Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Turkey time!

This pretty gal started appearing in our neighborhood several weeks ago. She hung out mostly across the street in our neighbors' yard. Then she mosied across the street and visited our Wildscape. Yesterday, we spotted her in the back yard. This morning, she showed up again. And there she was at dinner time, too! We figure this awful drought has forced her to move "inland" to find food and water. I just hope the local dogs don't find her! (Or kids with pellet guns)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Happy birthday, Peyton!

Happy 12th Birthday today to my bug buddy/special neighbor, 
Peyton (pictured right)! 

He just came over with his friend, Isaiah, so I could give him a little gift this morning. It's a copy of Peterson First Guide to Caterpillars of North America. "She knows I love caterpillars!" he told Isaiah, grinning. Then off they went. "We gotta get to school!" Peyton exclaimed as they bounded back out our kitchen door. 

Hope you have a great day, Peyton!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

After-dinner guest

"What's THAT?" James asked, pointing to our stove in the kitchen. Naturally, I'm thinking "spider" before I even turn for a look.

Not this time! Instead, I found a small beetle, her legs splayed out in all directions. "Think she got cooked?" James joked. Earlier, I'd had the oven on so I could bake my squash casserole. She was sitting right in front of the oven vent. HOT place to be! Sad to say, but yeah, I thought she was a goner.

I poked a leg...she MOVED! The little beetle was still alive! AND she'd found a bit of casserole on my finger. I'd been washing out the pan when James first spotted her. Darn if she didn't eat the whole, soggy crumb. So I scooped her up another helping. She ate her fill, then pushed back and cleaned up her face. Awhile later, I took her outside and released her.

So what beetle species is she? My friends at Bugguide.net say: Kern's flower scarab (Euphoria kernii).

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A few blooms and seedheads...

 My shasta daisy that I planted from seed last year is blooming for the first time!

Our heartleaf scullcap is also blooming for the first time.
Texas thistle is going to seed...
But it's still blooming too....
The purple milkweed vine has a cool seedhead.....
Antelope horns, which is also in the milkweed family, has a similar seedhead.

Meet Malta star-thistle (Centaurea melitensis), a wicked looking plant from Europe and a member of the thistle family (Wildflower.org lists it with the aster family).
Mexican hats are blooming now, too.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

"Don't release balloons"

made it into today's edition of the 
San Antonio Express-News

Don't release balloons
   Re: “Remembrance of courage” (Metro, May 5, a photo and caption depicting a balloon release during the Fire Service Survivors Conference here):
   Please help spread the word: Balloons and their string return to earth as litter that can be eaten by wildlife, terrestrial and marine. End result: death. According to the Marine Conservation Society, the string can strangle or entangle animals, too.

Sheryl Smith-Rodgers,

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day in the Wildscape

Actually, I should be more accurate and say this is two days before Mother's Day in our Wildscape. Last Friday, I helped out with "Day in the Park," an annual event for third graders at Blanco State Park. I was gone all morning and returned home after 1 p.m. or so. When I stepped into my office, I saw the blinds part way up and a white envelope propped on the window sill. I picked up the envelope and then headed into our bedroom to change clothes.

"I found an envelope!" I hollered to James.

"Did you look outside?" he asked.

"No," I replied. He was already in the office. Perplexed but wondering if he might have bought me a bird bath after all, I walked back over to the window. 

OH MY GOODNESS! I couldn't believe what I saw! Not only a bird bath but a brand new flower bed! Already planted with salvias and lantanas! 

I opened the envelope....it was a sweet Mother's Day card from James. Now that's a LOT of love, right?


P.S. Now it's getting even harder to write! Instead of working, I've got more to watch out my window instead! THANK YOU, JAMES! I love you!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

May 2011 in our Wildscape

Time for my monthly photos! As you can see, we need rain so much....