01/16/2023 creating a special caliche/barrens habitat in containers

Visited home last weekend and Mom and Dad kindly let us take home some calcareous soil from an already disturbed area – the “lake”.
I had planned to shovel the soil but they kindly offered the much easier method of front-end loader. 🙂 We did scrape in a few small little bluestems and other plants that I have kept!
Since the soil was heavy, I carefully moved it into a bucket I could lift, and also searched for those little plants I mentioned got scraped in.
Paula and I put careful layers of soil and water to get it compact in the planters by the front door.
Paula smoothed them nicely and added water.
You can see the plants I found in the background, sitting on the porch. This is the final picture with a dusting of cactus/succulent/citrus potting soil on top.
Shackleton helped me sort the calcareous soil/barrens specialist seeds that Mom gave me.
Here are all the seeds in place with little markers! I also put one each little bluestem in the pot, a possible Oldplainsman in each, and a mystery round-leafed green plant. We’ll see what they become!
I did the two planters symmetrical but mirror images since they are on either side of the porch. Fingers crossed we get some sprouts in the spring!

12/14/2022 winter plantings

I ordered plants from a new to me nursery, Missouri Wildflowers Nursery.
Hmm box with ok smells?
Gram came running to see if he could have the box.
“Hello little brother “
The packing by this nursery was quite clever! Shredded paper mostly over the rosettes or dormant pots.
They also kindly marked the plants that were dormant. A few other species had low winter leaves (spiderwort) or rosettes (asters, pussytoes).
Even the dormant plants had happy roots!
The soil held together with roots but weren’t aggressively bound in.
Paula found a small cicada larva under the oak tree while planting!
We also uncovered an ancient Nylabone from Briar’s youth. She was unimpressed.

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!