Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Scarlet pea

My transplanted scarlet pea (Indigofera miniata) is happy. This lovely but oft-ignored native usually gets mowed.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Tiger swallowtail

Eastern tiger swallowtail on our phlox this afternoon!

Poor beautyberry

July 1, 2017
We planted two American beautyberries in October 2014. One must have died because we only have one. Last year, it struggled but came back this spring. It was growing gang busters, then we noticed a wilting branch. The branch died. Then another wilted. Looking for help, I posted the photo above on Facebook and asked for input as to what might be happened. No one really offered any advice. Look at the poor beautyberry now (below). We may be losing it for good this time. And I don't know why. And yes, I've been giving it water to get it through these hot weeks.
July 16, 2017

Hot blooms

Prairie fleabane
 Summer temps are searing. But despite the heat, we've got colors in our Texas Wildscape!
Zinnias
Gray golden aster
Scarlet bouvardia (firecracker bush)
Wedelia (zexmenia)
Woolly ironweed
Black-eyed susans

'John Fanick' phlox

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Passiflora tidbits





Our little birdwing passionflower (Passiflora tenuiloba) is finally...
 BLOOMING!


 And do you know why corkstem passionflower (Passifora suberosa) is named corkstem? Well....
I do now!

Evening stroll

 Thread-waisted wasp
 Wood roach

 Texas spiny lizard child chomping on something
 Katydid

Texas bush-clover

Our little Texas bush-clover (Lespedeza texana) is coming right along. I just love this native species that I transplanted from our adjoining neighbor's yard (with her permission, of course) in October 2014. Now it can grow freely without being mowed. Its tiny purple flowers resemble delicate orchids. This year, I harvested some seeds. Each pod contains one tiny black seed, which looks like a pea (see photo below).






Sunday, July 9, 2017

Bedroom beetle

Spotted last night on our bedroom wall! My side of the bed, of course. Likely a false blister beetle. Perhaps Oxacis trimaculata? Mine resembles this one.

Hackled orbweaver

I just love finding new creatures to photograph in our Wildscape. This one was hanging within a pot of mother-in-law tongue plants. What is this creature? First clue: there's an orbweb. So it's a orbweaver spider of some kind. This one was small, about a fourth of an inch or so. Which made it very difficult to photograph. But I did my best.
While culling and editing photos, I was about to click the "delete" button when I spotted the photo bomber (above). Can you see her? She's of the eight-legged variety....a bold jumping spider.
So meet a hackled orbweaver, more specifically a feather-legged spider (Uloborus sp.). Perhaps Uloborus glomosus? In the close-ups below, you can actually see the "feathers" on the spider's front legs.




Patio makeover


Back in April 2015, we added on to our backyard patio. We've really enjoyed the extra room. But we didn't care for the noticeable difference in old concrete (grayish) and new concrete (white white white). You can see some of the difference in the photos above that James recently took.   
So we decided to have the concrete stained. Since that's out of our areas of expertise, we hired Josh Brown with Lone Star Decorative Concrete of Fredericksburg. He and his brother, Micah (pictured above and below), got the job done in one day. There wasn't a lot of color choices since we had two different concretes, but at least it all melds in the same color tone. Looks much better!








Thursday, July 6, 2017

One cool critter

 
Take a look at THIS little thing! I spotted it on the side of our house. I've posted my observation on iNaturalist in hopes that someone can help me with an identification. Unless I figure it out first.....Neat front feet, eh?
UPDATE This is a webspinner (order Embiidina).