Tuesday, September 28, 2021

I'm speaking "at" NPSOT Fall Symposium

Yes, I'm so honored. I've been asked to speak at the 2021 Fall Symposium of the Native Plant Society of Texas. Actually, my presentation will be given via Zoom on Friday, October 8, at 9 a.m. My program is a brand new one, and a bit on the different side (as usual). I've titled it, "What's Up in the 'Hood? Or: How Native Plants Have Made My Life Way More Exciting!" I'm going to share samples of what I've observed and learned through the years in our native plant gardens, which is always fun and exciting. For me, at least!


Mandarin tree update

So my tough Texas satsuma mandarin tree (Citrus unshiu 'Miho') put on mandarins this year. It usually sets fruit every other year, but this time it rested for three. I don't know how it keeps going. My son gave it to me for Mother's Day back in 2004. Every winter, James (with a heavy sigh) moves it into the garage, then moves it back outside come spring. It's getting close to garage time again!

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Meadow mowed

Sooooo James mowed The Meadow yesterday. According to my blog, he hadn't mowed it since July 2020. This summer, he didn't mow like he usually does because we had rain, and everything stayed green out there. The grasses were REALLY THICK this time. But he got it done.

Monday, September 13, 2021

September Surprises

Here they are! Our oxblood lilies, also called September surprise. At first, I wasn't going to post any photos. See, James and I got that Covid thing. We're rounding the bend to recovery, but it's been a rodeo. I've been fortunate because I've felt good enough to go outside every day. I even got an article done on deadline. Anyway, we're getting there. In the meantime, I decided our lilies deserved their annual tribute on my blog after all. One lily came up way early by itself a few weeks ago. I guess it decided it wanted to get the show on the road! LOL! Aren't they beautiful? God is Good!


Sunday, September 5, 2021

Milkweed flowers

Talayote milkweed vine (Cynanchym racemosum)

Climbing milkweed vine (Funastrum cynanchoides) hosting a snowberry clearing moth

Signal fly

I have spotted this interesting fly three times in our Wildscape (twice last year). Yesterday evening, I saw this one "nervously" crawling up and down a blade of grass. Yes, I took a short video (see bottom). It is a species of signal fly called Senopterina caerulescens. Bugguide.net has next to no information on this specific species. It doesn't even have a common name. The website does have some good info on the signal fly family, Platystomatidae. In the meantime, I also found "Signal Fly," posted online by the BugLady at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Nature is so diversified!

Cool seed pods

My Alamo vine (Merremia dissecta) and our surprise Lindheimer's morning-glory (Ipomoea lindheimeri) both put on seed pods this summer. Well, I only got one from the Lindheimer vine. I thought it'd be cool to compare the two pods. Can you guess by looking at the photo above which one is which?
Lindheimer's morning-glory pod (it's smaller)
Alamo vine, left; Lindheimer's, right

Alamo vine seed, left; Lindheimer's seed, right

Below are photos of Alamo vine seedpods. They're so beautiful.

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

A public thank you


I'd just like to thank you for August. Honest. From the bottom of my heart and the insides and outsides of it, thank you for an August like I've never experienced before. I mean, I ALWAYS dread Augusts. They've ALWAYS gone like this: Burning temperatures. Rainless skies. Wilted plants. Cracked ground. It's just a terrible month to endure. 

But not this past August, which officially ended yesterday.

Amazingly, our temperatures mostly stayed in the 80s and low to mid 90s. We even had RAIN. RAIN? Yes, rain! Not once did James and I "drag the hose," which we usually do every other morning just to help our plants make it through August. Now that I think about it, July was pretty amazing, too. We didn't drag the hose that month either. Thank you, God, for July.

But I confess. I feel a bit guilty when I see other places across the country suffering with wildfires and hurricanes and flooding and tornadoes. All those catastrophic things that weather can cause. Well, yes, I remember. We did have a terrible time with Winter Storm Uri in February. Maybe August was a little payback for all that ice? I guess only You know the answer to that.

Anyway, I just wanted to pause and thank you, God. Thank you for sending us rain and cooler temperatures in August. I'll never forget. And I'm likely going to throw a tantrum next August when everything goes back to Texas normal...

Just joking, God. Honest. 😇