Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Show and Tell

Or rather showing more than telling.  The ongoing wind and drought this season are taking a predictable toll on everything (and everybody). I'm determined to capture the blooms and pollinators in this space while they are both in abundance.  

Every flower takes a turn. As bluebonnets continue to set seed, pink evening primroses go on to attract winged visitors while the ox-eye daisies have just begun their display.  Sedum is shooting stars and cholla is branching out ever higher.   

True to the season, and despite the weather, there are signs of new life all around.  Now, if we could just get some much needed rain...
This bee seems content to become totally immersed in its work.

These yellow coneflowers came up from seed I spread and promptly forgot about.  I honestly don't recall if these are Ratibida pinnata but eventually the matured plant form in flower will answer all questions.

Sedum in bloom - I think stenopetalum?

One of these Sachem Skippers was clearly interested in the nectar.  The other Skipper seemed a lot more interested in propagating the species.  

Speaking of propagation - seeing so many Sphinx moths working the primrose patch this year it ought not come as any surprise to see Hyles lineata larva appearing next. 

Happy Hour for a Horace's duskywing (Erynnis horatius)

This cane cholla (Opuntia imbricata) is slowly but surely taking over the bed it now is beginning to tower over.  I think my chance to transplant it anywhere with risking major personal puncturing has long passed.  

Dill and Jewels of Opar (Talinum paniculatum) play nicely together.  Once the dill has tired of the heat, the Jewels will just be hitting their stride for the season.  
Fiery skipper (Hylephila phyleus).  As with any identification efforts - this represents my best guess.  

Ox-eye Daisy Leucanthemum vulgare).  One of the few remaining survivors from a wildflower seed mix planted nearly a decade ago.
I've been collecting seed from a patch of much beloved Hill Country Rain Lilies out front and scattering them out back.  Finally a hint that a few have taken.  (Cooperia pedunculata)

Though muted, the iridescent blue on the body and tattered remains of the tail of this butterfly reveal it to be a Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor).  


Debra said...

Great shots!
It is raining as I type. Hopefully we can catch up to normal levels.
I went on a rain lily hunt this weekend because they are truly one of my faves. We do have one pressed up against the concrete curb. It is a volunteer. I can't imagine how it has survived the summer heat year after year there. I never thought of propagating it before. Thank you for the inspiration!

TexasDeb said...

Debra: Yay! Rain! I don't know if we'll catch up to normal, but any rain is welcome at this point. It looks like we'll at least get enough to refill the rain barrels and give everything everywhere a nice watering.

I collect the seeds that come from the pods that form after the blooms are gone (if the deer don't mow them down! argh!) and scatter them where I'd like to see more lilies. My success rate of propagation that way seems a little on the low side so don't give up if you don't see immediate results but then that just might be my luck. Worth a shot!

Tina said...

That rain lily is so pretty. I had some at one point, but apparently, no longer. I love your primrose--I know some folks don't care for them, but for me, they evoke fond childhood memories. I always smile when I see them. Hope you got some rain (and no hail, strong winds) this morning!

TexasDeb said...

Tina: It is always good to hear from a fellow pink primrose admirer. I too have loved them since childhood. And thank you - your kind weather wishes seem to be realized. We got a nice thorough watering without any hail as despoiler. Hopefully the worst of the wind is past us now and hey - here's to an unexpectedly cool day as a treat all around!

Pam/Digging said...

Rain today! Now if we could just have fewer 30-something degree nights.

TexasDeb said...

Pam: The weather recently has been a bit like playing whack-a-mole, hasn't it? You solve one issue - too dry! - and then see that the overnight lows are going to be colder than a lot of plants will be happy to see. Here's hoping the forecast is off on the warm side by several degrees!