Category: plants

If it’s in a postable format, I’d …

If it’s in a postable format, I’d love to see your list of species you’ve seen in your yard!

I keep track of my species on iNaturalist, so my species count is available for anybody to look at! And when I say “list,” I mean, photographs. Because I’m a scientist, and if it’s not verifiable, it doesn’t count 😉 The links below are organized by species, if you want to see my specific observations and photographs, click the little links for “# observations” above the organism’s name and it will take you to them.

The full, unfiltered “list” only shows the top 600 before it stops loading (by design), but here it is [link]

A tiny bit of background: This list covers 0.10 acres in east Travis County, Texas (my address says I’m in Austin, but I’m not, it’s a lie). My neighborhood is a housing development surrounded by agricultural land, and my house (and the development) was built starting around 15 years ago. My back yard is backed by a row of hackberry trees, and I have neighbors on either side. I bought this house in June 2016 and have been neglecting the back yard ever since, besides occasionally planting a few trees/bushes/bird feeders. I need to post some pictures of the yard over time because it’s starting to look like a legitimate forest. If I ever need to sell this place, oh boy.

The Spider Haven Species List – Numbers By Kingdom

Protozoans [link] 1 species (so far just Dog Vomit Slime Mold, but I have two other unidentified slime molds that don’t go into the numbers yet!)
Bacteria [link] 1 species (a plant disease–I need to get a microbio setup started for cultures bwahaha)
Fungi [link] 8 species (I’ve been slacking, I know I have more in my fridge ALONE right now)
Plants [link] 70 species (there’s more, I have photos from September 2018 I haven’t uploaded yet… ugh)
Animals [link] *cough* over 900 species… uh, I’ll need to break that down a bit…

Animals in my yard

Vertebrates [link] 72 species (birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians)
Annelids [link] 1 species (earthworms creep me out, sorry)
Mollusks [link] 10 species (missing my tiny little slugs!)
Flatworms [link] 2 species
Horsehair Worm [link] 1 species
Arthropods [link] 828 species. Okay….

ARTHROPODS

Crustaceans [link] 2 species (pillbugs!)
Myriapoda [link] 3 species
Arachnids [link] 75 species
Insects [link] 747 species. *SIGH*

I N S E C T S

Springtails [link]1 species (not easy to find!!!
Silverfishes [link]1 species
Cockroaches and Termites [link] 11 species
Butterflies and Moths [link] 279 species
Beetles [link]148 species
Earwigs [link] 2 species
Flies [link] 58 species
Webspinners [link] 1 species
Mayflies [link] 3 species
True Bugs & Allies [link] 124 species
Ants, Bees, Wasps, & Sawflies [link] 63 species
Mantids [link] 1 species, but I saw a mating pair and the male was missing a head [link]
Scorpionflies, Hangingflies, etc [link] 1 species 
Alderflies, Dobsonflies, Fishflies [link] 1 species
Antlions, Lacewings, Owlflies, Mantidflies [link] 4 species
Dragonflies and Damselflies [link] 23 species
Grasshoppers, Katydids, Crickets [link] 20 species
Stick insects [link] 3 species (but I think it should be 2, need to double check)
Stoneflies [link] 1 species
Barklice, booklice, and parasitic lice [link] 1 species
Thrips [link] 2 species
Caddisflies [link] 1 species (note: these are near-impossible to ID so I don’t really spend too much time on them)

They key take-aways appear to be: MÖTH, beetles, & true bugs. Not too much of a surprise, given I do a LOT of my snooping around the yard at night, and with my UV patio light on. Best $14 I ever spent! (I got it on sale, looks like it’s $20 now) [link]

Note: These species counts were accurate on the date I posted this list, April 12, 2019 at 12:47 am. The links will continue to work (oh please), but the numbers will change! They may go up as I add observations, or down as I my current observations are reclassified (happens ALL the time!).

