08/14/2022 Ruby Grant park morning

Our first Salvia azurea of the season blooming!
The first of many Helianthus annuus this morning.
A lone Maximilian sunflower starting to bloom. The rest don’t even have buds.
Snow on the mountain was magnificent today!
We went on a new part of the trail today and encountered some highly concerning Art.
“It has a lot of eyes Mom”
The little mosaic seats are also suspect.
“Why do you humans keep doing things to me”
“Ok I guess it’s ok”
We also came to terms with the big Art.
Possibly Amorpha, false-indigo.
Soapberry! Thanks Abby for the identification.
Another H. Annuus.
A beautiful Grindelia bud.
More sunflower (H annuus)
A differential grasshopper snacking on the sunflower.
We found a magnificent patch of silver leaf nightshade!
We had Briar pose among the silver leaf nightshades.
Possibly a Physalis?
Maybe non-blooming camphorweed?
Possibly Asclepias verticillata (thanks Mom!)
An aster starting to bloom!
Unknown flower that hasn’t bloomed yet.
Possibly Cardiospermum, balloon vine? From reading, it seems to be native but disliked for clogging farm equipment.
The balloon vine flower.
Ruby Grant park considerately has a dog level water fountain at the parking lot!

08/13/2022 walking around

A mystery yellow composite flower along the sidewalk. Update: Mom and Abby have identified as camphorweed, probably Heterotheca subaxillaris. Camphorweeds are native.
Leaves and stem of the yellow flowered plant.
This picture is from yesterday (08/12/2022) but there are lots of Grindelia getting ready to bloom near the railroad tracks. A few had opened up by today.
I was also pleased to find 2-3 Scarlet Pea plants along the sidewalk near the Grindelia yesterday. They were still blooming today.
Downstream from the OU duck pond there is a somewhat hidden bridge and there was a native hibiscus blooming near it.
A few tiny annual coreopsis were in the field near the creek. Before it got mowed this spring there were a lot more and taller.
It was too hot. We gave Briar and ourselves some ice cubes upon returning.
She has taken to resting her chin on her ice cubes after getting a drink from her water bowl.

06/21/2022

Gram guards the rooting juniperleaf.
There’s a new pollinator garden on campus!!
Very pleased at least one of the partridge pea seeds I sprinkled last year made it up.
Paper wasps made a nest on the debris of the invasive clematis.
A small lynx spider eats a fly
Just noticed that the long true bugs have little flat pom poms on their antennae.
A second individual. I think you have to see them from the right angle to get a good view of the antennae spots.
Dog
A helpful cat saw this wasp (maybe a spider wasp?) In the aloe and knocked the pot over.
I took it outside and shooed the friend off. No dinner in the house for it. Only cat.
I spotted a plume moth hiding on rain barrel stand.
Potatoes in straw bale getting big. Hope roots are too.

06/22/2022 Pebblebrook Park

Monarda fistulosa
American germander
Sumac berries
Probably bluehearts
White prairie clover
Greenthread flower with a geometrid moth caterpillar
Sensitive briar
Annual coreopsis
Big red eared slider lady digging a hole for her eggs above the pond.

06/15/2022 to bee or not to bee, plus “freeloader flies”

Before I left for work, I saw two bumblebees on the culinary sage flowers. Local bee expert José Montalva helped confirm the identification as Bombus bimaculatus (two spotted bumblebee) and sent me a very helpful article on the status of this and other bumblebee species in Oklahoma. It’s more of an eastern species so it is very cool to have them here on the edge of their range. This is also the third bumblebee species for our yard.
This was the best picture though not the best identification angle. Big pollen bags on her legs!
A little wasp on the purple coneflower.
On campus, I saw several Fiery Skippers on lantana.
Here’s another Fiery Skipper on campus lantana.
Back at home, the blue flax is thinking about blooming!
The Chef made egg drop soup with garden walking onions as a garnish.
Car ride!!
Saw a friend. Wow!
Little lumpy beetles are on a lot of flowers right now. They’re cute.
In the evening I saw one or two more two-spotted bumblebees, this time over on the perennial coreopsis.
I didn’t manage to get a good picture of the spots in the evening.
But I got some decent side views.
Lightning bug!
A paper wasp.
An immature assassin bug eating some sort of probable pentatomid bug.  Zoom in though and you’ll see several kinds of flies!!  I’m not sure, but I think they might be some kind of kleptoparasitic fly that steals nibbles from bigger predators.

