranch is an opportunity to see the resiliency of nature and think about what is possible. I asked in that post, “Does the tougher assignment make the victory more brilliant, or is that just a people thing — that we hope to grow stronger through our trials in life?” I didn’t expect the trial that would come in the following weeks.
The Lady Bird Johnson quote that closed that post shared how the environment can be a focusing lens on what we can become.
I fondly remember the post of March 25th because the Pantone color of the year, “Greenery,” was bursting all over the ranch — in the new leaves of the trees, along the edges of the water, and in the critters and plants of the ranch. Following quotes symbolic of the zesty green color, photos in the post showed examples of greenery around the ranch.
As I shared a photo of Antelope Horn buds (a favorite milkweed of the Monarch butterfly), I promised to give an update. Click for a reminder of what the buds looked like before they opened.
Antelope Horns are blooming across the ranch.
The same shade of greenery is found this week in the clumps of sedums growing in deeper soil where they can draw enough moisture to keep their leaves and stems succulent.
When April 1st arrived, the lime greenery of the week before had deepened to a summer green, motivating me to get planting. It was a happy day to reflect how planting is an exercise in nurturing — like caregiving and child-rearing. Lots of patience, love, and care can reap rewarding results.
Remember as part of the potting how I transplanted a few wild sedums into one of my succulent arrangements? The sedums in the pot are blooming!
Sometimes a small measure of time can bring extraordinary surprises. The April 8th post recounted a quick stop at the ranch with only a few hours of daylight. The sedums were merely a carpet of green stems, but it was fortunate timing to discover lace cacti at their peak bloom.
Intense, pink, oversized blooms are the spring finale of a lace cactus,
just as the dainty, intricate, yellow flowers are the last glorious act of a sedum bloom.
During the week of April 15th, low expectations of finding blooming sedums, because of clouds and rain, inspired me to plan a project to pot up and share a lace cactus with a friend. The photo collage walking through the steps of transplanting makes me excited to lift sedums and spread them to a new spot on the ranch. Stay tuned.
On the week of April 22, so many friends and readers imagined sedums with me as Jimmy’s accident kept me from heading to the ranch. I am forever grateful for all the support, and Jimmy’s healing is a blessing. He is doing great — home for the summer, working to complete his studies, and back to having fun with friends.
A friend sent me an email about the name of my blog — Take Comfort — and the multiple meanings found in the title. By the time I returned to Comfort after Jimmy’s accident to write the April 29th post, comfort was something I sought and found from many sources. Greetings from a field of wildflowers blazing in the sun was a resplendent reminder of the creator who gave us all life. What a comfort to illuminate the path I walk. It was one of the prettiest weekends at the ranch, and the sedums were on a strong course toward their bloom.
The May 6th post is a testament to the trials of Texas weather and a reminder that resilience can have limits. A few weeks with zero rain took a toll, drying the stems and leaves of the sedums and browning the blades of grasses that surround them.
By last week’s post on May 13th, passing rains had started a small revival and the blooming sedums were fighting back.
As we were in Colorado for Alexandra’s graduation, (see graduation pictures in last week’s post) the sedums reached their peak for the year, and now they are starting a course beyond their bloom.
Surprisingly, green succulent leaves are found on some of the parched sedum stems that were not present the week before — as if the sedums are wanting to stick around a while longer.
A journey over, watching sedums reached beyond my enjoyment of plants. It has been a good walk.
My Blog Introduction story gave three reasons for writing this blog — for my kids, for me, and for you.
My daughter asked me to share stories (not that I haven’t been preaching my beliefs to my kids their entire lives), so now she has a few fun thoughts written for her that hopefully she will value.
I have always been an observer and thinker, and I wonder at the world around me. I have always held my inner thoughts close and protected, afraid to expose my heart and fears. I want to write about all I love in Comfort, and I am learning that writing about the ranch spills over into my deeper self. Writing about sedums and how they look from week to week is not too risky, but I have enjoyed letting little sedums challenge my thinking about what I observe and to practice sharing those thoughts.
I hope I have written about sedums in a way for you to see and walk with me so we can smile and enjoy them together.
Thank you for joining the Saturday Sedum Watch.
I look forward to sharing more ranch and life stories!
Have a Happy Saturday.