April 12, 2019

I,,, misread nepenthens for isoetes on the las…

I,,, misread nepenthens for isoetes on the last post somehow and i felt,,,, f,,,fear,,,,

fun fact there’s literally no books out there showcasing all the species of isoetes in the world like u might find for other plants. if u want to know that information u gotta go digging through 89 levels of deep academia and only then may you possibly stumble upon a hit list of names. 

when i was researching for my term paper on them last semester i tried to build a distribution map of all the species, but the only book i could find was a weird old cloth-bound codex (literally a codex) that i had to specially request from my uni’s library storage building. after i got it i realized that 1. it…really was just deadass a list of names and ranges, 2. it was nowhere close to the exact ranges and just gave vague outdated country information with weirdly ambiguous sources, and 3. it was nowhere close to all the species known to us. the actual age of the book was hard to pin down; i want to say that it was 1970s, but it felt…….older somehow. it had quite The Energy and i quickly returned it 

im sure that if u were to dig through some databases, you’d be able to find a more comprehensive list– i accidentally stumbled on a comprehensive checklist of all the hornworts in the world published by phytokeys, for instance, and hornworts are kind of in the same category of ‘weird niche nonvascular plants one might glimpse for 3 seconds while hiking like bigfoot amongst the trees’– but man, why cant we just have a nice comprehensive coffee table isoetes book? 

this is off topic now but i keep reading these researchers in both isoetes and hornwort papers talking about how one of the biggest challenges to new research is that nobody knows jack shit about them, and i cant help but think like….comprehensive, readable knowledge of these plants is near impossible to find? like, most of the modern papers i was reading for isoetes kept shying away from discussing the fucked up anatomy of those plants to the point where the only book i was able to find that laid it all out for the reader in a semi-understandable format was a book from the late 1960s buried in the fern section of our library? all the illustrations in it were hand drawn? i still havent been able to find a good photo of some of these structures? i got a couple high resolution scans of some of the samples from my uni’s herbarium to publish on this blog, and had people literally come thank me because pics of specimens cut open to show the actual anatomy are hard as shit to find? like? 

this turned into a little bit of a rant but come on lads!!! to get to know these plants u gotta go through like 93 levels of academia and know like 6 people!!! it’s no wonder why nobody knows them well!!! 

Regular

pterygota:

oh man oh man this is bad

some people in my neighborhood have a passionvine and it often hosts gulf fritillaries and zebra longwings

just the other day my mom told me she saw tons of caterpillars on it

and today it smelled awful over there and theres dead and dying caterpillars all over the sidewalk, it looked like some were trying to evacuate. some were convulsing. there was stuff on the passionvine. i think they poisoned it. not only were all the caterpillars dying, but there were some ants convulsing from eating poisoned caterpillars. i cant feed them, so i was just trying to transfer all i could (including an egg i found) to these little vine sprouts in the grass away from the main plant, knowing full well its not enough to feed them but knowing its their only hope

i also took one of the vine sprouts that i found further away from where i was dumping the rescues and pulled it out since (and this is another terrible thing) that grass gets mowed and the sprouts get cut down

i rolled the root in rooting powder and put it in wet paper towels, does this sound good for getting the plant ready for transplant? im hoping i can eventually get my own passion vine growing, and we will never ever poison it, because its FOR THE BABIES DAMN IT!!!

any advice would be great, but thats mostly about the vine i took, im pretty sure all those caterpillars are a lost cause 🙁

So so so sorry, that’s horrible 🙁

Passion vine grows like a weed. The growth can be a little slow earlier in the season, but in Texas at least, by later spring the things are exploding with how fast they grow. Towards the end of the summer, the vines were practically invasive all over the back of my yard. I don’t know about transplanting it, but I recently pulled a root out of my garden and transplanted it into a hanging pot (no rooting powder because I don’t have any, I just water frequently). The paper towel sounds good, just make sure it doesn’t end up molding. If you water frequently, you might be find just putting it directly into a well-drained pot. I’ve had success doing this with random plants I’ve found throughout my yard when I replanted them in other locations. Just water frequently!

Gulf Fritillary butterflies are also EPIC egg-layers. They will be back. I don’t even know how they all found my passion vine, but they found it, and they covered it in eggs, and I had butterflies for a solid 9 months. I’m sorry you lost your early season babies, but there will be more. You’re right about those ones being a lost cause. The poisons will destroy their GI tract, so once they ingest it, that’s it. It’s too bad, they probably spray any wasp nests that pop up in their yard, too. I never had any caterpillars mature outside because the wasps took all the young caterpillars to feed their young, Why do humans keep messing things up?

April 8, 2019

Oh gosh, don’t handle poison ivy, even i…

Oh gosh, don’t handle poison ivy, even if you aren’t allergic to it! You can abruptly develop a reaction to it and it can be severe. The more you expose yourself to it the more you risk this, for this reason I try to avoid it despite being immune. My dad was as well, but fell victim to hubris. He would pick it to warn people he met on trails of what it looks like (and show off), until one time he picked some to show some clueless tourists… and had loonie sized blisters all over the next day.

