Saturday, June 12, 2021

Artsy grasshoppers

Last week, we visited Mineral Wells. While at the Mineral Wells Fossil Park, I noticed these grasshoppers hanging out in the center of some Texas dandelions. How pretty, I thought. Plus, I've never seen grasshoppers just sit in flowers before. So, of course, I had to get some photos.


Turkey vulture

A while ago, I happened to notice a turkey vulture (Cathartes aura) in the back yard so I ran for my digital camera with a long lens. The vulture flew down to the ground, then returned to the live oak limb. I was curious to see if it found anything dead. Just yesterday, I noticed that stinky "dead" smell in the same area but hadn't see anything. 

Can you imagine the AMAZING sense of smell that these birds have? To detect and smell odors from the lofty distances where they soar? While I was watching this one, a second vulture flew over but didn't land. 

Finally, this one flew over to our neighbors' property and walked around in the grass. It didn't like me getting closer so it took off.

Monday, May 31, 2021

More milkweed blooms

 

Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa)

 
 

It's a jungle out there!

I AM SO OUTNUMBERED! We're grateful for all the rain. But I'm beginning to wonder if I'll ever catch up with managing our gardens!

Another magic door

The other day, I happened to spy the burrow of another trapdoor spider. Actually, I must confess that the door was "open" is how I came to notice it in our back yard. It's like on that James found in April in our front yard.

One native I DON'T recommend

BRANCHED DICLIPTERA (Dicliptera brachiata)

Did I mention that I DON'T recommend this native? Well, I DON'T. We bought three at a native plant sale in October 2014. Oh. My. Goodness. This species reseeds and spreads without mercy! I am STILL pulling seedlings! Plus, they jump into other beds and pop up everywhere. When they've lived in one place for awhile, their rootball gets BIG and thick (see photos). I don't like to bad mouth native species, but this is one I could do without. I DON'T like it very much.




Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Green milkweed blooming

For the second year in a row, my green milkweed (Asclepias viridis) is blooming! I bought and planted this in October 2014.