Friday, May 18, 2018

Echinopsis hybrid 'CASSANDRA'

'CASSANDRA'
Echinopsis hybrid 'CASSANDRA' - This cactus flower blooms at night and fades quickly in the early morning,  I placed my shoe in the picture to demonstrate the huge scale, easily the largest cactus flower I have seen in person.
The evening before the 'CASSANDRA' bloom.


'CASSANDRA'


Echinopsis 'CASSANDRA'

Trichocereus Hybrid
The rosette form of the flower is echoed in the background by the rosette of the Phoenix canariensis palm tree.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Curse of the Black Squirrel

Spermophilus variegatus
My children make fun of me saying that I am haunted by the "Curse of the Black Squirrel".  And baby black squirrels, like this one, are the worst.  Cute as he may be, he diligently took a bite of each cactus in my garden, to learn which ones would be good for eating later.  In the summer these squirrels like to dig 50% of the soil out of any freshly watered potted plant for unknown reasons, maybe just because the loose moist soil it is fun for them to dig in or maybe its just a rather mean joke they like to play.  One particularly ornery squirrel took to defecating each evening right in front of our back door, making quite a little stack after a few days.  I guess he was sending me a message about who owned the patio space me or him.

Spermophilus variegatus
Texas Rock Squirrel - Spermophilus variegatus
Echinocereus coccineus v. gurneyi
Echinocereus coccineus v. gurneyi - a deeper darker red than most coccineus.




Friday, May 4, 2018

Gray Hairstreak

Strymon melinus
Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus)

Echinocereus armatus
Echinocereus reichenbachii ssp. armatus 

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)


Strymon melinus
Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus)

Thelocactus lloydii
Thelocactus lloydii

Friday, April 27, 2018

Prairie Verbena and Miscellaneous Cactus Blooms

Glandularia bipinnatifida
Glandularia bipinnatifida, Purple Prairie Verbena, a great attractor of butterflies, abundant one year and almost completely missing the next.  This year the tiny seeds must have had the specific conditions of sunlight, moisture, and heat to assert their dominance. 


Claret cup flower
Claret cup cactus, seems that digital cameras struggle with the representation of red, this shot comes pretty close to the true color.





Friday, April 20, 2018

Ferocactus glaucescens

Ferocactus glaucescens
Blue Barrel Cactus (Ferocactus glaucescens)  I see most websites have this cactus rated as cold hardy to 25F degrees, I have had mine in the garden for 5 years and it has easily endured temperatures in the mid teens on several occasions.  I see this sort of  variance quite a bit on the plus or negative side, I am guessing that species that have a large range from North to South in the original habitat, or large difference in elevations where they occur from high to low, have a quite a bit of difference in their ability to endure colder temperatures.






Friday, April 13, 2018

Baby blue eyes

Texas baby blue eyes
Nemophila phacelioides (Texas baby blue eyes)
Ferocactus glaucescens
Ferocactus glaucescens



Black lace cactus
Echinocereus reichenbachii var albertii  (Black lace cactus)
Black lace cactus
Echinocereus reichenbachii var albertii  (Black lace cactus)

Friday, April 6, 2018

Amsonia longiflora

Trumpet Slimpod

 Amsonia longiflora (Trumpet Slimpod) -  One of my favorite West Texas natives for its irresistible gardenia like fragrance.