Monday, March 26, 2018

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Black vultures in love

Two black vultures in love frequent my mother's bird bath and roof. She lives near Boerne. James got a video yesterday. I think they're very sweet.

Scoliid wasp

Look at this beauty I spotted yesterday at my mother's house near Boerne. He/she must have measured nearly 2 inches long! I thought it might be a cicada killer. Nope. I had to enlist experts at to  help me with this ID. Meet Campsomeris ephippium (no common name), a member of Scoliidae wasp family. The females dig into the ground, sting a host grub, and lay their eggs on the paralyzed grub. Adults nectar, as this one was doing on a mountain laurel. Amazing!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

First bluebonnets and more

First bluebonnets of the season in The Meadow! My favorite time of the year, always. In the photo above, can you find what I found when I was editing? Hint: Buzz!
Prairie verbena
She crab spider at work on a tenpetal anemone.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

More blooms and possumhaw

Mountain laurel about to bust

Grounsel getting started.
Bees loving the redbud.

And our possumhaw put on berries for the first time!

Mandarin tree in bloom

My Texas satsuma tree (Citrus unshiu 'Miho') is blooming! Which means, MANDARINS this fall. Yippee! The flowers smell so so sweet, too! I've had this tree since my son, Patrick, gave it to me for Mother's Day in 2004. I can't believe I've kept it alive all these years.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

First hummer!

James saw a male this morning at our feeder.

Friday, March 2, 2018

More signs of spring

 Peach blossoms

Egg sac

We were walking in the Meadow a few days ago when I spotted this egg sac on the ground. I believe it belongs to a mama crab spider. Anyway, I picked it up, and some little black ants scurried out. I gently tapped the leaf until all the ants had departed. Then I carried it inside with me and placed the leaf in a glass jar with holes. As I was setting the leaf down in the jar, I accidentally knocked out some itty-bitty eggs. Darn! They rolled out like tiny marbles. Hmm, interesting. I set the jar on a windowsill and will keep an eye on everyone. Stay tuned!

THEY HATCHED! March 6, 2018
I just happened to check the jar late this afternoon and discovered teeny-tiny spiders! I took the egg sac and babies outside. Alas, I went back to look and most of the spiderlings didn't make it. I'm hoping that any spiderlings still inside the egg sac will survive. I feel bad. But James reminded me that I initially saved them from the ants. That's true. Good luck in the world, my little spider friends!