In bloom this week: Flame flower

Our native Standing cypress (Ipomopsis rubra) has some other, more appealing names: flame flower, Texas plume, scarlet gilia. A biennial, it grows wild in our meadow. Its ferny first-year growth flourishes in dry, gravel-y soil; if we get good rains, the bloom stalk can grow to five feet or more. Here in the Hill Country, […]

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Birds of a Feather

The painted bunting has been called “the most beautiful bird in North America,” and I believe it. He’s certainly the prettiest native bird I’ve ever seen. These birds winter in Mexico and points south, migrating north for the summer. For the past couple of years, at least two breeding pairs have arrived at Meadow Knoll […]

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Milkweeds and Monarchs

I love this tidy little plant, which is sending its silvery seed parachuting across our meadows this week. The Monarch butterfly larvae love it too, and feed on exclusively on it. Like other milkweeds, this one (Asclepius asperula) contains toxic cardiac glycosides that make the adult Monarch distasteful (phew!) to potential predators–an effective way to stay alive […]

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Do Tell!

There’s a first time for everything. We’ve lived at Meadow Knoll for over 30 years, and this is the first time we’ve seen a snake on a hummingbird feeder. We watched for several minutes, and this five-foot bullsnake didn’t move. He was busy pretending to be an innocent, inviting tree branch that a wing-weary hummer […]

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Drum roll, please!

Drum roll, please! After 20+ years (and several makeovers) on my old multiple websites, I am delighted to have a spiffy new site to share with you! Life has a way of calling the shots. Last year, Peggy (my longtime webmistress and assistant) married, moved to Portugal, and retired. Lovely for Peggy and I wish […]

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In bloom this week: Heirloom rose

The red heirloom rose is blooming on the porch. Roses that can be traced back to a time before the Civil War are called heirlooms. They’ve been found growing beside old houses and in cemeteries and churchyards, and are propagated by collectors, sometimes called “rose rustlers.” (Yes, I know. Makes me smile, too. I once […]

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Fawn-time, and a word about tariffs

This sweet little guy’s mom told him to hunker down and pretend he’s a fallen log, covered with mushrooms. He didn’t stir when I stumbled on him, and he was still there when I came back with my camera. From the looks of the does in our resident deer herd here at Meadow Knoll, there […]

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