The Little Dragon

by Donna Lewis

I tried to get a photo of this fellow all week.  He finally played dead on a fence as I crept up on him.  I don’t creep as well as I used to.

This is a Green Anole, commonly called a chameleon. I love them.  They are so neat.As a child I thought they were baby dragons.

The males have the throat thing going on, so they are easy to tell apart from the females. These lizards can change colors very quickly from gray, to brown, to bright green. The females lay a single egg every 14 to 17 days. Incubation takes 30 to 60 days depending on the temperature.

They eat mostly spiders of all kinds.  Flies and other small insects round out their diet. They like to be up off the ground, so trees and fences are popular with them. They are faster than you think, just try to get a photo and you’ll see.

Remember who loves your garden besides you,

What a Treat for the Wildscape

by Catherine Johnson

Every inch of the Wildscape was explored recently at a Mason Bee program for Milam Home School Co-op. Forty-one people attended, which included twenty-six children and seven Master Naturalists. After the bee houses were assembled, everyone took off to all parts of the garden observing butterflies, hummingbirds, and spiders.  The children enjoyed refreshments, hide and seek, and receiving goody bags and nature books.

The parents were interested in building their own Wildscapes and want to return for free native plants. We enjoyed ages from baby to teens and hope to spend more time with them at the Wildscape.

The Windy Day and Butterflies in the Garden

by Donna Lewis

Well, we all have felt the strong winds that have been here in Central Texas lately.

Strong doesn’t even begin to describe them. Limbs and trees down, flowers bent over and lots of pollen blowing right into your nose!  That’s the things that bother humans.

So, we think we have problems with it, try being a beautiful butterfly that doesn’t even weigh an ounce.   I watched them all day on Saturday (April 29) trying to land on any flower that wasn’t being blown in every direction. It looked like a tiny helicopter trying to land on a small pad. The poor things. I tried to get photos, but 9 out of 10 pictures were too blurry to use.

Other friends of mine were having trouble also. The Purple Martins were flying in place trying to land on their gourds. No doubt it’s a good way to lose weight and get in shape, if you can do it.

So, when the weather is harsh, we need to remember that we are not the only ones feeling it. 

I also wanted to show you where my garden is right now. I am still waiting for all the seeds I planted weeks ago. Seeds are a great way to save money and get a nice variety of native plants. The last photo I took showed something I have never seen in my garden before.

See if you can identify it?

Remember who you are gardening for…

Just a Stink Bug?

by Eric Neubauer

I saw a stink bug on Friday. I thought it looked a bit different, so I took some photos. It turned out to be in the Brochymena genus, which I had found before. These have intricate patterns that remind me of
Persian rugs. Anyway, it turned out to be B. chelonoides and is a first-in-county observation on iNat. Nearest other observation is in College Station. So, when you walk by something that seems to be
ordinary, take a second look. It might not be so ordinary after all. Also, if you go out looking for something with your camera, it may be something you didn’t expect that makes the day special.

Eastern Phoebe Babies

by Donna Lewis

So once again our eave under the front porch has some darling little Phoebe babies. I am sure they are happy that they are not in the high winds we are experiencing now.

I love to see them every Spring.  Of course, it means that the front porch and the small doggy yard are off limits to me and our dogs till they leave home.

I do get to watch them every day and see how fast they grow up. Observation is also the best way to learn about their habits.

Both parents feed the babies. One parent will wait on the fence while the other is delivering delicious insects of one kind or another. The parents are very watchful and get fussy if I open the front door to look closer at their children. So, I generally watch out the windows at them.

Phoebes are flycatchers, eating mostly live insects. But I have found that they also eat dried mealworms that I put out for the Bluebirds. That is very handy during weather events when insects are not flying. 

This particular bird looks so sweet to me. I love it. It has the common flycatcher habit of tail-bobbing.  Its song says its name ( phoe-be). This bird is found from Canada all the way down to Mexico.

So listen up and you will hear their happy song right now.

A bird quote from Doug Floyd.

You don’t get harmony when everyone sings the same note.