10/09/2022 Saxon park

Schinia gaurae moth (the clouded crimson) caterpillar on false gaura! We counted nine around our 1.75 mi loop.
The tall rosettes of the false gaura were nice to see since they look just like my garden one.
A Schinia moth I haven’t identified feeding on aster flowers.
This bumblebee loved the Salvia azurea.
Back of two spotted bumblebee where you can see the spots!
Funnel web spider says no pictures, please.
A tree cricket hiding on Liatris.
The seed pod of a Baptisia. Mom said possibly B. australis var. minor
Paula found two big beautiful lynx spider mommas! Wow! This is one guarding its egg sac.
A tiny caterpillar on false gaura.
The first Solomon’s seal I’ve seen in the wild! We have several in the yard but no idea if they’re volunteers or planted.
Probably a buckwheat, the botany consulting committee says.
Abby, Mom, and Jeanne also agreed this was probably a dwarf lead plant.
Paula found a magnificent sumac leaf turning yellow to red.
The Sumac is really turning beautiful reds all over!

06/28/2022

The accidental shot of the week. I didn’t notice this bee kicking a wasp off its foot until I looked at the photo later!
The bumblebee is feeding on Echinacea purpurea.
Front of the bumblebee face is yellow.
A zoomed in shot. The short overall hairs, all yellow on thorax and head, smoky dark wings, and minimal color on abdomen have led me to think it may be Bombus griseocollis, the brown-belted bumblebee. I have entered the sighting and photos on Bumble Bee Watch’s community science website where they can verify or correct this identification. This would be our fourth bumblebee species for the yard if I have identified it correctly. 🤞🤞
I found a second partridge pea plant blooming in the “prairie”!
An all orangish solider beetle on a Rudbeckia flower.
Shackleton the cat enjoyed hiding in brown crinkly paper. He has such big eyes!
Paula is experimenting with kombucha fermentation thanks to a culture from Abby. This is the first sample and contains a garden strawberry for added flavor. It was good!
Briar helps us observe bees out front. I’ll do a separate post with evening bees if any pics turned out.
A baby moon and stars watermelon!!
A baby praying mantis on the mint!
Paula and I weeded the orange and red section of the rainbow garden. It has a lot of invasive grass in it.

06/26/2022 sleepy yard day

Partridge pea blooming.
A big skipper caught my attention this morning.
I think it may be a Confused Cloudywing or an Outis Skipper. The pale ish area below the antennal club is why I think maybe Outis Skipper, but I also get the impression that one is rarer, so I wonder if I’m missing something obvious that makes it a cloudywing. Both have been recorded in Cleveland county, Oklahoma though.
Saw a two spotted bumblebee on mealy blue sage again!
The juniperleaf cuttings have started to perk up and poke at the plastic wrap, so I am unsealing them a bit to see if they can handle less humidity yet.
Silly sleep

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.

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!!

Marigold for Mom and Dad

A few marigolds are sprouting in Mom and Dad’s container garden.
Went for after-dinner walk and Gracie was feeling alright!
A bumblebee on Salvia greggii.
Blue stars are blooming!
These bluestars haven’t opened yet. This garden patch was transplanted from a patch up our hill a long time ago, to Mom and Dad’s garden. This is where mine in Norman are from.

Wet bumblebee and other things

Last night, brought in dwarf tomatoes and purple and chocolate peppers since temps forecast (and did reach) into 40s.
On Thursday night, before another night rain, Paula and I planted more wildflower seeds. Mom sent these Yellow Puff seeds. We scarified them by scraping their hard coats on the concrete patio.
On Thursday morning, I saw this very dew-drenched bumblebee. I was hoping it might be a two spotted bumblebee but I think the yellow on its abdomen was just clumping together with the dew??

Shade flowers

A nice Bombus impatiens on the mistflowers this morning.
A second view where you can see pollen on legs!
Nearby, the tropical sage is blooming nicely today.