Trust me, I do not go out of my way to roll around in poison ivy patches! The photos were from when I became overconfident in my ability to identify boxelder maple (I guess I still have no freaking idea how to tell the two apart, what even are plants???), and I was taking photos of what I thought was a branch of maple. I’ve gone back to my ways of just… not touching either. 

image

Above: me fondling a poison ivy’s berries (oops)

When I was in 3rd grade, I played around in a massive pile of leaves with a friend, and ended up with a full-body rash that was so itchy I had to miss three days of school. No idea what happened, but all the adults said I got poison oak. My less-enthusiastic friend got a little itchy on her arms (I was really rolling around in that piles of leaves, guys). And now that I’m in Texas, I know summer is here when I have to miss a week of work from chiggers. Trust me, I am not looking for more ways to get itchy!

I’m a long-sleeves-long-pants hiker, especially as it gets hotter, so chance encounters are infrequent, ALTHOUGH! I’d like to point out to folks that the oils that cause irritation from poison ivy can remain on your clothing for years, and it can continue to cause reactions! Same thing if your dog/cat goes wandering through a poison ivy patch, and then you pet them, those oils are there, and they can give you a reaction!

Learn more about poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac! [link to poison-ivy.org]

April 5, 2019

Regular

p01y3thy13n3:

nanonaturalist:

pterygota:

systlin:

witchyatwork:

systlin:

madamehearthwitch:

systlin:

systlin:

But seriously, when we got our property, it was all just…grass. A sterile grass moonscape, like a billion other yards. With two big old maple trees. Just grass and maples, that was it. 

But then I got my grubby little paws on it, and I immediately stopped fertilizing, spraying, and bagging up grass clippings and leaves. I ripped up sod and put in flowers and vegetables. I put down nice thick blankets of mulch around the flowers and vegetables. 

When I first was sweating my way through stripping sod, I saw a grand total of 1 worm and 0 ladybugs. The ground was compacted into something that would bend shovel blades. 

Now, six years later, I can’t dig a planting hole without turning up fourteen earthworms, and there are so many ladybugs here. Not the invasive asian lady beetles; native ladybugs. They winter over in the mulch and in the brush pile. I see thousands of them. 

The soil is soft and rich. There are birds that come to eat, and bees of many sorts.

Like this is something that you, yourself, can absolutely change. This is something that you, personally, can make a difference in.

Like, last year I watched no fewer than twenty-nine monarch caterpillars grow up on my milkweed and fly away as butterflies. I watched swallowtails and moths grow. There are hummingbirds fighting over flowers now.

I did that. Me. You can do the same.

I would like to learn how to do this. Sometimes it all seems so overwhelming. I just want to find someone who can come over for a cuppa, and we can wander the yard and they can make me a plan. 

Preferably a very easy to follow, doesn’t take too much time every day plan.

It’s not nearly so intimidating as it sounds.

You can do a whole lot of good just by not spraying your yard, not mowing it so often, and not raking up leaves and grass.

But as a certified Lazy Ass Gardener, I can tell you for 100% certain that this is attainable, and requires absolutely zero, none, nada, zilch expensive or complicated equipment.

I don’t even have a plan. I just do things.

Wait so, dont mow as much, dont pick up the grass when you mow, and dont pick up leaves and your grass is healthier? my dad likes to mow the lawn every one to 2 weeks in the summer💀 what other tips do you guys have?

Yup. Those grass and leaf clippings rot down and fertilize the soil.

Grass does BETTER when it’s not mown short, and gives more hiding places to all sorts of insects.

Don’t spray. Let the bugs and ‘weeds’ live.

i have a 10’x10’ piece of garden that i initially used to grow things, but i abandoned it completely and now its absolutely covered in “weeds” and i even have a volunteer shrub that makes berries! the amount of native bees and other insects i attract is incredible. and all i do to maintain it is nothing.

For reals. I have to mow my front yard (I live in an HOA… ugh), but I don’t bag my clippings. I never water my yard (and I live in Texas!), but my grass is green all year. The clippings and mulched leaves keep in moisture and they’re nature’s fertilizer! Lizards and frogs hide under the leaves and clippings, and when you remove those, you are removing their habitat. Bugs will show up and munch on the clippings, and their waste adds more nutrients as well. I don’t fertilize. I don’t spray. I let nature do its thing. Even just in the front, there are bugs everywhere. I’ve found the tiny green sweat bees nesting in the ground under my rose bush, and the giant cicada killer wasps had a nest somewhere in my front yard last year–I couldn’t find it, but they were pollinating the sorrelvine that randomly showed up and decided to climb up my oak tree (which was the host plant for the Vine Sphinx moths and the first batch of sawflies I raised!)

