Friday, October 11, 2019

Spider presentation

Someone let me talk about spiders again! Yes, I gave my program, "Spiders of Central Texas," to a nice group that met Thursday at the Kingsland Library. It was part of the Green Thumb program hosted by the Highland Lakes Master Gardener chapter.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Hostplant database

I just stumbled upon an awesome database! Check out HOSTS-a Database of the World's Lepidopteran Hostplants. You can search by family, genus and/or species of butterflies and moths AND/OR by family, genus and/or species of plants along with a location. 


This database is hosted by the Natural History Museum in London.

I ran a search of milkweeds (Asclepias sp.) in the USA and came up with 53 results. So cool!

Friday, September 27, 2019

Pretty little blooms

Talayote (Cynanchum racemosum), a milkweed
Birdwing passionflower (Passiflora tenuiloba)

Dear frogs, please accept my apologies

This morning, I was sad and frustrated to find the rocks and screen that protected my water lily COMPLETELY dismantled in our stock tank pond. Ding dong, darn frogs!!! 

Awhile later, James downloaded photos from his game camera and discovered that a visitor had meandered through the back yard around 2:12 a.m. I think we've nailed our culprit!
 BUSTED!

Thursday, September 26, 2019

When frogs go bad


So our resident pair of Rio Grande leopard frogs (Lithobates berlandieri) have been driving me NUTS. They're highly active and tend to shove my plants around in the stock pond. THEN they starting digging out the dirt in my dwarf water lily's pot. ARGH! I didn't know what to replace the dirt with. After some counseling by staff at Hill Country Water Gardens and Nursery, I dug up some plain dirt in our yard and filled in the big hole. See what I did next......
See what our bad frogs did?
I added dirt, then topped with some big rocks.

Hmmm. Some extra protection would help so I found an old screen, cut out a hole for the lilies, and laid the screen on top of the pot. Hopefully, the big rocks will hold the screen in place. Time will tell. 

The thing is, we WANT wildlife to come to our Wildscape. But please don't tear it up! LOL! Ah, when nature goes bad, all you can do is smile and fix it as best you can. Right?

UDATE OCTOBER 11, 2019 
I gave up and removed my pot of dwarf lilies and put it in a container of water. I'm hoping to keep what's left alive. Come cold temps, I'll put the pot at the bottom of the stock tank for overwintering. Wish me luck!
 

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Cicada bones

Best year ever for cicadas!
Here's an ode to just a few of the 
many bones they left behind....






 











 






Friday, September 13, 2019

Cenizo's always right

At least, that's what I believe. When I noticed ours blooming Sept. 5 in the back yard, I decided I'd take a photo and post it on Facebook. Other cenizos in town were blooming, too.  

"It's gonna rain soon, folks!" I commented. 

Bad me. Every time I do that, I get a LOT of comments. Here's just a few:
  
"I always say humidity causes blooms! Hope n pray it's rain though!"

"I thought they bloomed after a rain?"

"Yeah...somewhere."  

"I saw one blooming today and told my niece it’s gonna rain."  

Well, guess what happened Sept. 10 and then more so on Sept. 11? (See James' Sept. 11 video above.) YES–IT RAINED! 

As I said, the cenizo's always right. 



Going to a better home

Many years ago, I found a beautiful nipple cactus, growing on our neighbor's adjoining property. I took a photo in March 2012. Our sweet neighbor, who's since gone to heaven, told us that we should dig it up and plant it in our yard. I didn't want to do that. I wanted the cactus, which had been there since who knows when, to live at peace right where it was. 

Well, more than a year ago, I noticed that the cactus was dying. So I dug up what I could and stuck the pieces in two pots. To my amazement, the little ones are doing great! They even survived last winter in our garage. 

I still don't want to plant them in our yard. So they're going to live at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, where I have lots of good friends (humans and plants–LOL!). I believe conservationists there will honor the history and heritage of these cacti.




This yellow yucca is also going to live at the Wildflower Center. It actually came as a baby from there five years ago. We just never planted it and don't really have a good place for it. Happy new life, everyone!

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

A dung beetle!

 
This evening, I found what I thought was our first dung beetle.  I was so excited. Then I realized I've seen this beetle before but just didn't know it was a dung species. Meet Canthon viridis, the tiniest, cutest beetle you'll ever see.....in poop.



Here's some photos I took of these little beetles in the past....