Thursday, April 30, 2015

Spring Adventures

I'm hope to be sending new readers to the blog for the May Streak for Stroke starting tomorrow, so I figure I'd better post some cute kid photos as back-up (in case folks really aren't excited by stroke information).
Here are a few highlights of time spent (independent of each other) with my parents earlier in April (taken by my mother on her phone and e-mailed).  The boys also had a great time with the Mister's parents in March, but photographic evidence of that trip has not trickled back to me.
Yes, Dianthus and Aster are growing up, and yes, it did snow in April.
First plane ride as a big kid


Monday, April 27, 2015

Called It

I saw my first Mississippi Kite in town this morning.  It was alone, so the whole flock didn't blow in together as they seemed to last year (on Saturday, April 26).   According to the blog records, this is exactly normal for the last four years (range has been April 25- April 30).

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Attack of the Flying Ants

Yesterday the winged ants (hundreds of them) emerged at the park and various neighborhoods around town.  I don't know much about the cues for ant mating, but feel that this is something that should be written down.
It was great fun watching various fly-catching birds diving in irregular patterns as they were swooping in to catch the winged ants.*

As for those fly-catchers; I saw my first (and thus far only) scissor-tailed fly-catcher on Tuesday (April 21) and The Mister saw his on Saturday the 18th.  He's seen some kingbirds around as well.  No Mississippi kites yet, but we expect them this week.

I picked iris and peonies (from the south side of the house) on Tuesday the 21th.  Iris on the north side are also in full bloom (at least two weeks earlier than 2013), whereas the north side peonies have not started yet.  The roses along the west side are going great guns, the bachelor buttons are going crazy and we somehow managed to miss the asparagus that wasn't up for Easter and then was immediately past.  The thyme is blooming away, next to the lavender with swelling buds and the peach that didn't bloom at all this year.  The dogwood bloomed better than I've seen it before, which may have been it's very last hurrah and the lilacs and golden currant smelled delicious in a big bouquet for Easter (April 5).

I planted milkweed, fennel, eriogonum, three different salvias, native grasses, tarragon, clematis, cardinal climber, crocosmia and some vegetables and herbs.  I'm trying again with a native gaura and an evening primrose, despite the past problems and the "spot of death".  The garden is completely transformed and again I haven't been taking any "before" photos- 'cause you know, one day it will be better.

I may have really managed to mostly kill the bermuda grass lawn.  I don't know if I meant to do that.

The boys found 43 ladybugs in our yard yesterday.

Allergies have been bad. Schedules have been crazy.  And it has rained!

Happy spring to you all.

*New idea for sci-fi novel: humans with ant-like lifecycle and every few generations some people get wings . . .

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Flat Plants: They are no joke

If you received something from me in your e-mail today (April 1), you might be wondering what's true, because you know that I can't make this stuff up.  Except that I do make it up, at least some of it.

I am giving a seminar this afternoon entitled "11,000 Flat Plants" and it was announced in both the big city and the local paper recently.

My students did present at the Oklahoma Invasive Species Conference.

I spoke about prairie turnips at the University of Oklahoma last week.

CHASA is a very real support organization for people with hemiplegia and their families.  Some parents I communicate with are in Australia.

Rabbits have been a horrible invasive species in Australia and are partially displacing the lovely native bilby, which has very large ears, making it great for a chocolate figure.  Bilbies Not Bunnies! is a real campaign.

One of my former students is a Timbersports Champion.  An elementary friend has been testing for American Ninja Warrior (but apparently didn't make this season) and Jennifer does have amazing plant photography.

It did storm impressively.  The hail didn't add up.

Prairie Chicken's lek.  The leek in the plumbing comes up every year and there has yet to be a Lek Off for Love because they keep getting scheduled for June 31.