Saturday, January 28, 2023

Fragrant honeysuckle

Well, looky looky, our fragrant honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima) in the front yard is blooming! (A front yard location means the deer aren’t eating it.) It’s chilly and gray outside, but I ventured outside long enough to get some photos. I mean, if the bees can handle this gloomy weather, so can I. LOL! Oh, and I also photographed a henbit (Lamium amplexicaule) in bloom. Though it’s nonnative and considered “weedy,” tiny pollinators benefit from the small purple flowers. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Poor Mother Nature

December 22, 2022
What can I say? We've had a lot of weird weather these past couple of years. James took both these photos from our kitchen window. Three days before CHRISTMAS DAY, we have blooms and butterflies. A few nights of deep freezes, and then they were gone. Mother Nature has to be so confused. But as always, she'll rally and survive. After all, she IS amazing, right?

December 26, 2022

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Mid-December blooms…crazy

Turk’s cap

Today is December 14. Look is what blooming in our yard! We don’t remember flowers ever blooming this late in the year before. Meanwhile, my niece up in Anchorage is covered up with snow, lots of snow. Yes, I know Alaska is supposed to get snow. Lots of snow. But this year seems to be different, too. “I’ve never seen it snow like this before,” Michele messaged me awhile ago. “We are supposed to get another 7 to 14 inches tonight!”

What in the world does the year 2023 have in store for us weather-wise? As always, stay tuned…..
Purple heart

Trailing lantana

Queen on Gregg’s mistflower

Gregg’s mistflower

Crab spider on zinnia

Salvia ‘Yellow’

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Leaves falling or butterflies flying?

These days, I have to take a second look – is that a leaf falling or a butterfly going by? Sometimes it’s both! Leaves on our Mexico buckeye (above) and rusty blackhaw virburnum (below) along with a few other trees are dropping right now. At the same time, many plants are blooming and attracting butterflies. It’s nearly mid December, folks! Poor nature is so mixed up. These are definitely crazy times. 
‘Indigo Spires’

Fragrant mistflower

Cherry barbados


Thursday, December 1, 2022

Is it spring or fall?

Reakirt’s blue

Two days ago, November 29, the temperatures reached 80 degrees! Thanks to recent rains, the blue mistflowers and salvias have been blooming up a storm. Which attracted LOTS of butterflies, especially sulphurs! But at THIS time of year? What a miracle! Here are the species that dropped by to nectar. In the meantime, temperatures dipped down to low 30s last night and low 50s today with gray skies. Where have the butterflies gone? Do they sleep somewhere?….. 

Painted lady

Dainty sulphur

Common checkered-skipper

Another queen

Sleepy orange

Funereal duskywing

Little yellow

Southern dogface

Another sleepy orange

Monarch, queen in the background

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

"More, please"

A few days ago, I got the nicest email from a reader in Waco. I asked if I could share it, and he said yes. I must do better at posting! Thank you for motivating me, Waco friend. However, I don't get out in the yard as much during these chillier days so bear with me! Confession: And when I do, I'm usually treasure hunting with iNaturalist, trying to find new species for my yard list.

P.S. I should have a Texas fly feature coming out next year in a Texas magazine. Stay tuned! Flies rock!


"You are my gardening guru! I keep hoping for a more frequent blog entry. That’s my only complaint. I want more! Please more (I sound like Oliver).

'Between keeping the docs in business by collecting all the variants and most of the subs of Covid, despite being fully vaccinated, I’ve done very little gardening in my back garden. I did have a pleasant (?) surprise. The load of decomposed granite I used on the terraces turned out to be about 99.99 percent nut sedge! You know, I kinda hate to admit it, but I like it! Not only does it delightfully piss off the neighbors, but it forms the most beautiful, water thrifty meadow (that I was trying to create with grass), and there is life in those damned weeds! I’ve got my bug book on the coffee table and am running out of margins for checks, and in the snake book, the snakes are wonderful (I’ve identified a few that have undisturbed free reign, and I hope they know I don’t mess with them and I pray they don’t mess with me, but they are gorgeous, evidently venom makes them vivacious). The others are just stunningly pretty and innocent.  
"Get to blogging! I look forward to your exciting discoveries. I love your "Gee Whiz, Look at That" attitude to the creepies and crawlies. I keep waiting to see what else shows up in your washing machine!"

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Master of disguise

This baby Texas spiny lizard (Sceloporus olivaceus) showed up in our dining room this morning. Somehow it got in under our back door. Anyway, I took some photos to remember how tiny it was and to show how well this species blends into the bark of live oaks. Amazing!