Sunday, March 12, 2023

Lesson learned

I thought I was being smart. Ha. See all that tangly, green stuff? That’s common vetch (Vicia sativa), a legume. This spring, I decided I’d let this vine “go” because it adds nitrogen to the soil. Ugh, what a mess it was to pull and remove. Plus, it overcame my established foxglove penstemon. A younger penstemon may not survive. Underneath the vetch was a damp, ugly mat that suffocated the penstemon. Live and learn!

Poor little penstemon

The ugly damp mat

Scrambled eggs surprise

SURPRISE! Look what I spotted yesterday in the back yard–a little scrambled eggs (Corydalis aurea)! Wow! You’ll never guess when we planted one….April 7, 2017! It was a freebie from the Native Plant Society of Texas. That year (if I recall), it bloomed, and that was it. No more scrambled eggs. ’Til now! Isn’t nature just amazing? And surprising!

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Digging up plants for a sale

Once again, a lot of volunteers have sprung up in the "mow zone" in our front and back yards. Thankfully, Blanco County Master Gardeners Bernadette McFarling and Suzanne Stevenson came over this afternoon to dig up what they could. Their chapter's annual plant sale will be Saturday, April 15, on the Blanco square. Y'all come! And happy new life to all my little green friends!


Notes to myself

This week, we bought a 'Juliet Hybrid' tomato plant, lemon balm and three-lobed coneflower from the Arnosky Farmily Farm.


Pair of screech owls!

Fingers crossed! So last Sunday, an eastern screech owl roosted in our original Owl Shack on an abandoned utility pole. Then Tuesday we heard an owl trilling in some live oaks (see video below–ignore me). Then YESTERDAY evening, we spotted this owl roosting in the owl box in the Meadow WHILE another one trilled in the oaks. TWO owls! Maybe a nesting pair! Stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

First hummer March 8

I heard one. Then later I saw our first––a male black-chinned hummingbird.

Monday, March 6, 2023

Irises have German connections

Two years ago, we came home with some bearded irises that we bought at the Blanco County Master Gardeners' plant sale in April. They're blooming now. I can't find any old correspondence, but these are descended from irises from Germany, according to the Master Gardener from Johnson City who brought them. If I can get more info, I'll update this post. I just like to keep track of these things.

Welcome to the world!

Today I was outside pruning after lunch. While trimming some dead Gregg's mistflowers, I spotted these little ones. Spiderlings! I think they'd just emerged, but I couldn't find an egg sac. Probably orbweavers. Welcome to the world!

Found nest on rural land

We visited our rural property northwest of Blanco yesterday with our daughter and son-in-law. I'm always looking down as we hike. What should I spot on the ground but this tiny nest with a broken egg still inside. I took it home and added it to my nature collection. So intricate!

Look HOOO visited

An eastern screech owl (Megascops asio) roosted in our original Owl Shack yesterday! We put this house up back in May 2008 and have rarely, if ever, spotted an owl actually using it. They seem to prefer our second house, which we hung on a live oak in The Meadow. This owl roosted nearly all day. So far, no owl today. Fingers crossed that a couple nest in it this year.

Friday, March 3, 2023

Fringed puccoon


James transplanted a fringed puccoon (Lithospermum incisum) in early 2018 from our rural property. I don’t remember seeing the puccoon return, maybe in 2021. Last year, yes, it came back but no blooms. Look now! Plus, I spotted a young puccoon ACROSS the path in another flower bed. How’d it do that? 

Wildflowers of a different sort

Wildflowers usually get all the attention in spring. But take a look what trees and shrubs can do! 

Fragrant honeysuckle (It’s STILL blooming!)


Mexican plum (first year to bloom)

Texas buckeye

Texas mountain laurel

Mexican buckeye
Mexican persimmon

Friday, February 24, 2023

Mystery scat – NEVER MIND!

I was out in the back yard awhile ago, looking for a plant so I could remember what it was. (Did that make sense?) Anyway, as I searched the ground, I came across what at first I thought was deer scat. But how could that be, I wondered. We have the high fence now. I squatted down for a better look. Nope, not deer scat! Very interesting! I've looked at pictures of fox, possum and skunk scats. So far, no luck in matching these up. Any ideas?
UPDATE: James just went out and checked the back yard. The back gate was open! Some lucky deer last night had free range out there! 

Monday, February 13, 2023

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Spider presentation!

Yesterday I got to talk about my favorite topic: spiders! I was a guest speaker at the Kingsland Garden Club, which meets at the Kingsland Library. As usual, I had fun giving my "Spiders of Central Texas" program. Plus, I had a captive audience of about 30. Below, I'm giving out my little door prize to a woman who came the closet to coming up with the right answer to my question. (You'll have to come to my program sometime and hear the question.)

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Fragrant honeysuckle

Well, looky looky, our fragrant honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima) in the front yard is blooming! (A front yard location means the deer aren’t eating it.) It’s chilly and gray outside, but I ventured outside long enough to get some photos. I mean, if the bees can handle this gloomy weather, so can I. LOL! Oh, and I also photographed a henbit (Lamium amplexicaule) in bloom. Though it’s nonnative and considered “weedy,” tiny pollinators benefit from the small purple flowers.