12/2022 backlog of infrastructure and little babies

Yesterday, 12/31, I finally glued on the rain barrel cap holders that the Chef 3D printed for me! I used epoxy after cleaning both surfaces with ethanol.
Paula got solar powered outdoor lights for Christmas and has used them to make the path to the compost visible! Edit: thanks to Mom for inquiring if we can turn the lights out. Yes we can! It’s important not to pollute the dark with more light than we use at any given moment.
I am hoping these tiny seedlings are the annual bluets that sometimes grow in this part of the yard. Keeping an eye on them.
A tinier potential annual bluet seedling next to the comparatively large wild geraniums. These two pictures were 12/31/2022.
12/28/2022, the Ratibida columnifera rosettes survived the big cold!
Two Verbena halei rosettes also exist and made it!
Finally, and very thrilling, two potential Penstemon oklahomensis seedlings! They don’t appear to be hairy leaves like some other common seedling volunteers. Stay tuned.
Shackleton enjoyed a leashed walk in the same excellent 12/28 weather.
Jeanne kindly sent us some Salaginella riddellii- Riddell’s Spike-Moss. We put the biggest chunk in the rainbow garden (in green of course) on 12/25.
We put a smaller piece of the spike moss in the cactus planter.
12/25 was so nice we also moved some volunteers. This is the big root of a poke berry! We moved those along the back fence where another pokeberry lives. We also moved several ampelopsis from random spots in the yard to along the south fence trellis.
A blackjack oak acorn with a sprout on it! We planted this exciting find (12/24) into a pot on 12/25. Fingers crossed for a spring sprout.
Judy gave us an adorable toad house! I have placed it near the veggie beds. Please come eat our earwigs, toad friends.
12/24 checking the pot containing Sedum nutallii from Jeanne. The sedums seem to have made it along with Verbena rosettes (V. Halei??) and other intriguing volunteers.
Going somewhere! Wow!! Happy briar in the car.
On 12/24 we visited the lake at Lexington WMA. This seasonal creek was frozen solid! The lake was too. Briar wears her hunter orange.
After the deep freeze, only the top tips of the recently transplanted rosemary got frozen. They were pressed down by the sheets. But the sheets protected the rest of the plant!

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.

Last night new helper friend!! And other things yesterday

A fine Toad hanging out in the raised beds! Eat those earwigs please!! (May already be doing so as I have not seen many lately.)
Tomatillos Verdes doing well, I think I have enough now to make salsa verde enough to can.
Took garden cucumber to work today for a snack with ranch dressing.
Not entirely sure but I think a Bombus impatiens bumblebee on a loofah gourd flower. There were at least two of these bumbles around.

Potatoes and a butterfly

Emptied two potato growing bags and found four potatoes (fine, but not worth picturing) and a toad. Sorry for disturbing you, Toad. I stopped moving bags since it was afternoon and hot on Saturday. I will do more later in an evening for Toad movement safety.
This black widow spider was more productive than my potatoes with six round egg sacs generated vs my four potatoes. I put this bag back.
A butterfly on butterfly milkweed. (Pearl Crescent).

The weekend blog crossover episode

Baby zucchini harvest before departure.
Saw a tree cricket on the mint.
Rouge Vif d’Etampes squash has a baby.
Upon arrival to Texas, Junior Supervisor Briar and Senior Director Gracie take a break.
Mustard greens and rouge d’hiver lettuce from the garden in a fancy salad by Mom!
Mom has outdone herself again with fresh blackberry sorbet. The mint leaves are from my garden.
Upon return to Oklahoma, a very fine toad was seen. An excellent weekend visiting with our southern blog colleagues.

Earwig battle

Several interested earwigs on oil jar edges and a few already in oil! Yay!

Don’t think too hard, earwig. It’s totally fine.

Less yay: more earwigs eating the Peruvian ground cherry (which is farthest from the oil).

More yay: big beautiful toad patrolling the backyard prairie.

An excellent friend.

No more diatomaceous earth, now for oil traps

I talked with a nice county extension agent today who said anything soft-bodied could be hurt by diatomaceous earth (DE) including toads, though being large and hopping they’ll be less so than a slug or earwig. But, I love my toads, so no more DE.

She did however suggest oil traps to reduce their population while I work to make the habitat less absurdly full of rotting wood (thanks past Claire for all the mulch).

So, now we have five pitfall traps with about half an inch of oil in them.  Three have used fryer oil (vegetable oil) and two have fresh, unused vegetable oil.  (That big plant in the lower right is the Brunswick cabbage I have been nursing along under a glass jar.  Time for it to face the world!)


Wow a friend!!
A slightly closer view but I didn’t want the dog to bother our amphibious friend so this is as good the photography gets tonight.