01/28/2024 grasslands field trip

Mom stands on the edge of overgrazed grass at edge of bare winter woods
Mutual photography of bloggers.
Zoomed out view
A cute little seedling at just the seed leaves stage, near the dew covered spiderweb.
Briar turns to face the photographer against a backdrop of winter oaks
Who me?
After turning around in the previous picture, briar majestically lifts her head in the bright winter sunlight
Briar can pretend to be majestic and noble!
A prairie verbena purpled leaves for winter but still alive.
Last year’s branches of queen’s delight (Stillingia), the limestone species.
Briar sat nearby as Mom tried to get a picture of the Stillingia stems too.

01/07/2024 making lemonade out of lemons

Pile of month old oak logs along the back wooden privacy fence. A squirrel is eating birdseed on the feeder in the foreground.
We had to get the lone red oak trimmed back by the power company. This resulted in a pile of fresh oak logs. The Chef was inspired by a book we listened to recently called To Boldly Grow by Tamar Haspel. It is available from the Norman Public Library as an audiobook.
Two of the chosen oak logs standing end up on the concrete patio.
And what was he inspired to do? First, The Chef chose several big logs. He wants to grow… mushrooms!
Metal conduit stands upright out from the edge of the concrete block compost area. Leaves cover the ground.
After a household discussion and reading about shiitake requirements, The Chef leaned some conduit over rebar and old concrete blocks near the compost structure.
The chef holds a log down with his booted foot while drilling holes wearing work gloves.
The Chef drills holes for the plugs.
Paula taps mushroom plugs into one of two visible logs, on top of the workbench outside.
Paula taps the mushroom plugs into the drilled holes. To the left you can see the beeswax candle the Chef made for this purpose.
I point at wax seal spots on an upright log that’s been finished.
The plugs are sealed in with clean beeswax.
Five logs are leaned up against the metal conduit rail.
We ended up with five logs full of mushroom plugs. We shall see what happens!

06/18/2022 onion time

Oops. We disturbed this big beautiful toad.
The toad hopped over our onions to nestle down under some bean plants. We turned the soaker hose on after we were done harvesting to make sure any other plants we disturbed weren’t too upset, and hopefully that will keep the toad safely into the cooler night too.
Three kinds of onion!
The shadiest bed has Inca pea beans planted over Thomas Laxton sugar peas which we removed as they were getting mildewy. Now the pea beans have room to grow.
Our supervisor chose a shady, cool corner.
Left are the dried Thomas Laxton sugar peas for next season. To the right are Oregon sugar pod II (the original kind I had) from earlier this spring. I am going to bleach them to prevent transfer of the mildew to next season. We also put the plant waste in the city yard waste bins as their composting gets much hotter than ours.

06/05/2022 bird nest

Bird’s nest fungi, that is!!!
The Chef noticed these this afternoon. Very excited.
A William’s pride apple!!!
I realized there are multiple kinds of horse crippler cactus. Mom helped me identify this as Echinocactus horizonthalonius (the common and widespread subspecies), based on it having eight ribs. The flower closed in the sunshine today. Apparently it needs a second individual to make fruit, ie it’s self sterile (also known as self incompatible).
Some kind friends brought us a big obsidian rock!
I put it near the baby two leaf senna. I think the black and yellow will look very nice together.
A small pokeberry growing in backyard.
A Texas dandelion accidentally brought from home! Yay!

2022/05/21 a cool afternoon, good for last plantings before summer heat

Weird fungus in front strawberry bed where sweetgum roots are rotting.
Potatoes!
Some eggs on the house.
Dayflower. Someday I’ll figure out if it’s the native or non native species.
A mystery that came along from Texas.
It turns out these tiny things are seedheads, so I completely missed it blooming.
I looked at it in the microscope to confirm they are seeds. Abby suggested a Nutallanthus sp which looks right. I can’t believe I somehow missed the flowers! Maybe while I was at home in Texas in April?
A non native rye. It’s pulled now. Thanks Jeanne!
Mystery grass, up close of seedheads. Abby has identified as Vulpia sp, but that genus contains both native and non native species.
The same Vulpia sp, outside.
Guest cat Shackleton wanted and got a leash walk today.
He loves a good dust patch.
At the end of the water hose is a small Datura wrightii that I figured I should plant while we have our probably last spell of cool weather for the spring. I left its sibling in a pot until I find out if this spot has enough sun.
A baby Dalea purpurea (purple prairie clover) in the prickly pear planter! This was from a free seed packet from prairie moon. I didn’t use any inoculum.
Abby very kindly gave me one of her two seedlings from her Rudbeckia maxima! Really excited to watch this one grow!!

04/26 and 04/28 assorted

The Tupperware experiment Ashy Sunflowers have a few more sprouts as of 04/26. I need to move them more carefully as the last two I tried to plant promptly shriveled up and died.
Texas mallow coming up!
The other individual of Texas mallow coming up!
Now on 04/28, an Ashy Sunflower actually sprouting from seed! I believe this was one that got stratified.
04/28 rock garden is looking good.
Penstemon grandiflorus from prairiemoon.com as bare root seems to be growing!
The Astragalus (ground plum) not looking as good again.
Finishing up the 04/28 pics, the culinary sage is blooming in the rainbow garden!

Moving things around and catching up

Moving some things out of plant window to outside, I found two ashy sunflower seedlings in the experimental warm humid container! I have planted them in potting soil now. I will keep them inside for now as I imagine they will need a careful hardening off.