01/02/2023 pots and pets outdoors

After last year’s failed veggie seedlings due to root rot and damping off fungus, I drilled 4-5 big holes in all the pots.
I am hoping to start a lot in the yogurt containers and build up the soil around the stems, reducing the amount of repotting for the plants that can root from the stem like peppers and tomatoes and their relatives.
Briar was bored while we did the annual pruning of the dwarf fruit trees.
Shackleton got a leash walk all around the backyard (he’s exploring the prairie here) AND the front yard. Wow!

10/08/2022 Ruby Grant park

Caterpillar on broom weed
A grasshopper with very worn wings on Grindelia.
A tree cricket on Grindelia!
A megachilid bee on Grindelia.
Fall is starting! Sumacs in particular are turning red.
A noctuid moth on Maximilian sunflowers.
A bumblebee (Bombus impatiens) nearby on the same sunflower plant.
So many Maximilian sunflowers!
Briar poses in front of the prairie filled with more sunflowers.
A purple aster!
On the first Liatris we saw, Paula found these purple caterpillars.
Mom mentioned Schinia sanguinea at home recently and we think that’s what these are. She saw the adult first then later the caterpillars. Two other Schinia sp can apparently also eat Liatris according to this website (and of course they don’t provide a citation). However the owlet moth caterpillar book, which Mom has, doesn’t mention this.
A sleepy Dainty Sulphur. It was a cloudy and cool day afternoon before sunset.
A parasitic wasp resting on snow-on-the-mountain.
Another interesting moth on Maximilian sunflowers.
Green grasshoppers were distracted so I got a close up of their textured greens!
The prairie is full of messages. Briar sniffs sunflowers as we walk by.
A long-horned bee rests on a Grindelia. There were so many Grindelia at all stages.
A very fuzzy Croton species.

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!

09/29/2022 oh mine too!

A few of my sprouts of Maximilian sunflowers are starting to bloom too! I love how it is peaking through my second new bunch of little bluestem.
This one’s thinking about opening but hasn’t yet. The big clump we moved to by the brush pile seems to be less happy. Not enough sun? I’ll let it go another year.

09/24/2022 seedlings and fall flowers

Wild tepary bean has a flower!
Mystery seedling. I put a lot out here of many species so it gets to be a surprise unless someone recognizes it.
I suspect this is an Illinois bundleflower as I distributed a lot of them.
The big leafy seedling looks neat and is accompanied by a spotted euphorbia and maybe a blurry lyre leaf sage?
An almost metallic little moth on the goldenrod from Abby (probably S. canadensis). Mom saw a similar one recently at home on frostweed.
Possibly a Ceratina bee on the mistflowers.

09/22/2022 afternoon after work

The backyard sunflowers are quite magnificent at this point.
I don’t see any in this picture, but I saw several bumblebees up on the flowers.
The Salvia azurea are really doing well.
I have a new bunch of Indiangrass sprouting and blooming!
The little bluestem is blooming too. This clump has gotten quite happy in its second or third year now.
Jeanne, Abby, and Mom have been kindly helping me over text to confirm my accidental imports of non native and invasive King Ranch bluestem or “KR grass”. As they bloom and get identified, I have been pulling them.
I’m also continuing to work on pulling the annual, invasive Commelina communis. Unlike the native perennial dayflower, its roots are very shallow.

09/22/2022 too much

I’m behind on the blog and probably not going to catch up – so let’s just start fresh! The Texas dandelions continue to bloom.

Wild Poinsettia (Euphorbia sp.)

The Wild Poinsettia is really buzzing with bees and other tiny friends lately over the past few days! It’s a very enthusiastic unsolicited volunteer but it seems to get a lot of customers now that the weather is cooling down into the 80s and 90s. It is a native plant and hosts also the very fun Euphorbia bug which has little pompoms on its antennae.

A tiny bee.
An Eastern tailed-blue
An immature euphorbia bug
A potter wasp
A sweat bee
A jumping spider hoping to snack on a visitor to the Euphorbia!

08/19/2022

I tried cantaloupe in my oatmeal this morning, hoping it would be magical like peaches, but I think they’re best eaten cold and alone. The melon, not the person doing the eating.
Gram is too tall to stretch under this chair.
He came out from under the chair to stretch, then went back under the chair to continue observing his Doggie.
Two new blooms on the two leaf senna!!
I think one of the juniperleaf cuttings had some nearly ripe seeds on it and they sprouted!!! I kept them in standing water in the shade for the first few days as a cutting, then moved them to a dry spot but still in the shade, where they are now. Still watering every day. This is additionally interesting because the seeds I collected from the original juniperleaf in the winter have not sprouted anywhere I put them. I was reading today in Nokes’ germination book that sometimes fresher seeds don’t have such an impermeable seed coat.
A few little grasses in the backyard where I sprinkled the native grass mix from Plants of the Southwest! The mix was blue grama and buffalograss.