07/30/2023 very tall

Ironweed, gaura, four point primrose, gumweed, and more have grown very tall this year.
Briar likes her short grassy spot at the edge of the very tall “prairie”.
My supervisor likes her grassy spot.
A rattlebox flower blooming again!
Gaura longifolia doing well right now.
The gaura are very tall!
A very late Texas Dandelion blooming this morning!

06/29/2023 damn bermudagrass

I was pulling some bermudagrass that is still in the buffalograss. Briar sat and helped. Behind her is the orange and red section of the rainbow garden. The new orange Agastache is in full bloom by the dwarf peach tree. The tall stalks are what’s still blooming of the standing cypress. In front of those stalks are the Will Rogers zinnias. After a few generations some other colors are sneaking in- especially that bright yellow one! It’s pretty though. Over by the house in the background you can see our Maximilian Sunflowers in front of the trash and recycling bins sure have gotten tall.

06/11/2023 straggler photos

A seedling Virginia creeper. This is by the dining room window.
At the rescue prairie today I took a clump of Cladonia (probably C. peziziforma?) reminder: we only took wild organisms because the land is slated to be built on, and with permission.
And some adjacent moss. Both the lichen and the moss were on sand at the base of a tree, shaded, so I put them in the concrete blocks (for good drainage) in the shady end of the prairie.
Paula has worked hard to remove bermudagrass and other non native intruders from our buffalograss at the edge of our property. She seeded it a few days ago. Today I connected the soaker hose that she had laid out.
The hose was a bit too long so I looped the extra by the Mexican sage and showy milkweed.

05/27/2023 front yard

The rainbow garden is almost there.
The winecups have gotten MASSIVE. I have never seen such mammoth winecup leaves in the wild.
A typical winecup with regular sized leaves. We saw this one today on our afternoon walk, at Saxon Park.
A view panning over to see the Salvia greggii and coreopsis too. All the white flowers in the raised beds are cilantro. If you’ve been looking at our iNaturalist feed, the cilantro flowers are hopping with insect activity.

The excavation of a path and that weird berm

12/30/2022. I’ve scraped a bit of soil and leafy debris off the concrete area that extends as far as the rock wall of the garage does. Right now, water drains from here back towards the house. There’s also a foot tall berm along the fence (a few pavers on top of it) visible in the background, which is very inconvenient for walking on. This is the western edge of the “prairie” area but in summer is mostly a tangle of invasive dayflower and a big mulberry stump’s stems.
12/30/2022. Paula and I got a bunch of concrete shards and small rocks out of the pile around the bird house pole from the previous picture. These work ok as a border for front yard raised beds. I have also taken to putting our nicer actual rocks on top of them for better viewing. This pile needs distributing now but I can do that gradually.
01/02/2023. after the previous rock shard excavation, before stump removal.
01/02/2023. Paula axed the mulberry stump. We could have left it, but it is not conducive to water draining away from the house here. She also pulled a lot of rebar up. We think a few owners past probably used them to hold up landscaping timbers.
01/04/2022 Paula has energy and unexpectedly cleared the whole berm.
01/04/2023. She also pulled many old rebars up, again.
01/05/2023. Paula continued to enjoy perfect cool digging weather and nice soft earth to move. She put this rain barrel in its spot and worked on leveling and grading. I need to order pavers so we can put the path in before seeding with our prairie grasses and flowers.
01/07/2023. Briar helps us measure to see how many concrete pavers we need for the fence path.
01/10/2023. The concrete pavers for the path plus concrete block edges arrived. Briar examines.
01/12/2023. Blocks are in place, but need leveled and then filled with soil too. the goal for these blocks is to guide more water flow towards the path and away from the garage.
01/21/2023. Got all the blocks leveled shortly after this photo.
01/21/2023. A start on pavers along the fence. I know a better surface would be created by putting sand and other crushed base under the pavers, but for the next few years I’m going to have this as good enough.
01/23/2023. The pavers don’t quite fill the gap to the fence so for now I’m leaving alternating gaps for drainage.
01/23/2023. A view from the other side. The goal is to get the path three pavers wide everywhere, but the majority of mud is covered now. (Cleaner dog toes.)
01/25/2023. Snow on the path!
02/06/2023. I put the last pavers in the past except a few spots where old rebar stuck up.
02/07/2023. We spread saved up wildflower and grass seeds before a few days of gentle rain.
02/07/2023. This spot is under the eaves so it gets less wet, so I hope it will still be ok for buffalograss.
02/11/2023. Need to sweep, but I moved all the empty pots to the little bamboo shelf.
02/11/2023. Paula and I moved soil from the north side of the house, where it was inexplicably piled up against the wood siding, into the concrete block hollows. the final step tomorrow will be moving some widow sedum, nutall’s sedum, juniper leaf, and fern leaves (in case I missed any spores) into these blocks. That’s all for this project!


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.

07/03/2022 daisies

Briar had minor surgery last Monday and is recovering well, but still needs her safety donut to not lick her stitches. She continues to enjoy lounging on her patch of buffalograss and squishing the Englemann daisies.


Lyre leaf sage sprouting where I have sprinkled it in front yard.
Who’s this lurking in the buffalo grass?
Shackleton of course!  He persuaded the Chef to go outside.
The Chef decided it was so nice out we walked to Braum’s for dinner.
Then we walked to the duck pond and saw some geese and their baby goslings!
Close up of the babies.
There were a lot of winecups around the duck pond! Great to see.
Possibly smells nice too? The end.