Thursday, March 28, 2019

Texas Master Naturalist Class '19

This morning, I gave my "Spiders of Central Texas" presentation to 22 people, who are currently training through our Highland Lakes chapter of the Texas Master Naturalists. At noon, everyone came to the Pink House for lunch and garden tours. Beautiful day! We always enjoy hosting visitors in our Wildscape. Come again!

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Death camas

Nuttall's death camas (Zigadenus nuttallii)

Smartphone camera tips

When researching stuff on the Internet, one thing can lead to another. This morning, I found an interesting blog called Bug Eric. There, I found a post with some smartphone camera tips, "Take Great Bug Pics." There's also a link to a PDF file: Holy Macro Handout. Check it out! I'm going to.

A fork smork tale

That's me, nearly two weeks, hunting for a cherished gardening tool that disappeared March 14. You see, I had this fork. A cheap, serving-sized fork that I used when pulling weeds. What a team we were. It held back the dirt (or sand in our brick patios) while I pulled out plant roots. It was so cheap that it'd bend out of shape sometimes. No problem. I'd just bend it back to normal. Cheap or not, I adored that fork, which I lovingly called my Fork Smork. We had such an incredible bond. Oh, I'd drop it somewhere in leaf debris or leave it behind on a garden path. But I always found my Fork Smork.

Until Thursday, March 14.

That day, we were working together as we always did, yanking awful chickweed, field madder and catchweed. Then when I went back to fetch Fork Smork, it was GONE. I searched garden beds. I searched around rocks. I searched the brush pile where I piled up cuttings. Then I went back and searched everywhere AGAIN for my friend. James even got the metal detector out and looked. No luck. A few days later, I used the metal detector, too. Nothing. We are both beyond baffled as to where that fork went. We still are. Fork Smork's disappearance haunts us every day.

In the meantime, Irene read my sad story on Facebook about the lost fork. Like a true friend, she came to my rescue and brought me a fork replacement. I also found another big fork as a back-up.  As you can see, I've taken extreme precautions that involve a BRIGHT lemon yellow coloration. Never again will I lose another fork in our yard. 

As for Fork Smork, I'm still hoping it will show up again someday. That could happen, you know. Anything's possible if you believe. And if it does, OH, what a happy reunion day that will be! 

Thank you, Irene.
My back-up.
Ready for service.

Gardening notes to myself

Yesterday, Shena and I visited Rainbow Gardens in San Antonio. I was very well behaved. I only brought home two plants–catnip and portulaca. I like to keep one catnip plant in the garden and also a potted portulaca. For some reason, my potted ice plant never survives the winter in our garage. So I always have to start over. This year, I'm trying a different kind of portulaca/ice plant. I thought the pink bloom was extra pretty.

Also yesterday, my new plant friend, Candy, brought me two prairie nymphs (Herbertia lahue) in exchange for an ironweed she's been pining for. Last spring, I dug up three or so prairie nymphs from my mother's property near Boerne. Two came up. So I planted Candy's nymphs in a different area to keep them separated. 

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Enchanted Rock tribute

This morning, Shena and I hiked at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. (Yes, she made sure to get reservations.) We were there to celebrate and remember and honor her precious daughter, Claire, who would have turned 29 today. The weather was gray and a little chilly, but not windy or too damp. We headed up at 9:10 a.m. and were back down by 11. We took our time so we could enjoy the views, flora and fauna.
We saw black-throated sparrows.


I accidentally spotted and found a geocache!

Shena photographing some claret cup blooms.

Some vetch.
A pretty fern that I didn't know.
Bladderpod of some kind.

Happy 29th in heaven, Claire. I am honored to have known you for the short time that I did and am so grateful for the wonderful friendship I have with your sweet mother.

Jacob's Well

We took the day off yesterday and headed to Jacob's Well Natural Area near Wimberley. We spent the morning hiking and exploring. We even found a geocache (James did actually). We ended the visit with our picnic lunch. Beautiful day!
At the well, we met up with young Jack, his sister, Brooke and their mama.

A newly morphed damselfly

Perhaps a long-horned caddisfly?

James' geocache...

A monarch on the prairie verbena