06/23/2022

The second Coryphantha sulcata seedling seems to have died, but the original is getting longer.
Another two spotted bumblebee (Bombus bimaculatus) visited the mealy blue sage today!
There was only one but I took a lot of angles. You can see the two spots if you zoom in.
In flight you get the best view of spots.
I liked the pollinating wasp zooming through in this picture.
Baby mantis!
I believe this is a baby red yucca, as that’s what I planted here, and it seems too sturdy to be grass.
A big ol mydas fly in the backyard!!
The native clematis likes its new sunnier spot about 20 ft to the west. It already has two or three new leaves!
I weeded the strawberry/honey berry bed but got called in for dinner when there was still a patch left. Maybe tomorrow.
I found a second pale zig zaggy spider in the backyard. Looking at it closer, I think it’s the wrong pattern and shape for Argiope aurantica, the usual banana spider.
Filling up the bird bath intrigued the dog.
African blue basil has flowers!
One of the many marigolds in the raised beds (we mixed the old seedheads and plants in over the winter) is beginning to flower!
The corn is going to town! A vaquero bean is flowering!
A fine little bell pepper!!
Cooling off after gardening with the mysterious Paper Protozoan. Note the hairy flagellum sticking out.

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.

06/10/2022 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.

A very fancy welcome home

Saw a weird leaf when Briar and I got back from bike ride.

Oh wait it’s a pair of MATING LUNA MOTHS.

The sweetgum tree is one of their host plants, so as annoying as those spiky seed balls are, we do get these magnificent beauties. These are the first ones I have seen at this house. Our neighbors have a big sweetgum.

Ground cherry raisins

At least 20 hours on 95°F temperature in the dehydrator. I did a lot of stops and starts so I’ll go straight through next time and get the timing more accurate.