|I've had no luck with Indian Paintbrush but early appearing Tropical Salvia provide a substitute pop of true red.|
|With no real winter weather, these Turk's Caps are getting a head start on the season.|
|Tropical Salvia are usually still establishing rosettes after dying down to the ground over winter. This year they are playing right along with the Springtime regulars, adding their subtle shades to the palette.|
|Henry Duelberg salvia wilts in the heat.|
|Evening Primrose nods over Live Oak leaves, soon to be followed by pollen catkins.|
In response, pollinators are everywhere.
|In our area, having bees in your bonnet is a good thing.|
Another tiny bee, a bit less flashy, this one visiting Common Yellow Woodsorrel.
Much larger solitary ground and structure dwelling bees are emerging as well. This one spent hours visiting a Mountain Laurel in full bloom.
Not only bees, but butterflies are appearing. Painted Lady butterflies, Vanessa cardui, are daily visitors.
|This Painted Lady butterfly has seen better days but is clearly a bit of an escape artist.|
Not to be outdone, flower spiders are moving in early, establishing their "gotcha!" launch pads, ready for any fly-bys or sap sippers exhibiting more enthusiasm than experience.
Until I was editing this on my computer, I'd missed the spider hiding just behind unopened milkweed buds. Probably exactly the plan, hiding in plain sight.
Area lizards stake out sunny spots. Posing for potential mates...
|Pole dance anyone?|
|Local rock star - a Texas spiny lizard|
|Two Carolina wrens spent days getting this nest tucked up right over our main egress to the back deck. We've switched to a different door for the duration, hoping to disturb as little as possible..|
|Leaning in, wasp style.|
|I thought I'd gotten all this Bristly Mallow out. Clearly that was an optimistic assessment, but I'll enjoy the flowers for a few more days before going after this aggressive ground cover.|