Friday, June 14, 2019

Mystery on the water fountain

Yesterday evening, I happened to spot something on our little water fountain. I stopped for a closer look....and photos. Lots of photos. I also took some videos using Messenger (see below) to share with my daughter, who's into nature, too. There was something familiar about the insect, but I couldn't figure it out. A beetle? A bee?

And was it enjoying the bath? Or trying to survive? I'll never know the answer. I did turn off the water, and the critter began to run around and even groom itself. I went into the house, and it was gone by the time I returned. 
As always, I sleuthed and determined that my wet friend was a tumbling flower beetle, likely Hoshihananomia octopunctata (try saying THAT three times, if at all!). In the past, I've found two other (unconfirmed) species in our Wildcape: Mordellistena comata and Mordella sp. Nature's so amazing! MYSTERY SOLVED!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Notes to myself

This past week, I "processed" bluebonnet seeds that I gathered from our neighbor's driveway. She insisted that I get them, and I picked a lot of them green. So I let them dry out. I threw most of them along the Ninth Street side of our Meadow.

Now that's TALL!

Check out some of our standing cypresses (Ipomopsis rubra) this year!

Rubeckia blooming

Like an old friend, my 'Autumn Colors' rubeckia, bought from the Arnosky Family Farms in 2012, came to visit (reseeded) and is blooming right now. I am so happy to see it again. It bloomed in June 2016, too. I think it's a beautiful flower. Don't you think so?

Thursday, May 16, 2019

My sensitive plant

Awhile ago, I transferred my sensitive plant (Mimosa pudica) into a larger pot. It's growing on a window sill in our dining room. You might (or might not) recall my past post about the children's book I wrote that stars a sensitive plant as part of the plot. Anyway, I ordered some seeds (non-native) off eBay and germinated some. Alas, the first few tries ended with death. But finally I planted the seeds deeper in the dirt and VOILA–these two are still alive! Below are photos of the growth process.....I hope they bloom! 

Here's a funny story. My son and his wife, my daughter and her boyfriend, and my mother visited here in March for my birthday. Before my daughter-in-law left to go back home, she made a quick dash over to the window sill. She touched my plant, watched the leaves close, then tore off for the garage to join my son. I still laugh when I remember that scene. Everyone loves a sensitive plant!

The bigger pot

One good decision

I ran across this spiral notebook with notes the other day. It has to date back to 2007 or '08 when James and I first started putting in plants. At the time, I considered keeping a hand-written gardening journal. Back then, blogs were just getting started. I was nervous about having one of my own. But then I decided, why not? So I jumped into Window on a Texas Wildscape, and the rest is history, nicely archived in my blog posts.

But, wow, am I EVER GLAD and THANKFUL I decided going this route. I could have NEVER kept up with our plant inventory using a paper journal nor could I have searched for whatever I wanted to search as easily as I do using the search engine on my blog. PLUS, I couldn't have shared what I've learned along the way with YOU without this blog. Thank you for reading and listening all these years!

P.S. My notes also show how we weren't totally into native plants back then. So there's another good decision––we plant primarily NATIVES!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Another garden tour

This morning, we hosted members of the Native Plant Society of Texas/Lindheimer chapter from New Braunfels. The weather was PERFECT for wandering through our gardens. Thank you for coming, Al, James, Peggy, Sara, Mickey, Bob, Susan and Jeff!