Notes from a hike

On my walk around the “point” which goes northeast along Buffalo bayou east to the junction with willowfork drainage and back to the neighborhood on 2/3 I saw lots of crane flies mostly flying. But I did observe many common white/checkered skippers, many small buckeyes, a few small yellows that I couldn’t Id, a painted or American lady, and some fiery skippers. A pair of terns, a kingfisher, and one of the neighborhood ospreys eating a fish in a tree. I saw a white pelican flock circling. I took a pic of a shorebird I don’t see often, killdeer sized. The willowfork drainage path was so full of hog poo that I gave up trying to step around it after half a mile. I found an enormous apple snail, the invasive ones, that I also took a pic of on that side. No gators out though the sunny day would have surely brought them out, since I did see many turtles sunning, but I guess they could have eluded me.
The only flowering plants I noticed in bloom were close to the house, crow poison and vetch. Clover and wood sorrel along with rye and some dock dominated the green. My patch of gaillardia seems to have condensed into one big plant. I looked for lyre leaf sage emerging in the usual spots but there was none to be found. The water level at the point itself was level with path along the willowfork drainage for a good 1/2 mile which made me glad I hadn’t seen the resident 12 footer since Cooper was off the leash. Lots of yellow dumped warblers along that drainage too. Probably tons of other fantastic birds but that’s the one I know!

The yard: Today, I found three baby rattlesnake master babies where I seeded them last December and decided to pot them because I am full of oxalis and straggler daisy in that area. Hopefully that wasn’t a death sentence for them. I still haven’t cut back anything in my perennials because I don’t doubt more cold is coming. Rock rose has been forcing new growth since Christmas, so I did cut that back. The squirrels “pruned” the Eagleston hollies so badly that I swore someone had been in the yard cutting them back. The standing cypress is the only seedling I can recognize from the seeds I laid in early December but there are tons of babies everywhere in the bed. I’ll be watching them all daily to see what the heck they are, since I put native phlox, liatris, and prairie clover down indiscriminately along the border! The neighbor’s creep myrtle keeps popping up even though I got rid of them on that side. So frustrating!!! I also dug up quite a few canna bulbs, but I have given up hope eradicating them. I plan to plant some evergreens over there when I dig them out next time. Will see how competition works. Signs of life from the lantana. I pulled three good sized gaillardia from cracks in the driveway and potted them. Hearty little souls! I had one large solitary wasp visit the “citrus orchard” of two blooming trees I keep potted so they survived the cold. Their blooms are a pollinator paradise and they are gorgeous out the kitchen window right now where live temporarily until the threat of freezing is gone. Mostly honeybees :( but an array of flies and moths come too. I’ll definitely get some fruit, but he poor trees look so gangly from no pruning I will lose a bunch too. Today is the third day for my wayward monarch (male) to hang out all day with the bees. But an admiral came around 3 today. I was so excited to host it, since I was doing some seeding right under the yummy potted citrus trees. I have had a few Sphinx moths visit for weeks right at dusk, everyone is drawn to the citrus blooms, even humans! I know they are not native but in this climate, I’m happy to provide a feast when nothing is blooming! I also saw a red marked pachydynerus setting up shop in a brick hole from an old hose mount right near the citrus trees. I was happy to witness 3 anoles coming out of the house where the red Polistes always set up shop today as well. I absolutely waste too many hours watching my backyard Polistes, but I do still abhor the red wasps!!! I only welcome Guinea and Apache Polistes in my yard after being brutally stung repeatedly by rufous and Carolinian!!! (Spellcheck is not cooperating and I am doing a ramble that maybe I will go back to edit, but maybe not!). The wrens have moved to another yard for now, and only visit mine. I’m still debating on mulch for the back since so many alfalfa leaf cutters used the bare soil last year. But the “poa annua” and all the other fantastic opportunists have been too prosperous this year. I have a ton of oak leaf litter I will probably lay after I see what I want germinating.

Posted on פברואר 06, 2023 04:53 לפנה"צ by bayoushari bayoushari


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