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.

08/14/2022 Ruby Grant park morning

Our first Salvia azurea of the season blooming!
The first of many Helianthus annuus this morning.
A lone Maximilian sunflower starting to bloom. The rest don’t even have buds.
Snow on the mountain was magnificent today!
We went on a new part of the trail today and encountered some highly concerning Art.
“It has a lot of eyes Mom”
The little mosaic seats are also suspect.
“Why do you humans keep doing things to me”
“Ok I guess it’s ok”
We also came to terms with the big Art.
Possibly Amorpha, false-indigo.
Soapberry! Thanks Abby for the identification.
Another H. Annuus.
A beautiful Grindelia bud.
More sunflower (H annuus)
A differential grasshopper snacking on the sunflower.
We found a magnificent patch of silver leaf nightshade!
We had Briar pose among the silver leaf nightshades.
Possibly a Physalis?
Maybe non-blooming camphorweed?
Possibly Asclepias verticillata (thanks Mom!)
An aster starting to bloom!
Unknown flower that hasn’t bloomed yet.
Possibly Cardiospermum, balloon vine? From reading, it seems to be native but disliked for clogging farm equipment.
The balloon vine flower.
Ruby Grant park considerately has a dog level water fountain at the parking lot!

07/17/2022 straw bale sampling and other afternoon torture

We appear to have some potatoes in the straw bales.
The Granny Smith apple is having a hard time. The leaves are turning brittle and possibly sunscalded? We are on mandatory water conservation until the city pump is fixed Monday hopefully so the most I can do is hand water it. However, this apple tree is the most westward facing so maybe it’s just having problems.
Native Texas dandelion in backyard earlier.

Physalis questions for the audience

Plant A: the volunteer. It has generated two fruits and Paula wants to eat them. I want to know what this plant is first. Help me not let Paula get sick.
Close up of plant A leaf.
Close up of Plant A young flower. A more mature flower a few months ago (see below) has more brown/purple on petals but not I think on the anthers?
The north central Texas flora keys out to two main groups by hair type. These, on Plant A, appear to be simple, and possibly retrorse (curving down). No hair joints eliminates P. heterophylla.
Plant A: the leaf and the two fruits. The fruit calyxes are five angled.
I zoomed in on a picture of the previous flower, same plant A. I believe the anthers are yellow. I would like help with that, as it’s been a while since I’ve tried to confirm anthers. Yellow anthers and simple hairs get it to P. longifolia or P. virginiana in the NC TX Flora. The leaves for both species are are ovate to lanceolate, which seems inconsistent with Plant A. Longifolia also is said to often have purple stems. This one has stripes but not fully purple. The NC TX Flora says these two are possibly toxic. The new Foraging Texas book says all the Physalis are fine. Other sources claim virginiana’s fine or may need a frost. One of the sources is this book about Physalis and relatives so I may get it via interlibrary loan.
This is the underside of Plant B. Plant B should be a cultivar of Physalis pruinosa based on its location and what I have planted there. It has similar simple, possibly retrorse hairs. Plant B is not flowering yet this year. I had a really hard time finding flower pictures for P. pruinosa, as most people sort of reasonably are interested in the fruit. It does appear to have yellow anthers.
Plant C. This is from a probably perennial wild Physalis (I have never planted any Physalis that made it to fruiting in the backyard). Its hairs are distinctly stellate. None of the individuals in the cluster of 2-4 Plant C individuals were flowering, but the hairs seem to narrow it to P. cinerascens or P. mollis. I think P. cinerascens seems more likely on leaf shape, but both are edible and neither have simple leaf hairs.
Plant C leaf (left) and plants A (upper right leaf, bigger) and B (lower right leaf, smaller – it’s from a younger plant), and plant A fruits.

So, am I missing anything obvious here? Is this identifiable? Have any of you consumed P. longifolia or P. virginiana and lived?

Update: Mom showed me a few other keys and they get it to P. virginiana too. None of the keys contain P. pruinosa. P. virginiana is also a perennial while P. pruinosa is an annual, so maybe next year will also provide a clue.

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

06/16/2022

BLT with garden lettuce. Tomatoes and potatoes from farm share.
Interesting creature
Paula brought us some great new border rocks!

06/04/2022 unexpected excitement

Saw a great little jumping spider on the ironweed leaves.
An interesting bee or velvet ant male or something, on white avens leaf. It was one of the nervous kinds who keeps flicking their wings constantly.
The rain of the last few days prompted the Missouri fluttermill primrose to bloom again!
The Chef and I cleared leaves off the patio. In several places they were up against the wood siding which is not great as they are essentially composting. Here Briar holds down a leaf pile for us. We leave the leaves in the rest of the yard as that is best for a healthy woodland environment!
The worst offending area of leaf collection next to the house. This is after I pulled out the bulk of leaves. Our compost pile should be happy now!
An extremely tiny planthopper that the Chef found on the outdoor work bench.
The last round of tepary beans I planted are coming up.
The big thrill of the day… The horse crippler cactus in the rock garden has bloomed!!!! I imagine this means it’s either happy here or thinks it’s about to die. Hopefully the former. Since I just planted it this spring I wasn’t expecting it, and its flower bud was not obvious, or grew in really fast the last few days when I wasn’t looking with the rain.