We monitored today at the Monclova Sand Pits. This is an area in the Oak Openings Metropark that is just east of Wilkins Road and just north of the NORTA bike trail. There are several "ponds" in amongst the sand ridges.
Today I learned the story behind the topography from one of the new volunteers who had been a former park ranger. The bike trail used to be a railroad line. During World War 2 the sand here was mined (leaving the pits which then became ponds because of the high water table), shipped on the railway, and used to sandblast mortar shells. Several side rails went into the sand pits and a remnant railway tie can be seen in the lower left of the photo.
The lupine were beginning to bloom - several weeks earlier than usual.