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!

06/10/2022 exciting friends

I wasn’t sure at first if this was a bit of debris on a bird seed sunflower stem.
But I saw it walk!! It’s a plant hopper!
I think it’s Entylia sp, possibly carinata if I understand bugguide saying there’s only one species and it’s quite variable. That’s the species shown in the new Abbott and Abbott Texas insects book.
Spittlebug adult!
The most special flower.
A beautiful white lined sphinx visiting the non native verbena.
I love the different wing angles the camera catches.
Side view.
Slime mold very happy after 3.46″ rain in the past seven days.
Blurry but you can see two seedlings: the winecup above with three leaves and the lyre leaf sage with two seed leaves. Working on my ground covers out front around the raised beds.

06/04/2022 unexpected excitement

Saw a great little jumping spider on the ironweed leaves.
An interesting bee or velvet ant male or something, on white avens leaf. It was one of the nervous kinds who keeps flicking their wings constantly.
The rain of the last few days prompted the Missouri fluttermill primrose to bloom again!
The Chef and I cleared leaves off the patio. In several places they were up against the wood siding which is not great as they are essentially composting. Here Briar holds down a leaf pile for us. We leave the leaves in the rest of the yard as that is best for a healthy woodland environment!
The worst offending area of leaf collection next to the house. This is after I pulled out the bulk of leaves. Our compost pile should be happy now!
An extremely tiny planthopper that the Chef found on the outdoor work bench.
The last round of tepary beans I planted are coming up.
The big thrill of the day… The horse crippler cactus in the rock garden has bloomed!!!! I imagine this means it’s either happy here or thinks it’s about to die. Hopefully the former. Since I just planted it this spring I wasn’t expecting it, and its flower bud was not obvious, or grew in really fast the last few days when I wasn’t looking with the rain.

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.

06/02/2022

New book in the mail! The Social Wasps of North America by Chris Alice Kratzer. It looks very useful.
Awards for bravery all around tonight. Shacks walked right past Briar and she stayed put.
Purple coneflower finally opening up!
Ironweed is budding, seems early??
This is one of two dill seedlings in the herb bed.
Pretty sure now that this is the Mexican sage from Judy.
Whoa, standing cypress about to bloom!
The just-planted two leaf senna doing okay.
The older two leaf senna seems to have gotten nibbled. I’ll have to consider if I should put some Vaseline around it against earwigs or a wire cage over it maybe for rabbits.
A non native moss rose (Portulaca). Dog behind.

05/30/2022 afternoon

A fleabane in the front yard.
Same fleabane, the leaves. This was in the lawn, so I need to decide if I will transplant or save seeds.

An Asian long bean from my aunt. Thanks to my aunt!!
Only one of many zucchini seeds has sprouted. I think they were too old. I will get new or save new next year.
Large leaf basil seedlings.
Purple beauty pepper has a flower bud!
Briar thought she was interested in my snack but it turns out broccoli isn’t her thing.
The swamp milkweed I just bought, receiving its afternoon sunlight.

05/30/2022 holiday Monday

A megachilid bee on Gaillardia pulchella (blanket flower or firewheel).
I repotted the lemon balm into a clay pot so I could use its plastic one. In the upper left I also put one winecup in the very long tall head shaped pot. The root system was starting to escape the sprouting cells so I should probably plant its friends soon too.
I needed a lot of medium to large plastic pots to put showy evening primrose (here in middle) and Maximilian sunflower (next pic) in actual soil.
These are the Maximilian sunflowers I’ve been pulling from the prairie area, where the main plant we moved was last winter. I was storing them to give away in a tub of water and soil, but they were looking sad, so I figured it was time for potting. There’s so many they are crowded, but whoever takes them can separate them out. They seem very, very hardy.
While I had my hands dirty I repotted the ashy sunflower (Helianthus mollis). I figure it can get much bigger in this pot, and then we can plant it in late summer to overwinter in its final location (to be decided).
Someone (tail end pictured…) Kept wanting to bark at our fine feline friends in the plant window. So I made it less convenient.

05/29/2022

Hard work entertaining and supervising the additional kitties!!
A very tiny buprestid beetle I haven’t seen before on Maximilian sunflower leaves.
Close up, a little blurry. It was windy.
No idea why she put her face in the dayflowers.
Very tiny bee on elderberry flowers.
Shackleton got a leash walk and likes my untidy and dusty staging ground for pots.

05/27/2022 home

Stripey plant hoppers are still abundant. Often on ironweed.
Briar observes Shackleton from an enforced respectful distance.
Shackleton does not want to be observed from any distance by a Dog. Gross!!
The Chef has designed and had printed reusable vinyl labels for his brewing endeavors. Art deco cat, maybe?
I think this is a common oak moth, Phoebaria atomaris. It’s on coreopsis flowers. I don’t think I’d seen one in town before, only at home in the woods, so this was pleasing. Correction from Mom: this is Isogona tenuis, the thin-lined owlet. Thanks for the catch, Mom!! Matches the striping much better. Internet says a hackberry tree specialist, and happily I have a little hackberry tree in the backyard I keep trimmed so it won’t get into power lines, but it can still feed our neighbors like this friend.