Small World (part 2)
Here at the beginning of February it seems that Dallas is experiencing a dose of springtime weather — at least until the next arctic front blasts its way down the Great Plains pike.
In celebration of the event, a few backyard plants are actually putting out new growth and providing some nectar for bees and butterflies, which are showing up in greater numbers each day.
Aside from buzzing around in dangerous proximity to my beer glass, today’s backyard bees seemed to particularly enjoy the immature fruits of the Grape Mahonia (Mahonia aquifolium) growing next to our toolshed.
After crouching over the tripod-mounted macro setup to capture some bees knees action, I happened to notice a stick-like woody plant growing straight up out of the ground nearby – already taller than the six-foot top of my head, and I’d never even noticed it before. The fuzzy little balls sprouting from it reminded me of pussywillow, but Anne seems convinced it’s an offshoot (or offspring) of the Chinaberry tree on the other side of the shed.
Whatever it is, it’s quite fascinating in form and appears likely to continue growing at a merry pace, as long as we refrain from chopping it down. We’ll see if it plays nice with the rest of our wild garden plantings.
There are still plenty of leftover dead things from winter’s several icy blasts, though I’m not certain if the pequin pepper plant is dead or just keeping a low, death-like profile. Its fruits are certainly colorful enough – I’m surprised the birds have not stripped them — perhaps they favor the conveniently placed (and dearly bought) seed varieties we put out for them in hanging feeders, safe from the depredations of our bird-unfriendly cat, Tugboat.
Not sure what the groundhog saw, but according to the 7-day forecast we are in for nothing but a continuation of these balmy mid-winter temps — boding ill for the proliferation of pesky insects, but well for continued photo expeditions into the backyard — and beyond.