In the back? I planted a few things in a small garden area, and I intentionally planted three (3) trees, but I’m busy/lazy and the back yard became the paradise jungle it is when I was writing my Master’s thesis after moving into this house, and I never had the heart to start mowing it. A bunch more trees decided to start growing on their own and I constantly have to murder soapberry and hackberry and elm saplings. My yard is covered in a mix of native plants and invasive bunch grass, in addition to random grains and sunflowers growing under the bird feeders. They all serve as hosts for insects. 

In less than three years, I have documented almost 1000 species of plants, insects, birds, fungi, slime molds, and mammals. My yard is 0.10 acres. I have ladybugs crawling out of my ears. The larvae are pupating all over my horse skeleton!!!

So yeah. Want species diversity in your yard? Plant native plants. Are you a lazy ass like me and want species diversity? Then don’t do anything, congratulations, nature still wins (just look out for all those invasives, and have fun pulling out catchweed -_-

April 5, 2019

READ THE LAST PARAGRAPH OF THIS THREAD!!! YOU CAN JUST LET IT ALL GROW THE HELL OUT!!!!!!!!!!! REMEMBER THAT

plus catchweed, or cleavers, IS EDIBLE!!!!!! (but you must boil it for a some time so that the hooked hairs on it dont irritate your esophagus. The younger cleavers require less cooking.*)

*also some people are allergic to it, so do a skin test by rubbing on skin to see if you develop a reaction, and eat a small amount of it first

Funny Story!

I do not react to poison ivy (apparently). And I can’t tell the difference between the mature vines and boxelder maple (apparently):

^ that’s poison ivy

^ this is the same poison ivy

I had no idea until somebody on iNaturalist corrected my ID and asked me if I felt itchy. Pro-tip, maple doesn’t have berries, dummy.

But: I am so allergic to plants in general that I can’t eat most fruits and vegetables raw. I can’t carve a pumpkin for Halloween without wearing gloves. When I was a teenager and my allergies were a lot worse, I couldn’t sit in the grass if I was wearing shorts without getting a huge rash. When I had my first prick test at the allergist, I reacted to oregano. When the pollen count is high, I have to enter a Zen meditative state to keep from clawing my eyeballs out they’re so itchy (like right now, and this is after I’ve taken my allergy meds). One time I went for a short spring hike, and my allergies got so bad, my throat became so swollen, and my sneezing became so powerful, that I launched out a tonsil stone I didn’t even know I had (!!!). 

But I can manhandle poison ivy all I want, I guess.

I wear gloves when I go out on catchweed-killing missions (I’m not joking, my entire back yard is getting overtaken with that crap), but if I’m wearing short sleeves, and it touches my bare arms? I basically want to die for the next couple hours. My arms look like I got the worse chiggers ever. It’s all those damn hooks breaking my skin and letting all that pollen in!

Which reminds me, chigger season is coming! It’s not getting me three years in a row, I’m PREPARED! (*change/wash your clothes and take a hot shower ASAP after wandering around in tall grasses/vegetation!)

April 5, 2019

Regular

pterygota:

systlin:

witchyatwork:

systlin:

madamehearthwitch:

systlin:

systlin:

But seriously, when we got our property, it was all just…grass. A sterile grass moonscape, like a billion other yards. With two big old maple trees. Just grass and maples, that was it. 

But then I got my grubby little paws on it, and I immediately stopped fertilizing, spraying, and bagging up grass clippings and leaves. I ripped up sod and put in flowers and vegetables. I put down nice thick blankets of mulch around the flowers and vegetables. 

When I first was sweating my way through stripping sod, I saw a grand total of 1 worm and 0 ladybugs. The ground was compacted into something that would bend shovel blades. 

Now, six years later, I can’t dig a planting hole without turning up fourteen earthworms, and there are so many ladybugs here. Not the invasive asian lady beetles; native ladybugs. They winter over in the mulch and in the brush pile. I see thousands of them. 

The soil is soft and rich. There are birds that come to eat, and bees of many sorts.

Like this is something that you, yourself, can absolutely change. This is something that you, personally, can make a difference in.

Like, last year I watched no fewer than twenty-nine monarch caterpillars grow up on my milkweed and fly away as butterflies. I watched swallowtails and moths grow. There are hummingbirds fighting over flowers now.

I did that. Me. You can do the same.

I would like to learn how to do this. Sometimes it all seems so overwhelming. I just want to find someone who can come over for a cuppa, and we can wander the yard and they can make me a plan. 

