Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Wildlife Wednesday- watching for the little guys..

Another great idea- a meme focused on noticing the wildlife around us ("getting to know the neighbors" as someone aptly put it). It was started today by Tina at and I've enjoying following everyone's posts!

I looked around on this (hot, sunny, mosquito filled) afternoon and found a few creatures (more on the small side than the great and small side..).  I think most of the wildlife had retreated into the shadows to stay cool!

This Gulf Fritillary caterpillar looked plump and happy as it chewed through a passionflower vine. His spikes are apparently not poisonous, but I don't plan on petting him..

A jumping spider turned around to wave it's tentacles at me (seriously!) as I took it's picture. He's smaller than my fingernail but walks with a healthy attitude..

The neighborhood doves, bluejays, cardinals and grackles love the chicken feeder (and water bowls)..

The other "wildlife" in the yard is acting pretty lazy...

My square foot garden has been renovated into a dust bath..

I re-did the driveway chicken fence and the girls are already plotting their next jail break..

Hopefully tomorrow I'll spot other pretties. I enjoy when they pop up unexpectedly, like these from earlier this spring:

Mini egg (what bird, where, how did they do?), crab spider lurking, spotted butterfly temporarily fluttering inside the chicken tractor, and the (thankfully) few juicy tomato hornworms I fed to the chickens...

Happy gardening everyone!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Wide view, end of the month and all that..

I've been enjoying taking the time to take wide-angle pics to see how the yard looks. The idea comes from Heather at, who has made a charming space out of a San Antonio suburban yard.. and Helen at

It's wonderful to see what a few months (and a lot of needed rain) can do!


This past March..

Now.. (ignore the volunteer wisteria and grass that did not get mowed this weekend!)

This past March..

I'd like to think the chickens are the key to the St Augustine revival (after being decimated by trenches dug by the builders), but I think it's all about the rain. I plan to carve out more low-water beds, but will save my energy until winter since the grass is greedily reclaiming all the space it can..

In the back (behind the addition), the changes are startling!


This past March..

I think I will discourage the Maxmillian sunflowers next year since they overwhelm the space. That should let the buffalo grass and wildflowers blend in more. I'm happy a dry caliche-soil area with minimal watering (too lazy to drag the hose that far) has blossomed as well as it has!


Next on my to-do list is to turn this embarrasingly thrown together chicken fence into a pretty fence.. I have ideas on how to do this without digging fence holes.. Note the red rake aimed at the prime chicken-hopping over the short end zone!

Time to weed the nut sedge in the new bed.. The green santolina has been slow to fill in..

Baby eggplant!

The volunteer passion flower vine is healthier, and I wonder of this wasp has picked off the gulf frittilary caterpillars?

These bluebonnets still think it's spring!

The butterfly week is completely recovered from it's aphid infestation, all by itself!

I'd been pulling these guys up, but realized they are Texas betony! I'll leave them alone..

Bamboo barrier doing it's job (keeping the scraggler bamboo away from the Mexican plum roots). Will attack it in a day or so.. I've had about 4 shoots thus far, which isn't bad. I think most was dug up and the rest is isolated behind a concrete retaining wall.

Some type of sumac tree that pops up everywhere. My husband says he's allergic. I yank them out without any reaction but have even noted roots under the house. The lot must have had a whole slew of these trees when the house was built in 1950!

Hope everyone's garden is thriving!