Today was just too beautiful for wrestling with taxes. Why doesn't the IRS change the due date to the middle of winter when there are no flowers or butterflies or gardens to distract? Sure, skiers would probably complain, but the serious ones can afford a CPA.
Down in the creek the native Scarlet Leather Flower (Clematis texensis) is blooming. According to the most popular field guides and recognized botanists this is a rare plant, indigenous to only a few counties in the Texas hill country--ours not even listed but adjacent to one that is.
The flower texture is more like rubber, and this is as open as it gets. Lovely, isn't it?
Another neat plant that is in flower is the Balsam Gourd, or Snake Apple (Ibervillea lindheimeri), a native vine. It will develop a leathery, scarlet fruit that fits perfectly in the palm of my hand. But the flower being small and greenish yellow is often overlooked. It also has an interesting leaf.