Wednesday, August 31, 2016

More Aizoaceae Plants

These Aizoaceae plants performed brilliantly through three seasons, Fall, Winter, Spring.  Summer not so much.



Delosperma Fire Spinner
Delosperma Fire Spinner


Delosperma Fire Spinner
Delosperma Fire Spinner


Rabiea albipunta
Delosperma basuticum or Rabiea albipunta

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Find the Pauraque



Pauraque
Here is a little game that we played in the Rio Grand Valley of Texas called find the Pauraque.


Pauraque
This bird in the nightjar family hunts by night and sleeps by day.  It has a very large mouth, good for raking in large insects in flight, they have also been known eat the occasional bat (big mouth).

Not a Pauraque


Pauraque
A similar bird also frequents the woods behind my house in Austin, Texas.  The male
Chuck-will’s-widow makes repetitive calls late at night similar to the more familiar Eastern Whip-poor-will, all part of the same family of night birds.  Chuck-wills-widow


Pauraque
Expert level bird finder's only!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Aizoaceae

Stone Plant
The Aizoaceae Family contains about 2,000 species of diminutive stone plants, carpet weeds, vygies, mesembs, and ice plants most of which come from South Africa.  Many resemble pebble stones or living carpets and have incredible flowers of many colors.


mesembs
Aloinopsis spathulata


Aloinopsis spathulata
I have tried growing about a dozen different varieties, in almost all cases I have been able to have a level of success getting them to thrive spread and flower but usually only for a season or a year, four years at the most before the plant dies.  Typically they die in the summer heat (The cactus bed in full sun could easily be 125 degrees at the surface) and it seems like the plants go from sick to completely dead in about 48 hours.


Living Stone Plants
I wish I knew how to keep these alive long term in Texas.  It is neat having a succulent that flowers in the winter to create a cycle of blooms that keeps interest all year round.