Take a Walk on the Wild Side

by Catherine Johnson

When? Every Saturday in November from 9-noon.   

Where? Milam Wildscape Project – Bird and Bee Farm – 1369 County Road 334, Milano, Texas. 

What? Nature Days

Come see blooming tall purple asters, red and pink Turk’s cap, white fragrant mist flower, Mexican bush sage, Mexican honeysuckle, forsythia sage, Gulf muhly, and more. 

View this video for a sample of the thousands of pollinators.  We will be giving away free native plants, goody bags for all, bee houses, plus refreshments.

Come tour the garden and share YOUR nature stories with us.

Our garden is never finished, beautiful, and always WILD.

Beautiful Things Still in the Garden

by Donna Lewis

So here we are, summer has gone (except for the warm weather) and fall is trying to make its appearance. After a very dry summer, native plants can still be found in the garden. We do need some rain right now.

I am amazed that there is anything still putting out flowers at all.

The leaves are starting to fall. You will be tempted to rake it all up, so your garden looks neat. Don’t do it! Those leaves and pine needles are the blankets that Mother Nature puts on her children. She is saving plants for next spring and tons of butterfly larvae.

Remember neatness is in the eyes of the beholder.

Here are some things that I took photos of today (10-26-2022) in my garden here in Central Texas.  You might be surprised at what I saw. There were many more, but I was not fast enough to catch them with my camera. I was still very happy that I got to see them.

  • Monarch on Mist Flower
  • Monarch underside view
  • Skipper Butterfly
  • Fiery Skipper Butterfly
  • Queen Butterfly
  • Clouded Skipper Butterfly
  • Common Eastern Bumble Bee
  • Clouded Sulphur Butterfly
  • Gulf Coast Fritillary

So remember next spring when you plant for pollinators, these are the creatures you’re helping.

Remember who you are gardening for.

The Bee Story

By Dorothy Mayer

So, I saw the following story online today (see screenshots from Facebook below). Some time ago, I’d likely have blown it off as a pretty farfetched tale. But I couldn’t help but think about an incident I experienced at my house a couple of years ago.

This story brought to mind about me seeing a wasp nest on our RV bumper about sixty feet from our house. I was worried about somebody getting stung, so I told Hubs that we should probably do something about them. So, he takes his handy pliers and pulls it off the bumper, as nothing was on it at the time. Then, he laid it on a little table by our porch swing that was 60 feet away from and out of sight of the RV bumper it came off. After that, we pretty much forgot about it.

Later that evening I happened to look over there and saw about three or four wasps back on it lying on that little table far away from that bumper we pulled it from. I was amazed that they’d looked for it and found it in a totally different place than it was supposed to be.

So, do I think this bee story is farfetched? I think not.

I think insects have way more sense than we realize. After all, we don’t know what we don’t know.

[saw]

To learn more about insects and all the other nature in Milam County, consider signing up for our next class! Contact ElCaminoRealMasterNaturalist@gmail.com and we’ll get you in touch with our new class team.

Mark Your Calendar for Nature Days

by Catherine Johnson

We are gearing up for the second Nature Days event, which will be each weekend in November.  There will be lots of opportunities to get volunteer hours and interact with the public.

Treat yourself and visit the Wildscape now, as the fall flowers are almost ready to bloom.  Email me at cpc69earth AT gmail.com, and I will meet you there to show you some ways to get hours or to get seeds for yourself. 

Now is also a great time to take pictures.  The Monarch and Swallowtail butterfiles have arrived.

Dancing Bees

by Catherine Johnson

These are the containers they put mead in when they sell it. You bring them back to get more, so it’s a great re-use example.

One thing we learned at a recent visit to Walker Honey Farm is that Mead is a mixture of honey, water, and yeast.  Many factors affect the taste, including the type of wildflowers bees visit.

We also learned that bees dance on the surface of the honey comb, which directs other bees to within 10 feet of sweet sources, which can cover a 16 square mile area.