|I check my Peterson Field Guide, and I believe this big beetle to be a hardwood stump borer (Mallodon dasystomus).|
Saturday, June 23, 2012
|What I once considered a pesky weed is NOT. The common sunflower (Helianthus annuus) has very pretty flowers and is a host plant for the silvery checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis). See my July 7, 2010, post.|
|However, common sunflowers are GIANTS in the garden!|
|James found a little frog yesterday. We can't decide if it's a Rio Grande leopard (Rana berlandieri) or a southern leopard (Rana sphenocephala).|
I'm SO SO SO excited! Look! A native yellow passionflower (Passiflora lutea) blooming! A month or so ago, I spotted the tiny vines growing beneath a live oak on my neighbor's adjoining property. I'd been watching one plant, hoping it'd bloom because I've never seen one. Yesterday, I checked...it was in flower! As you can see, the blossom is no bigger than a penny. It's so delicate and beautiful.
|Our other passionflower vines are blooming, but they're not native. They're beautiful, just the same, though.|
Posted by Sheryl Smith-Rodgers at 9:50 AM
Thursday, June 21, 2012
"For years, scientists have known that the sweetly named kissing bug found throughout South and Central Texas carries the parasite that causes Chagas disease, a major killer in parts of Latin America," reporter Don Finley wrote."What wasn't known is if those Texas bugs infect people, although they clearly infect animals — including bomb-sniffing dogs at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland and nonhuman primates at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute."
According to the article, "five species of triatoma bugs found around San Antonio carry the infection, the most common of them Triatoma gerstaeckeri — a flat, dark brown teardrop-shaped bug with lighter stripes mostly obscured by its wings. Adults are often more than an inch in length."
|I was outside yesterday afternoon, nipping off dead flowers, when I felt something land on my foot. I looked down and found this little cicada. I caught it in my hand, then walked into the house for my camera. Back outside, it posed patiently for numerous shots. Then it flew off.|
|Entomologist Mike Quinn says it's likely a grasslands cicada. Maybe Cicadetta texana? Bill Reynolds via Bugguide.net says it's a mesquite cicada (Pacarina puella). Either way, it was CUTE. I've never seen a cicada that tiny before.|
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Monday, June 18, 2012
|The rock roses are spectacular right now.|
|While I was shooting the rock roses, a trio of young Carolina wrens were bug hunting on the ground and up the brick wall of our house. When I turned my camera on one, I got a nice photo of one curious little guy.|
|We have so many young birds in our Wildscape right now. One particularly LOUD teenaged mockingbird screeches nearly all day for his parents to feed him. A pair of cardinal parents stay busy tending their kids, too.|
|The flame acanthuses are blooming. Later this summer, maybe we'll get more crimson patch caterpillars to host on the leaves.|
|A couple of views of our back yard, complete with the stock tank pond.|
|What's left of our original pipevine (Aristolochia fimbriata)|
Last night, we got nearly an inch of rain. So James planted the vines this morning. Perfect timing!
Saturday, June 16, 2012
|For a few weeks, we'd been noticing this little "weed" growing happily in patches across the back yard. But I mostly ignored it until curiosity got the best of me. I took some photos and got some closer looks...hmmm, the flowers looked familiar...like henbit. More so, Texas betony! So I pulled out a field guide...nada. On to the Wildflower Center's database...bingo! I think we've got mousesear, also commonly called shade betony (Stachys crenata).|
Thursday, June 14, 2012
|James found this long-horned beetle (probably an oak borer, Enaphalodes sp.*) in the house yesterday while he was dusting. I wasn't too surprised. I'd heard something either bumping around or chomping somewhere under our bed lately. Now I know what it was!|
* Bugguide.net: "My guess would be a Enaphalodes atomaurius based on the diffuse pubescence pattern on the elytra and the bispinose elytra. Based on the length of the antennae, you're probably looking at a female."