Saturday, August 29, 2015

A few blooms

I love nightshades
First time to bloom
 Good ol' zinnias (from seed)
 Reminds me of trips to the Davis Mountains.....
Blooms faded but next come the seeds! 
The plant is taller than me now.
I love 'Pam's Pink' turk's cap

Pearl milkweed vine seeds

More seeds from my pearl milkweed vines (Matelea reticulata)! I'm collecting them just in case anyone wants some. My three vines have been very productive this summer. It's the first time I've ever seen a pearl milkweed vine go to seed. Cool!

Nope, not goin' anywhere, missy

  I was outside early this morning, watering. This toad was lounging in a plate that we keep filled with water, and NOTHING was gonna get him out. Not even big ol' me. I added water gently via the hose, and he just shrugged. At least, I think that was a shrug.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

When an antlion grows up

Last weekend, we spent a night in Rocksprings so we could see the bats. You know, the Mexican-freetailed bats that roost at the Devil's Sinkhole State Natural Area. If you haven't been, GO. And hurry..the bats will be gone for the winter by October. Watching them spiral out of the cave by the millions and millions is an aswesome sight to behold!

Anyway, as we were packing up to leave, I spotted an interesting insect on an exterior wall of the Historic Rocksprings Hotel, where we stayed. Owlfly? I wasn't sure. So I snapped some shots. Back home, the experts at confirmed that this is antlion adult, specifically Vella fallax. Cool!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Horseweed continued

Ricky Linex–a wildlife biologist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Weatherford–recently emailed me an Aug. 21 photo of what he calls mares tail (horseweed, Conyza canandensis) in front of an old fireplace at the ruins of Fort Phantom Hill, located north of Abilene, Texas.  He said I could share the photo.

"These ruins are what remain of an old U.S. military outpost from the 1850's," he wrote. "I was in the eastern Panhandle last week and the mares tail there was approaching 5 feet in height, which is large for free range plants that don't get watered and pampered. Some volunteer plants are desirable and some are not. Perhaps the next one will be a keeper."

Friday, August 21, 2015

Commercial break
This month, my friend and writing colleague Peggy Frezon is releasing her newest book, Faithfully Yours. And get this....a story-ette inside features ME and my love for spiders! Check it out. Better yet, buy a copy! 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Green green green

Today is August 20, and it was 76 to 78 degrees outside at 5 p.m. What a blessing and a miracle, too! So I grabbed my garden shears and point-n-shoot camera, and off I went. In the front yard, I was thrilled to see that the green lynxes I'd spotted a few days ago were still hanging out in the red galeana sage. That's the female in the photo above. 
Here's what you'd see if you walked past the sage. James says I have eagle eyes because I spotted the green lynxes in what you see above. I guess I do have pretty good eyesight when it comes to seeing what other people just might miss. 
 Here's another shot of the female (above).
 And now the male (above and below).

 Above is what initially caught my eye. A spider had caught up all the spent sage blooms with webbing. I really thought I'd find a green lynx mom guarding her egg sac. But that hasn't happened yet. Evidently, he's still waiting for her to give him a go ahead, if you know what I mean.
 Then I headed over to the 'Indigo Spires' salvias, and who should I find but a young praying mantis (above). I'm always thrilled when I find one of those, which are among my favorite critters. We chatted for a bit, and she let me take some photos. Then we both went about our own business, which was respectively dead-heading and hunting for supper.