Friday, November 14, 2008

a week in review, kinda...

actually, not a really good week for wandering around to see what is to be seen. I went lots of places... Corsicana, Sherman, Greenville, Farmersville, McKinney, Cleburn... but at the begining of the week it was raining, complete with tornado warnings, and the rest of the week it kept clouding over and threatening to rain. That, plus the fact that I was just running the whole time didn't help.

But, finally today, I did manage to get a few minutes off...

This is the Old Mansfield Colored Cemetary, established sometime in the late 1870's. There aren't many markers on the graves... this is due to the fact that the families often didn't have the means to make a large monetary investment in gravestones, and they were often marked with a wooden board, a cement slab that had a name carved in it, or even a natural uncarved rock, or bricks surrounding the grave itself. As time passed, often the only remaining sign of a grave here is an overgrown clump of iris or crinum lillies.

The cemetary was at one time more or less abandoned, and overgrown with trees, but, through a combination of municipal effort and the effort of individuals in the community, it has started to be cleaned out again.

If you look at the pic up there, to the left, on the other side of that line of trees is the old Presbyterian graveyard, much more impressive in markers and such, but I got an emergency order from dispatch before I could check it or it's historical markers out. On the right side of the graveyard is another line of trees that still contains some unclaimed parts of this graveyard, bordered by a small creek, and then the municipal park. Behind where I was standing is the modern Mansfield Community Graveyard.

But having gone wild and then been brought back has allowed some intersting native plants to come back into this area. There are some stray yuccas, some stray prickly pears, but best of all, I found this...

This is the native Texas Nipple Cactus, one of the varieties of Escobaria missouriensis. Once fairly common in this area, cattle grazing, and human habitation have pretty much wiped it out locally. Actually, as much as I like clomping through fields and pastures, this is the first one I've ever seen growing in a wild state. I found this growing on the edge of the tree line, wedged between ancient clumps of iris. It was all I could do to resist digging it up and taking it home. As is, I'm afraid I couldn't stop myself from taking home one of its little offsets, which will take a place of pride in my rock garden.

1 comment:

  1. You lucky devil finding that nipple cactus! How exciting! Glad you got a little peice of it! YEAH.