11/26/2023 experiment for new vegetable perennials

One plant protector clipped closed by a stainless steel clip. One open with all its cells filled with water. The plastic is a translucent pale aqua color.
After reading about “wall-o-waters” in a book about gardening in the Great Plains, we eventually noticed a similar product for sale in Ellison’s Feed & Seed called Season Starters and decided to give them a try. We got 3 in one pack for about $15. They’re like mini greenhouses using water for both insulation and stability in a series of cells. We clamped ours shut with the stainless steel clips we like for holding plastic on the hoops for the greens. We put them around some new plants we ordered from California (I’Itoi bunching onions, Florida Finley bunching onions, and society garlic which is not actually a garlic though in same family). They should be fine in our winter once they’re established, but they just arrived a week or two ago.

09/27/2023 happier in new spot

Last weekend, we moved the Mexican Sage (Salvia leucantha) from Judy. It had been in the very dry side yard for about two summers and kept wilting. Here by the garage it will still get sun, but stays just a little less dry. This species is drought tolerant but not quite our-side-yard drought tolerant as the rosemary or Maximilian sunflowers or garlic chives.

07/08/2023 too much for baby yucca

We planted two baby Arkansas yuccas a week or so ago in front of the house. The bigger one (see next picture) is doing fine. this little one, which I am pointing at, has been struggling hard and has about half a leaf remaining. At first I just watered it extra but now I have added a shade and moisture retention barrier on the west side consisting of a wall of sticks and leaves about 2 inches high.
I point at the bigger yucca seedling. It has three skinny blue-green leaves. A stray strawberry leaf is visible in the back.

05/16/2023 promising candidates

This seedling is not something I recognize so I’m hoping it could be Bluehearts from Mom. I left other volunteer plants in as that species is hemiparasitic and does better with a host.
The winecups are really taking off!! Super pleased.
New mystery in the prairie!

05/14/2023 more rain!

We got even more good steady rain this morning and there’s a bit of standing water in what we are calling Leon’s prairie to distinguish it from the original prairie block. Leon is the late great gray tuxedo cat who now has been reincarnated as an aggressively thorny blackberry plant which is adjacent to this meadow.

04/04/2023 day two of Boiling Springs State Park

The world’s most cooperative Falcate Orangetip butterfly! Feeding at a dandelion here and we also saw it on henbit and speedwell.
The tree with some green is an elm and the pod tree is a catalpa!
This grass was everywhere. Mom says not coastal Bermuda, but otherwise we’re not sure.
The River Trail was full of old and fallen and standing cottonwood trees. I liked the pattern on this barkless log.
Dad spotted this well-camouflaged Buprestidae beetle! I used my macro Moment lens on the phone camera to admire its nice punctate (the dimples) elytra (the hard wing covers).
There were also quite a few Kentucky Coffee Trees with their distinctive seed pods. Mom hadn’t seen them before so we looked it up and they’re not in Texas much.
Briar dog for scale on a bridge over the small springfed creek with a big, big cottonwood tree in the background.
I liked this tree’s bark!
The Civilian Conservation Core pump house near the spring’s source. Briar hopes it has air conditioning???
We didn’t go in the pump house but continued in the visitor center area (everything here was paved and accessible) to see the very channeled spring creek.
Briar did find the cool flagstones in the shade to be acceptable. the “boiling” sand is in the fenced area. Mom will be blogging it eventually so look at her site for video coming in the next week or so!
Mom spotted our second ever Olympia Marble butterfly! It was fast and flighty. It was mostly feeding on henbit flowers in the lawn area behind the visitor center.
On our walk back we saw this beaver-gnawed tree. The park office person told us the beaver had recently moved and she didn’t know where to, so we showed her yesterday’s beaver den and she agreed that was probably it! We have been listening to a great book about beavers lately called “Eager” by Ben Goldfarb. I recommend it so far!
Briar looks out over more CCC work- the stone edged bridge.
Now this afternoon and evening we’re hunkered down in a big dust storm! Glad we walked this morning and early afternoon when the sky was still blue.

03/26/2023 field trip to Lexington WMA

I need to add captions and descriptions to the rest of the pics, but this Spiranthes sp was neat to see coming up!
Briar and Paula in safety hunter orange.
False garlic with tiny moths.
Paula caught a Little Brown Skink!
The skink did not want to stay for a visit.
A prairie verbena!
Armadillo!!! Briar ready, but actual briar vines kept her from following it far.
First Lomatium of the day. Briar helped by putting her nose by it.
Arnoglossum sp! Leaves
Bigger Arnoglossum species leaves!
The lovely valley we walked around. Had some damp spots.
Milkweed! Probably Asclepias verticillata??
Echinacea probably angustifolia? Leaf and last year’s seed head.
Thanks for laying down in the mud puddle, BRIAR.
Nostoc algae and scale lichens!
Paula found this great potter wasp nest!
Eventually found a big patch of Lomatium blooming.
Some Lomatium in light shade.
Some Lomatium almost done blooming.
Some Lomatium out in the sun.
Another prairie verbena.
A puccoon just opening!

03/29/2023 baby yucca????

Paula and I were out planting some seeds and she noticed this baby spike in a tray of yucca seeds that have been out all winter!!
The Baptisia sp seeds before we planted them. I nicked each seed surface then soaked in room temperature water overnight. We put some on either side of the patio plus some in a pot for more controlled monitoring as that seems to help with germination sometimes.
Paula also noticed the persimmon seed at the seedling base. I appear to have planted several.

03/19/2023 tomatillos having a hard time

Both of two varieties of tomatillos have died of damping off fungus. Here’s a second try (in a different container with fresh soil) of tomatillo verde. Going to try to keep them drier this time by keeping them at the windiest part of the tray (where fan mainly hits). Been rotating all the other seedlings through to get them evenly moist but these friends seem to be more delicate.