Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Notes to myself

So we have some pathways in our gardens that are just dirt. Which turns into mud when it rains. I decided I'd take the initiative and gather buffalograss (Bouteloua dactyloides) seeds, which I dropped along the paths. We shall see what happens. Hopefully, some germination.

When I was picking this afternoon, I spotted teeny tiny critters on a seedhead. Aphids! Very interesting......

UPDATE JANUARY 20, 2022 So my biologist friend Sam Kieschnick happened to see this post and sent me some thoughts....

"Gosh," he wrote, "I hate to tell you this, but you just collected the males! The females are the ones that produce the seeds. Here's what those look like. The males have the flag-like flowers. If you don't see any buffalograss germinating in that spot, it's because those were all boys. The female flowers are close to the ground."

As always, thanks, Sam!

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Saturday, November 13, 2021

You never know

This morning, James went with me to the Blanco Cemetery so I could take headstone photos for When we were done, I treated him to lunch at the DQ. On the way inside, I grumbled as I stepped over a glass bottle in the parking lot. On the way out, I stepped over it again. Only THIS time, I did the right thing and picked it up. My intention was to take it home for recycling. Well, I just happened to notice......
...that a mama green lacewing (Chrysoperla sp.) laid eggs on it! So I held it on the drive home and carefully laid it in a flower bed in our back yard. I'll recycle the bottle later!

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Notes to myself

Last month on Facebook, I offered Edwards Plateau crestrib morning-glory (Ipomoea edwardsensis) seeds to anyone who lived within its native range. I shared seed packets with at least seven people. My crestribs produced a LOT of seeds this season so yesterday I spread some around our place. Like under the barbed wire fence on the Greenlawn Street easement and under lantanas and fragrant sumac in the Meadow. I'm hoping to help boost populations of this uncommon native species.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Pick a peck load of peppers

Our chile pequin (Capsicum annuum) plants are LOADED this year. Not to mention, several of the plants are volunteers planted by birds. On that note, we've seen mockingbirds come through and swallow one little pepper after another. One time we counted at least nine peppers go down one mocker. But no mockingbirds around this year. So I've been picking and sharing peppers with friends. Lots of friends!

Monday, October 18, 2021

Eve's necklace

Just so you know, that's a freebie work T-shirt I found for James.

After seven hours of arduous work, James today got our Eve's necklace (Styphnolobium affine) in the ground. This pretty species was gifted to us by Matt Murrah, who tends his own native gardens in Duncanville. Here and there, I've given him plants from our yard. Anyway, the planting job took extra hours because James also installed fencing around the tree. According to what I read, deer like to nibble on leaves until the tree gets older and well established. Thank you, Matt! THANK YOU, JAMES!!!!!!!!!!!!

Prima Donna helped

Crag lilies in bloom

See the bee?

Friday, October 15, 2021

James has been published!

Look! James has been published! The new Peterson Field Guide to North American Bird Nests was recently released by Casey McFarland, Matthew Monjello and David Moskowitz. Turn to page 425 and you'll find two photographs credited to James Hearn. They are images of a nest and eggs made by a golden-cheeked warbler (Setophaga chrysoparia) on our rural land. 

This came about after David Moskowitz found my May 2015 blog post, Another awesome find by James, where I'd posted three photographs that James took. Moskowitz found the post, emailed me in March 2019, and asked if I'd be interested in contributing images to his book project. I put him in touch with James, and the rest is publishing history. What to go, James! So cool!

UPDATE January 3, 2022....The Blanco Library purchased their own copy of the field guide. Right now, they have a nice display that spotlights James and the book!

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Cool neighborhood native

Yesterday, we took an evening walk in our neighborhood. You know me, always on the look out for whatever I might spy. So I happened to glance down in a drainage ditch and what should I see? Illinois bundleflower (Desmanthus illinoensis)! I recognized it right away because of the unusual seedpods. Aren't they cool?  


O wise cenizo

I can't help it. Last Sunday, I peeked at the cenizo across the street. Sure enough, I spied a few flowers (and took photos). Which meant..... YES, that night around midnight, IT RAINED an inch!

Just now, I walked across the street to get some updated photos (three below). We've got a ton in the forecast for the next day or so. O wise cenizo, you always know!

Notes to myself

I packaged up this selection of seeds for a biology teacher at our local middle school. I'm hoping she can this establish these locally-native species in the school's gardens.

Yesterday, James and I threw these lemon beebalm seedheads (Monarda citriodora) in the Meadow, a wildflower area on the other side of our property and a wildflower area in the back yard. Thank you, Rhonda C.!

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

"From Trash to Treasure"

In case anyone's interested, here's a link to a presentation that I gave in person September 28 to the Fredericksburg chapter of the Native Plants Society of Texas. You can't see me, but that's me talking. It's about half an hour long. And here's photos of me that James took before everyone arrived... My first in-person presentation since pre-Covid!

Was it windy, Sheryl?