06/12/2022 a walk in the park

Just a bit of prairie here at Ruby Grant Park in NW Norman.
Oh wait! A box turtle!!
It is good pollinator habitat and good prairie too. I heard one Eastern Meadowlark singing and at least one Dickcissel.
A weevil on green milkweed pods.
A family of baby milkweed bugs on green milkweed pods. We looked but didn’t find any Monarch butterfly caterpillars.
Sideoats grama grass.
Abby has suggested this is bottlebrush squirrel tail grass.
It has very exciting seedheads!
Thanks to Mom and Abby for identifying this as Apocynum cannabinum, or dogbane.
There was a lot of it along the trail and we saw the dogbane beetle that eats it too!
Possibly prairie acacia?
A non native lady beetle on the acacia.
Really great stands of Rudbeckia amplexicaulis here!

06/03/2022

Lyre leaf sage sprouting where I have sprinkled it in front yard.
Who’s this lurking in the buffalo grass?
Shackleton of course!  He persuaded the Chef to go outside.
The Chef decided it was so nice out we walked to Braum’s for dinner.
Then we walked to the duck pond and saw some geese and their baby goslings!
Close up of the babies.
There were a lot of winecups around the duck pond! Great to see.
Possibly smells nice too? The end.

05/27/2022 work picnic at Ruby Grant park

A beautiful little wasp on fleabane. I just ordered a field guide to social wasps of North America so I hope I can identify it soon!
Blister or soldier beetle on annual coreopsis (I think).
A tiny crab spider offering free hugs.
A little beetle. I have seen a lot of these in my backyard too.
Need to look this legume up.
Rudbeckia amplexicaulis!
Milkweed bug!
The green milkweed was everywhere in the park!! We saw an adult monarch butterfly too.
A legume.
Bumblebee!!
Flying view
I still need to look up the species.
More of this purple legume.
A blurry assassin bug on yarrow.
Another milkweed bug – maybe a different or smaller kind?
Legume. Edit: Mom suggests non-native Trifolium species, which looks about right. Thank you Mom!
The park’s picnic pavilion has lightning bug lights!!

It’s a great little prairie. I heard singing Dickcissel, Field Sparrow, and Painted Bunting, and an Eastern Meadowlark calling. Nice!!

Blast from the past… Ok from Friday 🤣

Normally we let both dogs settle their own spots, but Gracie needs space with her arthritis now.
Wedge
Room for old bones
HELLO
Plz hello Gracie
Briar eventually got comfy.
But she still kept wanting to see Gracie.
Gracie says haha I’m safe!!
Wow!  The popcorn came up while I was gone!!
Potatoes in the straw bales are up!!
Mom documented my plant site choosing.
Here goes some annual groundsel and a cute little Euphorbia!
Mom did most of the digging to save my arthritis, for which I am very grateful.  She let me do this one though.  Thanks to Mom and Dad and Gracie for a great staycation-vacation!!!!

Irrigation for the container garden

The Black Vulture egg has hatched!! We were not sure what happened to the second egg.
One of the parents watched Mom take a picture through the well house door.
We checked on the chickadees and a parent is still sticking close. Very close.
Garden transplants and path rescues are actually doing pretty good in the shade and relative cool of the garage.
You can see several Mexican plums in here. That tree had a lot of seedlings!
Even more plums! And some other stuff.
Mom and Dad set up the irrigation for the tomatoes, greens, and herbs.
A tiny seedling. Also maybe oregano?? I am not sure. We’ll find out later.
The irrigation timer also drips some water for the birds!
The lyre leaf sage is really getting going!
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