A neighbor ecosystem

On Tuesday this week, Mom and I visited the Dixon Water Foundation’s property near Leo, TX (north of FM 455). Mom has been blogging it all week! Have a look starting on her Nov. 9th post (opens in new tab) and keep going to the next post through Nov. 12. She took a lot more pictures than me.

An ammonite impression!
Going places
Blurry jumping spider but I liked its colors.
Round hole on rock
Neat tiny fossils
Mom said this is considered Fort Worth Prairie, adjacent to cross timbers. Hence neighbor ecosystem.
Hmm a rock.
Surprise!! Second small rock on a big rock with a spider under it for this trip.
Neoscona crucifera
The grotto
Snail hiding
Fossil mollusc
A pretty live oak acorn
Native grass and lichen covered rock
Maybe a grape seedling.  I have these come up in my yard, I think, so I guess I better let one grow.  I had been assuming they were trees of some sort.
A sea urchin fossil!  Probably Holaster sp. according to the book Mom has on fossils of North America.
A view of creek leading to grotto.
Neat lichens
More neat lichens
The grotto again. Kept going back to look at it.
A shrike left some frog jerky.
Late fall is Spiranthes season! Commonly known as ladies’ tresses orchid

Thursday (yesterday)

Mom sent us seeds and Gracie hair from home!!
Gram wants to know what it’s about.
Briar focus on family smells again. Gram prefers dog ear.
Dog pleased. Cat interested in dog interest, would like dog food to be served though.
A geometrid moth sitting on passionvine leaf.
Left to right: New Kuroda, little finger, and Uzbek golden carrots. I picked the tiny one too early but it had a good taste.
Paula took her plants home so I decided to see if the basil from the plant window prefers this spot where her houseplants were so happy.

Signs of life

Okra one
Okra two
A baby Madhu Ras melon! Excited for cantaloupe season.
A skipper, to be identified.
Three skippers on ironweed! The right two are female (middle) and male (right most) Sachems.
Frogfruit is really taking off!
There were at least two skippers like this so it might be a different individual than the first picture.
Good helper.

Bumble gathering

I took this picture from inside the house, like a clever mammal. I counted at least 27. I wonder if it’s too hot inside, too hot to forage, or if they are preparing to move? I hope they stay longer. They were confirmed as Bombus pennsylvanicus (American Bumblebee) by a local bee expert.

Wednesday harvest and other friends

A lot of blue lake green beans.
Several tomato varieties are ripening.
UF garden gem was fine but all of the UF “W” at a similar color rotted and molded. Perhaps they don’t like the endless rain? I will watch more closely for ripening now too.
The Chef tied all the onions up for storage.
The mini bell peppers are more mini than I expected.
Corbaci peppers. I think the three little ones aren’t ready, but their plant died.
A mini bell pepper plant died too, in the same way, a rotting brown at the base.
This mushroom looks like it should be named lemon chiffon something.
Weighing the dried garlic.
Pseudothyris sp. moth resting on strawberry leaf.

Rainbow garden ready for rain

The marigolds for yellow have started to sprout!
Zinnias continue to sprout.
This picture shows a broader view of the zinnias.
Break time in the backyard. Fun native grass.
I like the yellow near the middle of this red moss rose.
An interesting fly.
Alright back to rainbow garden! These are the recently arrived plants in the clever box. They even put finger holds to help you get the pots out without dumping them out!
Ready for planting.
In the front, two pineapple sage and ‘Jacob Kline’ beebalm, all red.
Looking the other way from purple. Here I added three ‘Diane’ purple Salvia greggii.
Once I got the plants in, I worked on the back trapezoidal bed. I got the general shape of it and the forecast rain over the next few days should let me get it smoother afterwards.

After work, garden times

Plant instructions said to let them readjust to the world before planting, so they are outside in indirect light to start.
Cilantro turning to coriander (the seed).
White currant tomato seeds saved from last year grew true to variety!!
Garlic harvest was very sparse. I guess the big February deep freeze got more than I thought.
Moon and stars watermelon leaf has such adorable “stars”! I can’t wait for the fruit.
Added more cardboard to my backyard Bermuda grass killing operation. Thank you Dad for this excellent giant cardboard!!
One area of Bermuda grass in the backyard seemed dead enough to reseed with buffalograss and curly mesquite grass.
A beautiful very smooth gray moth.
Maybe an Arctiid? I need to look it up.
My finger for scale.

Sunday field trip to Lexington WMA

Butterfly milkweed.
Wild heliotrope.
Had leaves like greenthread but a yellow center on flower.
Compass plants all facing what we think was east.
Bigger view of the compass plant valley.
A megachilid bee on butterfly milkweed!
A whole field of Echinacea!
Rosa sp.
I know this one. I’ll look it up. Edit: wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa), thanks Mom 🙂
A Dun Skipper on prairie bluets.
Asclepias viridiflora (thanks Abby and Mom!)
Shade good for fluffy dog.
Another view of the Echinacea field.
Note the matching orange dog in background.
I remember this plant.
She tried to get humans to join her but we’re no fun.

Yesterday’s stuff

The Chef got three jars of dehydrated onion stems/leaves from our harvest of granex bulb onions. The bulbs are still drying in the hall.
My hat is irresistible to Gram.
He tries to eat the string and tulle until I get fed up and put it up.
Fleabane in full bloom!
Photography is boring for dog.
Dill starting to bloom.
Elderberry is thriving.
Full view. It’s just one plant!
A tiny bee on Gaillardia pulchella.
A young (?) lynx spider eats a house fly while sitting on coreopsis.
Coneflowers are going strong.
I need to look up the name of this skipper, which is sitting on a dayflower leaf.

Down to one apple

I noticed a bump on one of the two remaining baby apples. The apple in question fell right off so I guess it was a goner anyways.
A top view of the wee beastie after I coaxed it out with a piece of grass. I believe it’s a fly maggot but it seems too big from what I read of the common apple fly maggot (Rhagoletis sp).
“Nooooo don’t turn me over”
“Where’s my apple???”
“Hmph.”. Back upright for a full length portrait with its prey.