08/14/2022 straw bale potatoes

We lifted and sorted through our two straw bales of potatoes since the leaves were all eaten off by blister beetles. Upon moving the bales, we found eight bess beetles
One fast isopod
A second fast isopod
Three baby house mice
And one click beetle. This brings us to a total of 14 photographed animals plus a whole nest of ants and a small earwig that got away.
Compare this to our glorious harvest: ten potatoes from two bales. Paula is researching where we went wrong. I feel like maybe we should just go back to growing them in soil. (These experiments were my idea so I’m not blaming anyone else.). At least this year’s harvest is safer than last year’s crop of black widow spiders??

07/30/2022 pretty!

Good thing I’ve planted the borer resistant cushaw squash! It is a native moth and it sure is pretty.
A Madhu ras cantaloupe melon slipped its vine so we figured it was ready.
The only red yucca that’s sprouted from Judy’s seeds is doing good in its new spot. It has a third leaf now.
Briar found Shackleton. He was not as happy as she was about this.
The dog corner of the prairie

07/16/2022 red letter day!!!!!!

I flushed a really big moth as I walked on to the patio after dinner. It landed on the window and turned out to be a Black Witch!!!!! I have always wanted to see one and this is my first.
With flash, so you can see the intricate patterns of brown and black and gray.
Without flash, for a more natural color closer to what I saw. This is the biggest moth species in North America.
A side view. The underwings are not nearly so patterned. By dusk it was gone. Good luck, big friend!

07/10/2022 purple

Paula tried one of our Purple Beauty Peppers and found it to be not very sweet, more green bell pepper taste still, and after looking online I think I picked them too early. Needs to be fully, deeply purple. I was worried about sunscald though (see the big tan area on the top one). They’ll still be good to use though.
The William’s Pride apple continues to get a flush of red. It’s hot out, me too!
I thought this grasshopper was really pretty. Not sure I’ve seen one like it before. We have lots of predator insects and birds in the yard so a few grasshoppers are no harm and lots of food for our other wild friends!
Zucchini begins.

06/27/2022

A paper wasp flies to mealy blue sage.
Using the two new wasp books, we narrowed it down to three species of Polistes: dorsalis, bellicosus, or fuscatus.
I’ll look this wasp up tomorrow in the pollinator wasps book.
It was going in and out of the hollow dead branch.
The native black currant is ripening!
Pizza with garden basil, garden onions, garden garlic.

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

06/19/2022

Will Rogers Zinnias came back true.
A little Solanaceae volunteered in the rainbow garden.
It conveniently has a yellow flower.
Paula started a batch of kimchi fermenting. Walking onions for the green onion.
Who is this
This friend not want to play