Monday, May 31, 2021

More milkweed blooms


Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa)


It's a jungle out there!

I AM SO OUTNUMBERED! We're grateful for all the rain. But I'm beginning to wonder if I'll ever catch up with managing our gardens!

Another magic door

The other day, I happened to spy the burrow of another trapdoor spider. Actually, I must confess that the door was "open" is how I came to notice it in our back yard. It's like on that James found in April in our front yard.

One native I DON'T recommend

BRANCHED DICLIPTERA (Dicliptera brachiata)

Did I mention that I DON'T recommend this native? Well, I DON'T. We bought three at a native plant sale in October 2014. Oh. My. Goodness. This species reseeds and spreads without mercy! I am STILL pulling seedlings! Plus, they jump into other beds and pop up everywhere. When they've lived in one place for awhile, their rootball gets BIG and thick (see photos). I don't like to bad mouth native species, but this is one I could do without. I DON'T like it very much.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Green milkweed blooming

For the second year in a row, my green milkweed (Asclepias viridis) is blooming! I bought and planted this in October 2014.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Take me to your trash can

Every day's a new adventure. This morning, James found an odd critter crawling across our dining room floor. "Oh, that's a lacewing larva," I said. Then I had to get my camera and take a few shots. A video, too. These guys stick "trash" on their back probably to deter predators. You can just barely see the larva's mandibles on the photo above. Also, I'm pretty sure that's a spider leg protruding from the larva's left side on the photo below. One of nature's true recyclers!

I've posted before about these trashy guys: "Nature's comedian" and "More weirdness."


Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Party time!

Yesterday I checked our cacti blooms in the Meadow. No surprise when I found these scads of  Kern's flower scarabs (Euphoria kernii), having a rollicking good time. Consider their genus name of Euphoria. Makes sense, eh? These are photos of seven different blooms, packed with beetles!

Monday, May 10, 2021

Snakes alive!

Wow! Look what James spotted in our roughleaf dogwood Sunday evening–a fairly fresh snake shed that looks like a ghost snake. It was probably a rough greensnake (Opheodrys aestivus). The snake wrapped itself around the limbs, slithered right out and left a perfect shed for me to put in my box of nature treasures.

What's in that hole?

Last week, I noticed this half-dollar-wide hole in a flower box in our front yard. I aimed my phone's flashlight inside but couldn't see anything except the bottom of the hole. Then Saturday, I checked again....

 Can you see him/her?

It's a toad in a hole!

Gulf Coast toad, to be precise. Fun!

Streaks on horns

Two evenings ago, I spotted the most I've ever seen of hairstreaks nectaring on our antelope-horns in the Meadow. These are oak hairstreaks (Satyrium favonius). Pretty cool to see!

Friday, May 7, 2021

Hill Country rain lilies

Yesterday I finally remembered to check our two resident Hill Country rain lilies (Cooperia pedunculata). For the past week, this native species has been blooming like crazy around the Hill Country. Sure enough, our two lilies–which grow on their own (I did not plant them)–are on the tail end of their magnificent bloom period. I'm so glad I snagged a photo before they went into seed mode!