Pictures of Beautiful Wildflowers in our Houston, Texas Subdivision Greenbelt Area
We are fortunate to be living in a subdivision that has a greenbelt area. Wildflowers are in abundance particularly in the Spring. While walking with my husband a couple of days ago, and noting the wildflowers, we went back to our home to grab my digital camera with which I could take the pictures for this post.
The way that the originators of this older subdivision set up the common areas was brilliant. In fact many newer subdivisions have followed the pattern and adopted similar plan layouts.
While there are a few main streets circling through this planned community, at the end of every block or two, one can reach the greenbelt where there is a paved one and a half mile path with frequent benches in a park-like setting.
Friendswood Development Company
The very first subdivision envisioned and created by Friendswood Development Company was in Clear Lake which is located between Houston and Galveston.
NASA (the National Aeronautical Space Administration) is nearby and for individuals who have jobs working for NASA, Clear Lake is a very convenient location.
Also those that might work in or near the City of Houston, but who wish to enjoy their weekends at the beach, living on this south-eastern side of the city offers advantages.
The Gulf of Mexico lures many an individual with its specific siren call. Some of these reasons include the following:
- The sounds of calm or crashing waves of the ocean depending upon the weather
- Salt air breezes
- Watching seagulls skimming the air currents
- Walking upon the beach in warm sand.
- A laid back atmosphere in which people can unwind during weekends or holidays.
The architects of the Clear Lake community designed a family friendly community with hiking paths, green and open spaces, playgrounds, swimming pool, tennis courts, clubhouse and other amenities.
Residents liked this concept and it was not long before other subdivisions in other parts of the city were developed next.
Some time ago instead of paying management fees to an outside entity, the residents of our area decided to manage this subdivision themselves. Thanks to many dedicated volunteers who chair various committees along with other volunteer committee members it seems to be working well.
Thus we got the benefit of the expertise by Friendswood Development Company in planning our community as they already had a successful launch and friendly reception in their Clear Lake development.
And now we have "hands on" management by people who live in and care for this enclave of around 1,000 primarily custom built homes.
Since the main point of this post is to share with you a few pictures of the wildflowers that are now abundant in our greenbelt area, join us on our stroll through the walking, jogging, hiking and biking paths and hopefully you can enjoy these harbingers of Spring along with us.
The picture below is a tiny little flower that one could almost overlook. Note the size of the flowers verses the grass leaves which surround them for comparison purposes.
The greenbelt area also serves another important purpose. A drainage ditch was built to catch the overflow of heavy rains and runs through the center of the paved hiking path area.
As many people probably already know, Houston, Texas is relatively flat topographically.
Good drainage is essential to keep homes and businesses from being flooded when we get our occasional heavy rains and even hurricanes that sometimes visit this side of the Gulf of Mexico.
Keeping our drainage ditches clear and free flowing is essential. They also act as reservoirs to temporarily hold excess water when needed.
All water from this part of the country eventually drains into our various creeks and bayous ultimately emptying out into the Gulf of Mexico.
Landscaped around this most important and serviceable element in our subdivision is our greenbelt area with surrounding paths, both paved and unpaved.
The unpaved paths are formed by the frequent use of joggers or people walking their dogs. The paved pathway is slightly above the unpaved and further up the hill.
Lighting comes on at night making our greenbelt not only safer but also inviting to use at all hours of the day.
My husband was patiently walking the paved pathways back and forth while I was down on the lower unpaved path snapping these pictures.
Look at this next photo and compare the clover leaf with the size of these tiny blossoms!
The following flowers were also diminutive in size but slightly larger than the ones pictured above.
Viewed from a distance, the flowers above are seen as a haze of yellow.
When looking at them up close, as in this picture, the tip of each tall stem is probably on average around two feet tall and it's branches holds a tiny little cluster of these bright and cheery looking yellow flowers.
This distinctive plant was also featured in a picture above showing a closeup of these tubular shaped wildflowers.
Here it is growing in a cluster and begs to be looked at and admired.
On average this wildflower grows to about one foot in height.
While the dandelion viewed above might be considered by some people to be a noxious weed, who would disagree that the gossamer white lighter than air seed pod is not a thing of beauty?
Is there a child alive who has not picked a dandelion in this stage of development and with a puff of air blown off the individual filamented wispy parts of the dandelion into a cloud of dispersed seeds traveling to their next possible site of generation?
These crimson beauties shown above were some of the first wildflowers to appear this Spring along our greenbelt area. Vivid in coloration they can be appreciated from a distance but are spectacular when viewed up close as in this photo.
The hill coming up from the drainage ditch on each side is left to grow in its natural state until all of these perennial wildflowers have had a chance to go to seed thereby paving the way for next year's annual show. After that time has passed, it is then mowed.
Most years there are also bluebonnets in bloom but prior to this years wildflower show, our drainage ditch was cleared of excess sediment that had collected over time. Some of the hills sloping up from the ditch were scraped clear to maintain the efficiency of the drainage system for a longer period of time.
Hopefully the bluebonnets will reappear by next year.
The delicate flowers below are less noticeable than the brightly hued ones, but add texture and interest to the overall impression.
One might easily imagine the wildlife that is attracted to our greenbelt areas. Birds of almost every description find this a wonderful place to not only seek water, but also fill their gullets with insects and seeds.
Turtles can generally be seen resting on the concrete sides of the ditch. Deep throated sounds of croaking toads accompany one when hiking these paths. There are undoubtedly field mice and snakes and lizards that enjoy this environment.
The trees that are grown further up the hill by the paved and shaded pathways are frequented by playful squirrels who dart around the trunks of the trees frequently chasing one another.
Our subdivision newsletter constantly warns residents about not leaving their cats or small animals out to roam at night as coyotes have been viewed and obviously could make a meal of one's beloved pet. Most people apparently heed that warning as one does not see the number of free roaming cats as we did in our former subdivision prior to moving here.
While we have never personally seen wildlife larger than the turtles and some large seabirds that venture in this far from the Gulf of Mexico, no doubt that there are also the possums, raccoons, skunks (we have smelled the occasional odor!), armadillos and other wild creatures that would be more evident in the evenings and at night when the greenbelt area is less frequented by human passage.
Everyone needs some time to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and nature can provide that respite.
Fortunately for us this greenbelt area is one short block away from our home and we often stroll the path taking us through this open green space in the midst of our subdivision.
By no means is this an exhaustive review of what wildflowers might be seen there and since this is March 31 at the time of this posting, more types might yet appear as the season changes.
Hopefully you enjoyed this glimpse of the wildflowers in our subdivision greenbelt area from these pictures that I snapped a couple of days ago. If so, please leave a comment below. Thanks!
Do you live in a subdivision with a greenbelt area?
Naturalist Notebook - Texas Wildflowers Part 1 (Beautiful video)
© 2010 Peggy Woods