12/22/2022 big cold and bigger wind

This screenshot from the Oklahoma Mesonet weather app shows that it is currently 7 degrees F with winds 28 mph from the north sustained, and gusting to 38 mph, though at some point the maximum for Norman was 49 mph. It will stay below freezing until at least Saturday.
Hmm Briar sees a dusting of snow. But she was willing to go out! Snow is ok. It doesn’t get in her ears like big rain.
The herb bed covering held. This is in a sheltered corner that faces east (picture windows) and south (plant window).
The cactus planter covering held. it looks like there are still some leaves with some snow on the native sprouting planters so that should be good.
In the front yard, my last minute sheets and concrete blocks covering of the rosemary held up.
The greens greenhouse did not. It was opened right up on the north edge. We had gusty winds up to 35 mph a week or two ago, but I don’t remember what direction it was. This sustained north wind peeled it right open. The plant leaves are frozen solid.
I put three gallon jugs of hot water in and secured the plastic sheeting in with twice as many or more clothespins. But, even though these greens are cold hardy, this may have been too much and too suddenly. We’ll find out on Sunday when things warm up.
Big wind pushed an empty rain barrel over. All the others were fine though empty (to prevent freezing damage) so this one was at just the right angle.
Snow outlined these frog stepping stones that Judy gave me.
I didn’t cover the strawberries this year. They already had a hard summer with heat and drought, so we’ll see how many make it through to spring.

12/21/2022 solstice chill

My Persian friends celebrate Yaldā today, a holiday for the longest, darkest night of the year. Appropriately, tonight the temperature is plunging from the 40s F into the teens and single digits and we won’t unfreeze until probably Sunday!

No insulating blanket of snow is forecast (maybe just a few light flurries), so I moved a bunch of leaves from the patio onto the herb bed to especially protect my oregano and chives, which had a very rough time last winter. I put extra greenhouse plastic over it.
The finished covering.
I tucked the extra plastic around our cactus planter with more leaves, and piled some leaves on the containers with native plant seedlings in them. I suspect they will be fine but containers are not as protected as they would naturally be on the ground.

11/12/2022 frosty

Marigolds are done. Photo by Paula.
Winecup rosettes are fine for the winter! Photo also by Paula.
We went to look at Saxon park.
It was fun.
Then we went home. Having dog thoughts in the backyard.
Catctus
Tom kha (Thai coconut chicken soup). Has garden lemongrass in it. Lemongrass is not frost hardy so Paula divided the stems to keep a few indoors over the winter, and froze a bunch of stems to use.

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.