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.

04/26 and 04/28 assorted

The Tupperware experiment Ashy Sunflowers have a few more sprouts as of 04/26. I need to move them more carefully as the last two I tried to plant promptly shriveled up and died.
Texas mallow coming up!
The other individual of Texas mallow coming up!
Now on 04/28, an Ashy Sunflower actually sprouting from seed! I believe this was one that got stratified.
04/28 rock garden is looking good.
Penstemon grandiflorus from prairiemoon.com as bare root seems to be growing!
The Astragalus (ground plum) not looking as good again.
Finishing up the 04/28 pics, the culinary sage is blooming in the rainbow garden!

04/23 a bit of planting

On the left, you can see the now three containers of white currant tomato.
Around the culinary sage, I split up the thyme into three chunks and planted it around the sage’s edge. To the right, you can see two containers with baby Mexican plums that have not found immediate homes. Now they’re potted and can keep. Behind those is lemon balm I divided in two as a coworker wants some.

04/23 front yard

Viola bicolor going to seed!
There’s a lot of it growing this year. I have taken some of the seeds and sprinkled over on the new filled in soil as I don’t want to bury their next generation.
Native Bluets going to seed!
Mystery plant in raised bed. Tree of heaven (invasive non native) has been suggested.
Mostly got this leak taken care of with new rubber seals and Teflon tape. There’s still a tiny drip, but I’ll just call it watering the strawberries. Before, it was a consistent trickle.
Extremely bored helper.
Four varieties of strawberry. First harvest of the season.
Culinary sage in rainbow garden is about to bloom!
Potato straw bales are growing!!
Blue flax babies where I’m pointing, as well as larger ones near front of picture. The broad leafed plant to the right is mealy blue sage.

Turkey soup with garden flavors

Turkey bone and foot broth soup, with assorted vegetables. Spices from the garden are rosemary and culinary sage. Bread is made with crabapple “lees“, the yeast residue that accumulates during the cider fermentation. To me, it smells like cider pleasantly and tastes soft and chewy in the best way. Thanks, Paula, for a tasty meal!

Assorted non-bee news (mostly)

Roundup is starting to take effect on Bermuda grass. I can’t plant the buffalograss until I get that nasty invader out.
A different bumblebee (or maybe robber fly mimic?? It flew different I thought) came to get water while I watered rainbow garden beds.
Saturday morning dog. She is four years old as of Friday!
Ironweed buds! Looking forward to the purple!
Briar helping me garden on her birthday. Buffalograss corner of prairie is a good laying spot!
I trimmed all the dying dill and cilantro out of the herb bed so I could see what’s going on with parsley, sage, and oregano better.

Rainbow garden beds progress

Replanted coreopsis looking rather worse for the wear but still has some leaves, so I hope for its recovery.
Mealy blue sage for blue. Seedlings transplanted to pots from near the house ones, and now grown big enough for the ground.
Culinary sage for a light purple.
Waiting on other colors but you can see it’s starting to take shape! The peach tree will be part of the orange section. The butterfly weed seeds will probably take a while to get going, so I am also waiting on some marigold seeds for fast orange.

Dog ideas

Briar needed out early this morning.

Elderberry is so close to blooming.
The very heavy rain yesterday evening knocked off the cactus’ impending fruit.
Culinary sage is sprouting this time (earlier this spring I planted some and only a few came up).
One of my baby cacti.
A different species got covered in cottonwood fluff and dew.
There is moss growing in the planter!!

How can things grow this much in a week?? Sprouting trays edition

The Chef took very good care of the garden while I was on vacation and we got very, very, very, very lucky to get rain and no hail in our part of town.  I’m poking at my potted plants right now.  I’ll do another post later with the ground plants and raised beds and permanent planters.

Echineacea pallida left out all winter sprouted well (seeds from prairie moon nursery) a while back. I put some of the seedlings in the ground when I left and I’ll plant these last ones soon.
The Chimayó peppers from Judy grew almost all these adult leaves.  When I left each had one small adult leaf.
Hungarian heart tomatoes to replace the one that got killed by the late frost.  The seedlings emerged in the plant window so I put them outside yesterday when I got back.
I repotted this eggplant right before I left. It has grown a lot.  The other one I repotted hasn’t grown as much.
Finally the culinary sage is starting to sprout!  The only one that was up before now has an adult leaf.
These passionvines are the ones where I just smooshed the fruit into a pot and left them out all winter.
Liatris mucronata has a hilarious long leaf. I had another one in a bigger pot but it seems to be dying.
This yucca now has three leaves!  I also planted one in the ground when I left, because it was in the relatively shallow sprouting tray, and it is still alive in the ground.
Planted the other tray of green milkweed (Asclepias virida) before I left and will plant these ones soon.
Volunteer redbud dug from front raised beds. Eventually I’ll put it in the ground here in backyard. I don’t think it grew any taller, so hopefully it’s working on roots.
I now have at least three baby columbines in the sprouting tray and one out in the yard. The package said direct seeding in fall was best, even over stratifying manually, so that’s what I did even for the trays. These babies look a lot like clover, especially when smaller, so I’ve had to be careful.