06/28/2022

The accidental shot of the week. I didn’t notice this bee kicking a wasp off its foot until I looked at the photo later!
The bumblebee is feeding on Echinacea purpurea.
Front of the bumblebee face is yellow.
A zoomed in shot. The short overall hairs, all yellow on thorax and head, smoky dark wings, and minimal color on abdomen have led me to think it may be Bombus griseocollis, the brown-belted bumblebee. I have entered the sighting and photos on Bumble Bee Watch’s community science website where they can verify or correct this identification. This would be our fourth bumblebee species for the yard if I have identified it correctly. 🤞🤞
I found a second partridge pea plant blooming in the “prairie”!
An all orangish solider beetle on a Rudbeckia flower.
Shackleton the cat enjoyed hiding in brown crinkly paper. He has such big eyes!
Paula is experimenting with kombucha fermentation thanks to a culture from Abby. This is the first sample and contains a garden strawberry for added flavor. It was good!
Briar helps us observe bees out front. I’ll do a separate post with evening bees if any pics turned out.
A baby moon and stars watermelon!!
A baby praying mantis on the mint!
Paula and I weeded the orange and red section of the rainbow garden. It has a lot of invasive grass in it.

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.

06/10/2022 exciting friends

I wasn’t sure at first if this was a bit of debris on a bird seed sunflower stem.
But I saw it walk!! It’s a plant hopper!
I think it’s Entylia sp, possibly carinata if I understand bugguide saying there’s only one species and it’s quite variable. That’s the species shown in the new Abbott and Abbott Texas insects book.
Spittlebug adult!
The most special flower.
A beautiful white lined sphinx visiting the non native verbena.
I love the different wing angles the camera catches.
Side view.
Slime mold very happy after 3.46″ rain in the past seven days.
Blurry but you can see two seedlings: the winecup above with three leaves and the lyre leaf sage with two seed leaves. Working on my ground covers out front around the raised beds.

06/08/2022 rainy day

A few last baby winecups sprouting long after their big relatives.
Nightshade can flower even in a tiny pot!
So much rain.
Stubby variety okra is up!

05/13/2022 garden checkup

Sweet basil seedlings.
Butterfly milkweed is up in the backyard too but hasn’t flowered yet (same as front yard).
Yellow flax still blooming! It’s annual, so I hope the seeds like it enough here.
Whitlow-wort gone to seed. Another native annual from TX home.
False gaura that I planted from potted last night is doing well.
Texas verbena has bloomed! It’s a perennial.
The rattlebox had adorable seed pods as promised.
The Rocky mountain bee plant from the botany club plant sale is blooming! There were ants at the blooms.
The Phacelia is really fun.
The prairie bluet is flowering a bit. I’m worried since it’s early that this means it’s not happy. However, it’s a perennial, so hopefully it will do its thing now and be less worried next year.
The twice-moved yucca is making new little leaves!
This yucca is in the shade which I figure is probably okay at this age.  Many plants seem to like to have nurse plants.
The baby winecups are starting to get true leaves.
Second year for this mystery plant with no blooms.
It does have a square stem. Abby suggested Monarda, which I did seed here at one point, so fingers crossed!!
Slippery silk beans and several other varieties are up!!
The two leaf senna didn’t have a lot of roots when I planted it from a pot last night. So, I put two containers of water so it would gradually keep it damp for now so it can get established. It’s my only sprout from the seed and I love this plant! It’s a host for Cloudless Sulphur butterflies.

Blast from the past… Ok from Friday 🤣

Normally we let both dogs settle their own spots, but Gracie needs space with her arthritis now.
Wedge
Room for old bones
HELLO
Plz hello Gracie
Briar eventually got comfy.
But she still kept wanting to see Gracie.
Gracie says haha I’m safe!!
Wow!  The popcorn came up while I was gone!!
Potatoes in the straw bales are up!!
Mom documented my plant site choosing.
Here goes some annual groundsel and a cute little Euphorbia!
Mom did most of the digging to save my arthritis, for which I am very grateful.  She let me do this one though.  Thanks to Mom and Dad and Gracie for a great staycation-vacation!!!!

Tiny greenhouse

A little centipede in the garden dirt. Hopefully it’s an earwig predator.
Hoops in!
Seeds planted, cover on! We put lots of extra and smelly plants like cilantro and parsley among the carrots and bok choy and beets in hopes of earwig distraction.

Earth movers

Gram pretends to be a plant while all the plants are outside.
We stopped to visit Shackleton on the way to compost facility. He likes to smell car bumpers while on his leashed walkies. Cars have been places!
We were told we could self-load from this pile.
Paula and I self-loaded.
Thanks again to Dad for an excellent set of giant cardboards. We used all but two for this load of compost. Briar supervising.