Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Fireplace / Cactus garden

Liatris mucronata
Snow on the mountain (Euphorbia marginata) background, 

Texas Blazing Star (Liatris mucronata) foreground.

Monday, November 20, 2017


Portulaca oleracea

Purslane (Portulaca oleracea), taking over the garden. Tried eating as much as I could and remove the rest.  Some years we hardly have any and other years conditions are in its favor and it takes over.

Opuntia Microdasys Rufida,
Cinnamon Bunny Ears, Opuntia Microdasys Rufida, although this plant looks lovely from a distance in reality its a nightmare in the garden, the irritating cinnamon glochids readily detach in a cloud of "dust" ruining any glove or piece of clothing that comes in contact with it.

Escobaria hesteri
Escobaria hesteri   

Astrophytum capricorne
Astrophytum capricorne

Astrophytum capricorne
Astrophytum capricorne

Friday, November 10, 2017

Red-Tailed Hawk

I think this is a Red-Tailed Hawk but the bird was much bigger than hawks I typically see around our neighborhood.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Friday, October 20, 2017

Butterflies in Backlight

 A Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus), stops to fuel up on, arguably its most preferred nectar source, Blue Mistflower (Conoclinium coelestinum).

Conoclinium coelestinum

Gulf fritillary
Gulf fritillary, (Agraulis vanilla) - In the Fall, heading to the Rio Grande Valley for the winter.

Agraulis vanilla

Danaus plexippus

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Desert Blues

 There is a certain shade of turquoise that seems to be a favorite for desert plants.  I am guessing the blue color keeps the plants from getting too much sun, I wonder if clothes made of this color would be cooler or if cars and houses painted this color would have less heat gain from the sun.
Agave neomexicana
Agave neomexicana

Foreground - Liatris mucronata (Texas Blazing Star),
Background - Nolina matapensis (Sonoran Nolina)

Euphorbia rigida (Gopher plant)

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Texas vs Succulents

Texas (Central Texas at least) is not so nurturing of all succulents.  Here is an example of three species that can only survive in Texas given a protected environment in the shade.   Echeveria runyonii - top, Sempervivum ‘Emerald Empress’ - right, Bitter Root Lewisia rediviva- bottom.  While they may thrive in the winter time here, they die in the summer if not hidden away from the sun and watered consistently.  I would guess its not the intensity of the sun that kills them but rather the length of the exposure and consistency of the heat.

Fire Barrel Cactus

Ferocactus gracilis - Fire Barrel Cactus - Unfortunately Texas is also tough on the Fire Barrel, the winter cold (less than 20 degrees) will mark the ridges as frost will turn the ridges brown and the red of the spines fades rapidly perhaps because of alternating heat, cold and humidity.