Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Lost Ladybug Project

Twice-stabbed lady beetle that landed yesterday on ME (my shorts, actually). Submitted to the Lost Ladybug Project. See here.


Horseweed continued

If you'll recall, in June I posted about a "likely nuisance plant," which I've allowed to grow because I want to see if and how it blooms. Not to mention how tall it'll grow! Wow! It just doesn't seem to stop going UP! 

This is a  horseweed (Conyza canadensis). Looks like it's about to flower. And when it does, I'll take some photos and report back.

A few blooms

Gray globemallow
Firecracker bush
Rubeckias

Another bird bath!

I just couldn't resist! I spotted this for sale in Wimberley on on Craigslist right after the floods. It never did sell so James and I ran over there last week and bought it. We both love it. I think we're up to at least 20 bird baths now in the back yard. One can never have too many, I believe.

Hornworm

Another great mimic in the garden! Can you find the hornworn on our tomato plant in the photo above? It blends right in. I knew we had at least one because the leaves were starting to disappear on one plant. Finally, I found the chubby, well-fed culprit. "OK," I told it, "you can stay as long as you leave me the tomatoes." Which it does. 

I'd assumed it was a tomato hornworm. Not. It's a tobacco hornworm, which morphs into a Carolina sphinx (Manduca sexta). The true tomato hornworm is the larva of the five-spotted hawkmoth (Manduca quinquemaculatus).

Sphinx moth

Meet a vine sphinx (Eumorpha vitis), the first one I've seen in our Wildscape. The caterpillars host on vines. In June, Wes sent me a photo of one that he spotted in Bandera. This is what the vine sphinx caterpillar looks like.

Reptiles and amphibians


Thanks to our earlier summer rains, we have more reptiles and amphibians showing up around our Wildscape. Like little toads (above) and a frog that I still haven't been able to photograph. No anoles, I'm sad to report, but lots of Texas spiny lizards, especially baby ones. They're so cute.
See the little spiny lizard?
An older spiny lizard....


You've got to look smack in the middle of this photo, top the big rock, and you might see the baby spiny lizard. They really blend in!
He/she is easier to spot in this photo.
See it peeking out from the rock?
 

This is a even younger lizard. 
You gotta look hard for the lizard, perched on the rock.