Before the snow and the freeze, I took this shot of a Monarch Caterpillar munching away on this Butterfly Weed.
I was wondering if the caterpillar made it through the cold snap. I spotted a Monarch Butterfly flying around the plants yesterday and a smaller caterpillar feeding on the leaves. I guess they can take a bit of cold.
We had snow! And why not in this crazy year of weather. As we found out, records are meant to be broken.
The snow fell in the early morning hours. As soon as the sun comes up, it will be gone. Parents pulled children from their beds to play outside in the predawn darkness.
I was in my PJ’s snapping these photos in the dark when I heard the Banded Owl hooting from various locations in the yard. The owl was probably baffled by the snow. It’s beginning to feel like Christmas, let it snow…until it hits 48 degrees this afternoon. A true Texas day.
I collected these Monarch caterpillars, but not for my lunch. I found them on some sick looking Butterfly Weed with few leaves and moved them to healthier plants so the babies could have their lunch.
This big and beautiful Monarch is probably from a previous batch of caterpillars I found a few weeks ago.
And that’s all I have to say.
During my daily plant watering, this Rosy Wolf Snail, Euglanding rosea, crawled out onto the sidewalk.
The Snail was on a mission and ignored me. Ants were crawling right by it, but that was not what the Rosy Wolf was hunting. This rather large snail eats smaller ones and was looking for slime trails.
I love to watch these creatures crawl around, as I usually only find them curled up in their shells. I put a Coleus leaf beside the snail and the leaf caught its attention. The snail crawled over to check it out and left a silvery slime trail behind on the leaf. After being thoroughly entertained by the Rosy Wolf, I moved it to a garden bed to keep it safe and hopefully it will eat some of those pesky plant eating snails.
I came across this baby Copperhead that seems to be going through a difficult molt. This photo was taken in the morning.
I checked on the snake late in afternoon and it was still on the same rock. Its tail is in a new position, so I knew it was alive. No, I did not poke it to check. Molting or the preferred description, shedding or the scientific word ecdysis, seems to be hard work. I did some research and it said a snake in captivity can be helped by its owner. With a Copperhead, I decided to let nature take its course. It seems late in the year for babies, but…
there are lots of baby lizards, anoles and geckos, around. This green anole greets me every morning from its home on a potted plant by my door.
The garden has been full of these yellow Cloudless Sulphur butterflies. There were at least 7 flying around. They were not very interested in posing for photos, so this is the best shot I was able to get.
Quite a few Gulf Fritillary butterflies have been visiting. They had been gone from the garden for a few years and just started coming back last Fall. The Bottle Brush decided to put out a few flowers attracting the butterflies and bees.
My Japanese Anemone has been struggling all year, but has finally bloomed.
My Confederate Rose is still blooming and giving me joy every day. With the cooler weather, it is skipping the light pink color and going directly to dark rose. Here in the Gulf Coast area, this time of year is often called our second Spring and it certainly seems that way with baby animals and newly blooming flowers.
The Confederate Roses (Hibiscus mutabilis) are finally blooming and the wait is over. I have been obsessively checking them to see if buds were forming. These rose shaped flowers start the day pure white, turn pink and end in dark rose.
If you have been reading my blog, you can see that I am smitten with these flowers.
I was concerned this year after a hard freeze last winter and flooding rains, but the tough Confederate Rose made it through and does not even have bugs in the buds this year.
The color changes draw me out to the yard many times a day to admire the full cabbage rose type flowers.
Our days have cooled off some, so the flowers are lasting longer and all three colors will stay on the bush at once.
Each stem produces about five buds in a cluster. The bush itself is gangling and not very attractive. When I first got it, I was told it should not be pruned.
The Confederate Rose is a passalong plant and the care instructions come from the previous owner. I really can’t remember where I got mine. I have started several cuttings and decided to experiment on one of them. I planted it in the ground and pruned it down to about 4 feet. It has shot up to around 6 feet and …
produced these beautiful flowers.