Thursday, September 9, 2010

Bushcraft - Central Texas Style - The Barometer Bush

Nature will quite often give you a warning sign in advance of changing weather conditions. Knowing the simple signs that indicate weather changes will keep you more in tune with nature and current weather conditions. In Central Texas, one of the warning signs for impending rain is the Texas sage. It is also commonly called Texas Rain Sage or the “barometer bush”.

Texas Sage (Leucophyllum frutescens) is called the "barometer bush" because its prolific flowering is triggered by high humidity levels prior to rain or high soil moisture content after rains. It is found from Northern Mexico through the Rio Grande Plains and Trans-Pecos area of Texas and into the Western Edwards Plateau and on into certain areas of New Mexico. It is extremely drought and heat tolerant and is fairly maintenance free once it has become established. They are not susceptible to pests or diseases and require only well drained alkaline soil to survive. Texas Sage is hardy to about 15 degrees Fahrenheit and can get to be fairly large with some being as much as 8 feet tall.

A quick glance at the plants in my yard each day will quickly tell me if it’s going to rain. The amount of rain that can be expected usually depends upon how prolific the blooming of their purple flowers are and extensive blooming is usually indicative of a rain shower that is on the way or extreme humidity levels.

Got rain indicator?

Staying above the water line!



Anonymous said...

We call in that bush Cenizo down here, but I had no idea of its barometric qualities - Thanks RW!

HermitJim said...

Thanks for reminding me about this...I had forgotten it!

riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 7:33

Cenizo is another name for it but it is the same plant. I use it as everyday weather indicator...a quick glance will usually tell me what I need to know. You get a lot less rain in your area but you'll know if it's coming when you see it blooming a lot.

Thanks anon.


riverwalker said...

To: HermitJim

There are a lot of different ways to keep track of the weather...and you don't need TV or radio to do it. Nature will give you all kinds of signs...just need to remember them and keep a watchful eye out for the changes.

Thanks Jim.


Ken said...

...bushes?...we don'need no steenkin' knees,hands, and hip tell me when the weather

riverwalker said...

To: Ken

Surely, you aren't in that bad of're a bit young to have that many bad joints. lol

Thanks Ken.


Ken said...

...only a slight exaggeration RW...osteoarthritis in my hip,inflammatory arthritis in my hands...and a bad knee from baseball(thrown in for good this on the downside of the 40's...thats why i say start the revolution before i'm too old too fight!...

riverwalker said...

To: Ken

Arthritis can be a painful and very debilitating brother -in-law is younger than me (under 40 also) and suffers from conditions similar to yours. Sometimes it can slow him down pretty bad.

It's a problem I haven't had to deal with as yet...thank goodness.

Hang in there!


John said...

My aches and pains are minor compared to those of others, but I've been monitoring how a bum ankle behaves. I broke it a few years ago, and, though it healed well, it's definitely not as it was. I can almost predict heavy rain and oncoming cold weather. When I was telling this to a chiropractor a few weeks back, he said he'd trust my ankle more than what the weather man says.

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