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Modified 8-Apr-10
Created 3-Apr-10
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Instrumental: A Face In The Clouds
Artist: Marshall Styler

"A Face In The Clouds" is Marshall's sixth album. The title was inspired by a true story about a boy whose father died a hero during 9/11. On a flight to a retreat for the families of firefighters, the boy looked out the plane window and saw his dad's face in the clouds. His father was smiling at him and this is how the boy would remember him. Moved deeply by this story, Marshall composed the title track in one day. The rest of the album follows with Marshall's accustomed style of joy, warmth, and passion intertwined with images of his family and his beloved Austin home. Styler remarks, "my goal is to compose music that sounds simple and effortless, as well as moving and spiritual."

The star of this show is the Texas Bluebonnet and the co-star is the Texas Paintbrush, found between Burnet and Pontotoc, Texas, along routes 29 and 71, a 93 mile ride on 3 April 2010. Other wildflowers found along the way are identified as accurately as I can get them. If you see any blatant errors please let me know so I can make corrections.
Enjoy the ride and the scenery!
Texas Bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis. Bluebonnet, a name common to several North American species of Lupinus, is the state flower of Texas. They typically grow about 0.3 m (1 ft) tall. The name may come from the shape of the petals of the flower and their resemblance to the bonnets worn by pioneer women to shield themselves from the sun. Lupinus texensis is almost exclusively blue in the wild. A random genetic mutation does occasionally create an albino white bluebonnet naturally. Texas A&M University researchers were successful in breeding red and white strains, creating a Texas state flag in bluebonnets for the 1986 Texas Sesquicentennial. Further research led to a deep maroon strain, the university's official color. Bluebonnet season in Central Texas generally runs from mid-March to late May.

Texas Paintbrush
Castilleja indivisa, also known as Entireleaf Indian Paintbrush, is a hemiparasitic annual wildflower native to Texas and Oklahoma. The bright red leaf-like bracts that surround the white to greenish flowers make the plant look like a ragged brush that has been dipped in red paint. They sometimes produce a light yellow or pure white variation mixed in with the reds. Each plant typically grows 12-18" (30-45 cm) in height. The leaves are long and stalkless. The roots grow until they reach the roots of other plants, mainly grasses, and then penetrate the roots of the "host" plant to obtain a portion of their needed nutrients (known as semi or hemiparasitism). Texas Paintbrush typically blooms in early to mid-spring, and thrives in well-drained areas with full sun. They can be seen along highways and in fields, complementing the deep blue of the bluebonnets.
Gene McMurray (Round Rock, Texas)Gene McMurray (Round Rock, Texas)Pencil cactus, MilkbushPlateau SpiderwortPencil cactusPurple vetchPurple vetchStonecropPencil cactus

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