Change Is Good at the Wildscape

by Catherine Johnson

Due to recent storms, we were able to see which native plants were toughest.  We have exchanged some for sumacs, elbow and Mexican honeysuckle bushes, Gulf coast muhly and brake lights yucca. 

Come see what’s blooming at our Earth Day celebration on  Saturday April 24, at Bird and Bee Farm from 8 am-12 pm.

A Snowy Wildscape

by Catherine Johnson

Gary drove me to the Milam Wildscape in the storm through back roads, which were safe.  In addition to the snow, the Wildscape had also just recently received 9 inches of rain, but it held!!   

Enjoy some photos of the wintry wildscape!

It’s almost unrecognizable!

In the gallery below, be sure to click the images to see them full size!

See You in the Spring!

Photos by Catherine Johnson

Catherine tells us that the work on the Wildscape has ended for the winter, since Master Naturalists are following our organization’s guidelines, and the Bird and Bee Farm has slowed down for the winter, as well. She wanted to share some photos of the last bits of work our Chapter members did in November.

Macaroni watched all the proceedings.

Click on any of these images to see them full size and uncropped.

We hope to be back at work as soon as possible!

Bye and love from Macaroni

Native Fall bloomers and Catatonic Carpenter Bees

(or another day at the Bees and Birds Wildscape)

By Carolyn Henderson

A sea of color is in bloom at the Milam Wildscape project at Bird and Bee Farm outside of Milano. Most of the blooms are courtesy of native Texas plants. On a follow-up trip on Saturday, October 24, to check on the Malabar Spinach vine I am trying to keep trimmed, I was met with a surprise of different colors and some catatonic bees.

There were many shades of purple, pink, orange, yellow, red and white from a variety of plants still thriving.

The most surprising was a Cypress Vine (below) that had sprung up, wrapped itself around the awning with the spinach, climbed about four feet and proceeded to bloom since I was last at the site. 

Cypress Vine, growing like crazy

There were also Lavender Leaf Sage, American asters, Southwestern Cosmos and some pink flowering vines full of catatonic carpenter bees.

The carpenter bees had attached themselves to a few different flowers but mostly to this plentiful pink flowered vine (Suna says: coral bells Antighonon letopus). They seemed to be in a state of hibernation – probably temporary. They could be touched with almost indiscernible movement from them. (I thought they were bumble bees until I put them on iNaturalist.)

Also in bloom and growing were goldshower, cut-leaf crane’s-bill, Indian blanket, white and pink roses, and a frilly, white shrub-like flower. A pair of Gulf Fritillary were also weathering the cold front on a tropical sage.

If that’s not enough, a great group of volunteers were planting more including a couple of trees.  (Pictured l to r : Carolyn Henderson, Pamela Neeley, Scott Berger, Liz Lewis, Catherine Johnson, and Donna Lewis (kneeling). Most of the foliage is putting out “babies”, and the “babies” are available for adoption to be planted at your place. For information on that, contact Catherine. You also can volunteer to help grow the wildscape by contacting her.

Volunteers, plus that good kitty.

Kim Gets Dirty at the Wildscape

by Catherine Johnson

I went to the Wildscape to care for an ill and loyal garden cat.

Kitty not feeling well

Master Naturalist Kim went too. After caring for the cat, I found Kim at the frog pond which was very dirty and dry and snakey.

Fixing up the frog pond

She got it back in shape.

Kitty inspects Kim’s work!

A lot of plants are blooming.

Email me for hours, plants, or go visit Friday or Saturday morning!