Thursday, February 12, 2015

Bulbs bulbs bulbs

Yesterday, James and I spotted this interesting plant growing from a rock in our front yard, where we have a white fence and daffodil bulbs. Judging from the emerging bud, I think it might be a hyacinth! But I have NO clue how it got THERE. We're gonna keep an eye on it. We also staked protective branches around it to keep those pesky deer away. Darn deer. 

Not too far away from our mystery plant are these...death camas (Zigadenus nuttallii) that I planted two years ago as bulbs. Oh, I guess I've never posted about them. Never mind how I came by them. The flowers are GORGEOUS. Just wait and see! 
And our neighbor's white daffodils are blooming. I've noticed the green foliage for years but had never seen them in bloom. So pretty!

MARCH 13, 2015 UPDATE 
So our "mystery" WAS a hyacinth! I was a bit late in getting a photo, but here it is. And I'm embarrassed to admit that I later remembered that we bought some bulbs last spring from a big box store and planted them with our other bulbs in the daffodil area. DUH. WE planted this! I don't think the other bulbs came up. Oh, well. 

Spring has sprung

First official daffodil of spring!

The quince has been blooming for a few days.

New flower species

Meet whitlow-grass (Draba cuneifolia), a new species in our Wildscape but not new to me. I found and identified this plant on our property northwest of town in March 2012 (see "Surveying our rural land"). Whit-low-grass is tiny and sweet. I don't remember seeing it before. Another early bloomer!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Martin season here we come!

Go ahead and get your laugh of the was breezy outside, folks!  :-)
Purple martin scouts have arrived at Matt and Martha's martin houses in town. So it's time to put up our one lone house. Again. James and I were laughing as we walked out to the Meadow with our house. The neighbors must get such a kick out of us...this is our seventh year to try and attract martins. We added two more gourds and capped all the house compartments ( to keep out sparrows and starlings). James is cutting down two old pecan trees in the Meadow, too, in hopes of eliminating "sparrow perches." Wish us luck. Here we go!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Dastardly Malta star-thistle

Malta star-thistle rosette
 This week, I was dismayed to discover that more of that invasive Malta star-thistle has come up in our front yard. Sigh. I've been pulling pulling pulling. You'd think that since we've gotten pretty good control of it, the stuff wouldn't show up any more. But nope. I heard or read that the seeds can remain viable for up to 10 years. So I guess some seeds are still hanging around.
Another rosette coming up
And another....
But these are NOT Malta star-thisles. Can you tell the difference?
Which one is the bad guy? (Answer: On the right)

Nope, this is NOT a Malta star-thistle! It's an Engelmann daisy.

Any bad guys in this photo?  (Yes, on the right. Engelmann on the left.)

Another Engelmann. You sure don't want to mistake these for Malta star-thistle!

Meadow mowed

 James mowed the Meadow today. Last year, he mowed about the same time (Feb. 14). Today, he took "before" photos....

 After he finished, he took "after" photos for me. Now come, bluebonnets and other wildflowers, let's GROW!
(Thank you, James!!!! Looks great!)

First robin!

First robin of the season, just now heard (6:30 p.m.) and then finally spotted in the back yard. Come on, spring!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

New bird!

How's this for getting along? This morning, a chipping sparrow shared the suet feeder briefly with one of our resident tufted titmouses (right).

Talk about hard to photograph! This ruby-crowed kinglet--our new species!--spent the winter with us. I've been trying and trying to get a good picture of him, but he's FAST.
HEY, this a NEW BIRD for our yard, too! Cool! 
P.S. This little guy flitted right up to James several days ago, while he was filling up the suet feeder. The kinglet even landed at his feet and chowed down on suet that had fallen on the ground. Friendly little fellow!

My very favorite wingless he bird, of course. :-)