09/08/2022 nighttime only adventure

The Chef wanted to see what was out this week so we took the UV flashlight and checked. Here’s a spider!
It’s beige in regular light.
I had no idea there were hairless bee flies. This one came to the porch light. We turned off the porch light once we went inside so all the critters could go back to their business.
We found three glowing crab spiders. All of them were on insect pollinated flowers, so I wonder if they glow to blend in for pollinators who can see UV? Though on this Salvia greggii, presumably all the pollen is farther down the flower. But we found two on zinnias.
The green striped cushaw squash looks melted!
Escobaria missouriensis cactus spines glow!
There’s a lot of sunflower pollen glowing. You can see how much has fallen off!
This was my favorite picture of the glowing sunflower pollen: just the disk flowers glowing against the dark sky, leaves barely visible.

09/05/2022 new dayflower!

Abby has found the perennial and native dayflower in her yard and kindly shared some. It has very different roots than the non native annual one!
Earlier in the day, Shackleton supervised while Paula watered baby cacti.
Careful pouring to wet the soil around the babies.
“What is this fuss? Who opened my curtain??”

08/13/2022 harsh sun

Paula noticed some of the baby Coryphantha sulcata were possibly getting sunscald, because they were turning a bit brown on the tips. She has cleverly shaded them with thin coffee filters that let some light in. They seem to be happier now. Presumably this better imitates where a baby cactus might grow up in the wild.

07/10/2022 eeeee!!

Five Coryphantha sulcata from Montana!!!
Eleven in this tray.
You can see the roots!!
Another one with roots.
“What are you doing to my favorite window perch?”
Five in the last tray.
A few here were somehow upside down. We’ll see if they make it!
One upside down in a pot with plastic wrap. I think the food containers with clear lids are the way to go. Seven days from planting to sprouting. About 50 seeds, 23 up so far.

07/05/2022

Baby cushaw squash!
Recovering from removal of benign sebaceous cysts is more complicated than either of us expected.
Purple hulled pinkeye cowpea.
I really like the little signs Paula got me for Christmas. They stand out well.
A gray hairstreak on a Madhu ras canteloupe flower.
Paula’s Coryphantha sulcata is blooming!
In fact, it has two. She says it had six earlier this year too.
New tiny moth – a spotted thyris!
Bee butt in loofah gourd.
Paula made Thai green curry for dinner. It contains last year’s garden white currant tomatoes (from frozen, so that works well), garden onions, and garden walking onions.
The Texas buckeye is very angry. I put a hose out to soak there. Jeanne has let me know the wild ones do this too, so maybe it will recover.
Possibly purple prairie clover from free packet from prairiemoon.com?
A second round of standing cypress flowers on a different plant.
A volunteer Carolina snailseed in the front yard.
Will Rogers Zinnias are looking good in the rainbow garden.
Briar loves escorting Shackleton for a walk.
Shackleton doesn’t know why we have to ruin a good thing by bringing the dog.
We were about to go back inside, but she got up and scooted closer. He turned to glare while she got a treat for laying down.
Shackleton says no eye contact.
Here you can pretend there is no dog, only lush, succulent grass and corn.

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.

06/11/2022

The Chef made no bake lemon curd/ cheesecake layered parfaits with homemade whipped cream, farm share blueberries, and homemade granola for a garden tour.
Prepared the night before in the fridge.
Perfect for the tropically humid day.
A wasp carrying a caterpillar
Spittlebug
Hello Tuqu
This young man.
Two Texas dandelions from home! White specks are elderberry petals.
Bee fly
Possibly a baby Grindelia leaf??
A second Coryphantha sulcata seedling came up!!!!!
Lace bug (Tineidae) on giant ragweed leaf.
Nobody home…
…except for this crab spider!
My keeled treehoppers have a big family!!
Soooo manyyyyyy
Shackleton and Briar disagree about social distancing.
A nice jumping spider.
It’s on a houseplant that is outside for the summer.

06/05/2022 bird nest

Bird’s nest fungi, that is!!!
The Chef noticed these this afternoon. Very excited.
A William’s pride apple!!!
I realized there are multiple kinds of horse crippler cactus. Mom helped me identify this as Echinocactus horizonthalonius (the common and widespread subspecies), based on it having eight ribs. The flower closed in the sunshine today. Apparently it needs a second individual to make fruit, ie it’s self sterile (also known as self incompatible).
Some kind friends brought us a big obsidian rock!
I put it near the baby two leaf senna. I think the black and yellow will look very nice together.
A small pokeberry growing in backyard.
A Texas dandelion accidentally brought from home! Yay!