The Beavers of Slaughter Creek

Not sure where we’d be able to find real beavers near our house, so the stuffies had to suffice. These are a part of my kid’s large collection of stuffed beavers. I think he picked out the most beaver-like ones. His favorite is still his Ikea Klappar Baver who goes by the name Beaver. It’s nickname is Turkey “because he’s fat like a turkey.”

We attracted a small crowd on the creek. The path from the parking lot to the trail goes through the creek bed, so it wasn’t a surprise that people saw us.  A little girl sat down and watched us for a few minutes. I suppose it’s not every day that a gaggle of stuffies gets the royal treatment!

Foggy morning

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These are 🍑 🌳 branches. I love those little emojis. So much better to send a 🐙 or a🍄 to your friends than words. Think about it. Receiving a random shocked/unpleasantly surprised 🐙 text has to brighten your day.

Unless you read too much into things. Then it would cause anxiety. Is she saying I look like an octopus? Am i too clingy? Is this a mistake? Should i respond? If i do, with words or a picture? 😳

Taken with my LG3 phone.

Tuna on a Bald Prickly Pear Cactus

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This is a close shot on the fruit of the Bald (Spineless) Prickly Pear cactus. I haven’t ever eaten the fruit off this specimen. I have eaten tunas before. Meh. They are plain with big seeds. They have about as much flavor as my Turk’s Cap berries.

Also, I don’t find clear evidence that this specimen’s fruits are edible. Maybe it doesn’t matter if it has spines or not. Still not going to test that theory using my stomach.

Chile Piquin in Macro

In an olive background.
In an olive background.

If you live in central/west Texas, you may have encountered the Chile Piquin. This plant is native to the area, which means it spreads easily. Some have complained that it is aggressive. Eh, that’s what I like about it.

In context with unripened berries.
In context with unripened berries.

This plant is fantastic in our zone (Austin). If you don’t like it spreading, pluck the seedlings when you find them.

Some idea of proportion.
Some idea of proportion.

The berries (chili peppers as most would call them) are tiny. Like your pinky nail. Very small. I find them to be a huge pain to pick for that reason.

You can dry them in the oven for use later. Certainly they can be used in a preserve like jalapeño jelly. I haven’t tried that yet. Supposedly, the wildlife enjoys eating the berries. I haven’t caught a bird on those bushes to date.

(Another set taken with a rented Nikon Nikkor macro lens.)

Praying mantis on a pomegranate

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My kid and I harvested the pomegranates from the garden. They had a rough year, as you can see. Please don’t kill your praying mantis! He’s is your friend!!

My pomegranates got sunburned something terrible. I didn’t know that was a thing. But it’s a thing. An ugly thing.

There was also a nasty invasion of leaf-footed bugs, which are just the grossest thing–aside from cockroaches. The link is to the Aggie Horticulture site. You can pick the bugs off the plant and drown them. I know a person who uses a shop-vac to suck them up. That’s also good. You can also go nuclear and get bug killer with permethrin in it.

I had ZERO luck with any other methods. None of the “organic” killers did a darn thing to the bugs.

Mr. Anole Changes his Outfit

I took these on my phone, so pardon the blur. This little guy was in no mood for my shenanigans today. He was looking for a mate–not the lizard paparazzi!

I wanted to show people who don’t have experience with these little guys what kind of fashion choices they have. Cuuuute.

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I don’t understand his reasoning. Turning brown did not hide him amidst the green leaves. Hmm. Maybe he wasn’t hiding! These could be his *angry attack lizard* colors. (Note: I have never been attacked by an anole.)