Hot Sunday at the Farm

Sometimes it’s too hot to do much work at the farm by the time we can, so we do the basics like filling the drip watering station and making sure the songbirds have enough food in the feeder. Then, if there’s any energy left in my body, I make short trips out into the stifling heat and humidity to photograph whatever I can see. Here’s what was happening on the farm, Sunday, July 5th, 2020

Male Svastra obliqua, Oblique Sunflower Bee, on Gaillardia aestivalis, Prairie Gaillardia

Brown-belted Bumblebee, Bombus griseocollis. I think this one is male because of the yellow head and face fuzz.

Brown-belted Bumblebee again. All his sides are his good sides. I don’t see these as often as the American Bumblebees at the farm, so I’m always happy to find them.

Female Oblique Sunflower Bee, Svastra obliqua. She’s collecting pollen on her hind legs. The plant is Hairy Sunflower, or Rough-leafed Sunflower, Helianthus hirsutus.

Green Stink Bug on Sumac berries. True bug, but not true berries. I believe these are classified as “drupes”–an outer membrane, with a fleshy interior layer surrounding a hard seed in the middle. That tasty layer between the skin and the seed entices animals to eat the fruits and disperse the seeds. These taste very much like lemons.

Widow Skimmer female. The males have a lot of powdery blue in their coloring.The highlights on the wing veins were from the setting sun. Always pretty, but not always threaded with fairy lights. Libellula luctuosa

Texas Bluebells, Eustoma sp. This is the Texas native parent plant from which the florist’s Lisianthus is derived. Spoler alert: You can never have too many Bluebells.

Winged Sumac, Rhus copallinum

Green Milkweed, Asclepias viridis, dispersing the last of its seeds, each on a fluffy parachute designed to catch the wind.

Bluebells again. Every detail of these plants is lovely on close inspection.

Procession Flower, Polygala incarnata. Tiny, but beautiful among the grasses. This will keep blooming until the rains really stop.

5th of July fireworks, Silphium radula

Spent fireworks. The combination of symmetry and exuberance in these Silphiums always blows me away. From the bud to the spent flowers, every stage is pretty in some way.
Gaillardia aestivalis holds its own fireworks display.
New plant for the farm. This Oenothera species just showed up. I’ll need to do some checking to be sure which this is.
Some plants just seem to bring their own light to the photography process.

Citrine Forktail, Ischnura hastata. This tiny, delicate, beautiful boy looked like a golden needle silently and slowly navigating through the grasses just before dark. His clear wings were invisible in the evening light while he flew. I was reminded of a Pipefish, with those clear little fins that propel the fish in seemingly impossible ways. When he finally alit on a stem, there was a lot of vegetation to work around, and he was too tiny for the autofocus to work on. This is handheld and hand focused. Total length, about one inch. The Citrine Forktail is the smallest Damselfly in North America. Not bad for the first day out with a new lens.

Soft Yellow Aster with Green Lynx Spider–or at least parts of one.
Eventually you run out of light–until next time.

Many thanks to my husband Richard, who in spite of my protests decided I needed a new lens. He researched it and bought it, and I think it will be just right for what I like to do.