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.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A little wet means a lot of wild in Texas

Welcome to Wildlife Wednesday for July, 2015.  I am finding I have less and less to say about our garden beds and the lives that are led there.  Recently it has occurred to me the best I can do for our tiny patch of the world is to slowly repopulate the spaces with native plants and other well adapted visitors that feed the usual suspects, and then let Mother Nature have her head.  She always knows just what to do.
If you see a black swallowtail doing this...
Pretty soon you'll see these, eventually followed by...
One of these, newly emerged and drying out its wings.
This flower spider didn't bother the other big players.  This palpita moth was never in jeopardy.
Not sure what fuzzy wuzzy is destined to become.  As long as he/she knows, it'll be fine.
Handsome is as handsome does...  I'm currently in determined "no look-up" mode, only wanting to enjoy what I'm seeing without researching any further.
Tarantula Hawks apparently always run.  It was hard to get a photo even though this guy is two inches long.
Katydid nymphs are wonderfully spotted and dotted.
Fat and in no particular hurry. 
Not the reason I put the first tomato cage out but the reason I put out two more...
Blanketflower seed head post finch feasting.
Steel Blue Cricket Hunter Wasp.  Good hunting to you sir!

Little brown skipper.  I love how serious this one appears.  
Thanks to blogger Debra at "Under the Pecan Leaves, I know this is a Male "Widow" Skimmer (blue body).
I think this is a blue dasher.  (not gonna look it up, NOT gonna look it up...)

Bitty baby black swallowtail cat on parsley.  No kitchen duty for this plant!
This ditch daylily is a magnet for native bees.  They dive right in.
Henry Duelberg gets regular visits from his many admirers.
Blue damselfly supervising.
I am deeply grateful for the chances I get to share our garden spaces with all sorts of wildlife.  Today I suppose that includes you! Though I occasionally chafe at all the nibbled leaves left behind, it is a small price to pay for the best of company.

I find the less I pretend at control, the more I enjoy my time out of doors.  Part of how that plays out is I now resist the impulse to do research associated with every image I capture with my camera.  For whatever reason, allowing myself to "not know" is helping me remember who these spaces are designed to serve.

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Thanks as always to Tina at "My Gardener Says" for hosting Wildlife Wednesday. Check out the comments section of her post for July to find links to amazing gardeners showcasing their wild visitors from all around.  Maybe you'll consider adding in your own wildlife experiences for the month.  Once you go "Wild" you'll never want to go back. Happy July everyone!


Tina said...

A stellar post as usual--or maybe I should say, one grounded in the beauty of the Earth. Fab photos all around. You know, I saw a tarantula hawk the other day and couldn't get a shot of it--they are fast. And the "bug" resting atop the coneflower, so gorgeous! Probably eating something that you don't want it to, but what results! Thank you for participating in Wildlife Wednesday each month and for being such a great practitioner of wildlife gardening.

TexasDeb said...

Tina: Thank you! Happy First Year Meme, observed! I appreciate the prompt to organize and review the critters I catch in the act around here. I am easy to over focus on some chore I'm avoiding (weeding, I'm looking at you!) and letting that interfere with my appreciation of what is happening all around me in the garden beds. Which is life. And wonder.

D said...

Beautiful beautiful. I am also in the tarantula hawk chasing club. Saw one the other day on the path but could NOT keep up. hahaha How can they beat us when their legs are so little! Love the blue wasp. I don't think I've ever seen one like it. And bug faces ... that little skipper really does look quite serious. It made me think of how a person keeps slurping away at a milkshake when really they ought to just accept the fact that the good stuff is just plain all gone.

TexasDeb said...

D: Thanks for dropping in. Now I'm wondering exactly how fast a tarantula can run. I'd always thought of them as sort of ponderous and then I read they can jump several feet and now I see how their eponymous predator is a speed demon on the ground. Hmmmm.

The skipper face does smack of some sort of denial, says the human, not anthropomorphizing even a little. : )

I'd never seen a blue wasp before, much less a steely blue wasp, but the name suits it perfectly in this case. I've also seen a cricket or two (and heard probably a thousand others) around the garden beds, so apparently the welcome mat is out. Let the games begin!

Anna said...

You certainly outdid yourself this month as far as beauty goes! Your pictures are fantastic. The butterflies and caterpillars are gorgeous! I really like the photo of the bee on the orange daylily. I've never been able to get a shot of any kind of insect on my daylilies! I've begun to wonder if they're repelled by them. I've also never seen a blue wasp. Your plant life is also quite nice!

Kris Peterson said...

Wonderful, wonderful photos, Deb! I love the fuzzy caterpillar crawling along the leaf edge. I lack the the camera (and probably the patience) to obtain good photos of the smaller visitors to my garden but I always enjoy seeing yours.

Rebecca Newcomb said...

I love that blue damselfly - just stunning! The wetness we've been experiencing certainly brings the wildlife, some of which I'm not too fond of...like mosquitoes. I swear, every time I go out just to take a lap around the garden, I come back inside with 20+ bites! Grrr, I guess I just need to be more diligent about caking on the deet if I want to enjoy my garden this year, as well as keep the perspective of how the rain is helping us out of the drought...silver lining.

TexasDeb said...

Anna: Thank you! I appreciate the encouragement, I've kind of been in blogging doldrums of late. I spent a long while watching that daylily because I wasn't sure I could justify keeping it if it wasn't really part of the life cycles around here. Once I began watching, it was clear those flowers were drawing in plenty of visitors. So they stay (and maybe - just maybe I get one more).

TexasDeb said...

Kris: Aw, thank you! I'm not a patient person, I just have a choice to look for visitors or weed this time of year and I despise weeding. Related story, I recently, FINALLY weeded the main path (the back path still looks awful) and once I had? I kind of fell in love with my garden again. There are lessons I am embarrassingly slow to assimilate, and the joy I derive from clear paths is one of those, apparently. I'll get there....

TexasDeb said...

Rebecca: I am over mosquitoes this year as well! I routinely pop out "just to do one thing" and end up staying out longer than intended, uncovered, unprotected, and I come in covered with bites. We've searched high and low to make sure we're not leaving standing water anywhere, we put granules in all the rain barrels and the bromeliad centers, yet we still get plenty of unwelcome flying biters. If the birds and other insects are going to restore a better balance they need to get ON that. Stat!

Shirley said...

Enjoyed the post and the great photos of such interesting creatures. I get in "no lookup" mode too. Even when I look them up I find from another blog weeks later that I got them wrong anyway!

Hope those finches left you some basketflower seeds for next year.

TexasDeb said...

Shirley: Thank you! The finches are being quite considerate so far. I'll happily buy another seed packet if needed, I do so enjoy their calls and flittering visits to the garden.

I can't say what's been griping me about investigating which little brown skipper is what, but I'd gotten into garden doldrums overall, so perhaps it was as much a reflection of my larger ennui as anything else. Somehow getting the paths weeded (once more! with feeling!) seemed to unstick the joy button again, and I'm smiling more and growling less about the garden beds.

Donna@LivingFromHappiness said...

I love these shots especially the butterfly and caterpillars. Finally getting some here too.

TexasDeb said...

Donna: That's when you know the tide has turned for the year weather wise, yes? Once the butterflies begin to procreate and entrust a new generation to your garden bed plantings...that makes it official in every way. Enjoy!