Vervain ((Verbena bonariensis)
Tonight’s Waxing Gibbous Moon (09-09-2019)
Today, I’ve got more blooms for Sara’s garden. She asked me earlier, if we could get some more milkweed for her, so she might have a good chance to raise Monarch butterflies. Well, the Monarch migration to Mexico began last month. And soon we will see them flying through our neighborhood. Monarchs love to stop for a good energy boost, and the females lay eggs on the milkweed. Usually that gives us four to six weeks to raise the next generation of Monarchs, and send them on their way to Mexico, where they can overwinter and come back in Spring.
But we’ve also got some goodies for the bees and other pollinators. Sara will get some Purpletop Vervain, Blue Sage, Dill, Garlic, and Thai Basil planted in her garden. I hope, we will have some good blooming in the garden, the first frost hits usually by mid-November.
Tonight, we also have a beautiful clear sky with a bright Waxing Gibbous Moon. Since it is so nice outside, I had to capture a photo and post it. 😉
Happy Flower Garden!
Antelope Horn is a milkweed native to Texas, which grows in pastures along roadsides and creeks throughout the central path, that most Monarchs take on their migration coming back up north to the US from Mexico. The milkweed got its name from the seedpods, which look similar to the horns of an antelope. In late Spring, I can find them next to the creek behind our street. And I also find them on the meadows of the local parks. From all the milkweed plants I have seen so far, the Antelope Horn is my favorite.
Antelope Horn (Asclepias asperula)
The Ray Roberts Lake Dam
The weather was so nice, that Sara and I had quite a few adventures in the first week of September 2013. That Friday after Labor Day, we drove to Ray Roberts Lake State Park. The state park is divided in two parts by the lake: Isle Du Bois & the Johnson Branch. Sara and I decided, we’ll drive up to Pilot Point to get to Isle Du Bois. There is a nice lake beach, where Sara could play in the sand for a little bit. But when we arrived, the maintenance vehicle was out there to keep the beach clean and fresh for the following visitors. Sara and I went for a hike instead. We saw a lot of insects. And we even ran into a road runner. This was the second road runner, I’ve seen in the wild. How cool is that?! Wile E. Coyote was nowhere to be seen. 😉
Camphorweed/Stinkweed (Pluchea odorata)
Curly-top Gumweed (Grindelia squarrosa)
This Green Lynx Spider (Peucetia viridans) uses the Smartweed as a trap for its prey.
The Pier at the lake
Skipper on Common Sunflower
Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) on Smartweed
“Make way! It’s my turn!” (2013)
Leaf-cutter Bee on Smartweed/Knotweed
Five years ago, Kevin, the girls and I drove to Oklahoma on Labor Day. We picked a spot at the most northern part of Lake Texoma, which is southeast of the town Tishomingo. Parking at the northern side of the lake, we took a little hike. It was humid, warm, and a lot of insects were buzzing all over the place. All of a sudden, a Gulf Fritillary sat down on Katelynn’s arm. Katelynn kept hiking with it for a bit, before the butterfly decided to fly to another flower. Kevin said: “I think I see a hummingbird right there.” But when I looked closer, I smiled and replied: “That’s close. Actually, it’s a hummingbird moth, also called a sphinx moth.” The girls kept watching it. And one said: “It really acts like a hummingbird.”
The Great Seal of Oklahoma
At the Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma
Pipevine Butterfly and Sphinx Moth
Monarch Butterfly on Wild Cleome
A Gulf Fritillary landed on Katelynn’s arm.
Katelynn hikes with the Gulf Fritillary on her arm.
Fuzzy little grey bee
Boat dock at Murray 23/Fishing Access Road
It was a nice afternoon in Oklahoma. We drove back home to have dinner in Texas. We all got out as a family and did something together on this September holiday. Sometimes, this is all it takes to make the girls happy.
Monarch at the Chaste tree blossom in the Dallas Arboretum
The Monarch became the Texas state insect by a 1995 resolution of the state legislature.