Preferably a very easy to follow, doesn’t take too much time every day plan.

It’s not nearly so intimidating as it sounds.

You can do a whole lot of good just by not spraying your yard, not mowing it so often, and not raking up leaves and grass.

But as a certified Lazy Ass Gardener, I can tell you for 100% certain that this is attainable, and requires absolutely zero, none, nada, zilch expensive or complicated equipment.

I don’t even have a plan. I just do things.

Wait so, dont mow as much, dont pick up the grass when you mow, and dont pick up leaves and your grass is healthier? my dad likes to mow the lawn every one to 2 weeks in the summer💀 what other tips do you guys have?

Yup. Those grass and leaf clippings rot down and fertilize the soil.

Grass does BETTER when it’s not mown short, and gives more hiding places to all sorts of insects.

Don’t spray. Let the bugs and ‘weeds’ live.

i have a 10’x10’ piece of garden that i initially used to grow things, but i abandoned it completely and now its absolutely covered in “weeds” and i even have a volunteer shrub that makes berries! the amount of native bees and other insects i attract is incredible. and all i do to maintain it is nothing.

For reals. I have to mow my front yard (I live in an HOA… ugh), but I don’t bag my clippings. I never water my yard (and I live in Texas!), but my grass is green all year. The clippings and mulched leaves keep in moisture and they’re nature’s fertilizer! Lizards and frogs hide under the leaves and clippings, and when you remove those, you are removing their habitat. Bugs will show up and munch on the clippings, and their waste adds more nutrients as well. I don’t fertilize. I don’t spray. I let nature do its thing. Even just in the front, there are bugs everywhere. I’ve found the tiny green sweat bees nesting in the ground under my rose bush, and the giant cicada killer wasps had a nest somewhere in my front yard last year–I couldn’t find it, but they were pollinating the sorrelvine that randomly showed up and decided to climb up my oak tree (which was the host plant for the Vine Sphinx moths and the first batch of sawflies I raised!)

In the back? I planted a few things in a small garden area, and I intentionally planted three (3) trees, but I’m busy/lazy and the back yard became the paradise jungle it is when I was writing my Master’s thesis after moving into this house, and I never had the heart to start mowing it. A bunch more trees decided to start growing on their own and I constantly have to murder soapberry and hackberry and elm saplings. My yard is covered in a mix of native plants and invasive bunch grass, in addition to random grains and sunflowers growing under the bird feeders. They all serve as hosts for insects. 

In less than three years, I have documented almost 1000 species of plants, insects, birds, fungi, slime molds, and mammals. My yard is 0.10 acres. I have ladybugs crawling out of my ears. The larvae are pupating all over my horse skeleton!!!

So yeah. Want species diversity in your yard? Plant native plants. Are you a lazy ass like me and want species diversity? Then don’t do anything, congratulations, nature still wins (just look out for all those invasives, and have fun pulling out catchweed -_-)

April 5, 2019

How do you feel about trees? Interested in cra…

How do you feel about trees? Interested in crazy tree facts? (I'm a forestry student and have many facts to share)

you probably know this already from being a dendrology major, but the biggest change to how i saw trees came from the realization that trees are a growth form, not their own thing. in other words, trees evolved multiple different times in multiple different families, and because they all have secondary growth (wood) and happened across similar anatomy so they kinda look the same, humans were like ‘ah yes. these are all trees’.

this means that there is no main tree family to which all trees belong. which is very trippy. 

i think it’s easy for us to see a tree, and see another tree, and be like ‘ah, these are both big tall woody plants with leaves attached to branches, therefore they must be closely related to other big tall woody plants with leaves attached to branches’, but that’s not necessarily the case. you can have trees that flower. you can have trees that dont flower. back some 400 million years ago, there were trees that reproduced with spores. you can have a plant family that just so happens to have a bunch of different species of trees that are closely related, but that doesn’t mean that they’re all closely related to other trees just because they happen to grow like a tree. 

for example: maple trees and birch trees are both trees that flower, which lumps them into the big clade of all flowering plants: the angiosperms. both the maple tree and the birch tree then fit into the same sub-clade, the rosids, which includes about 70,000 species of flowering plants of all kinds. from there, though, the clade splits into two orders: the fabids and the malvids. the maple tree is in the malvid group, while the birch is in the fabid group (although both of these trees as we know them now are pretty far down the line, if that makes sense. like a good few million years and a half dozen families of evolution from there). 

according to the angiosperm phylogeny website, the fabid/malvid split happened about 100 million years ago. flowering plants entered the scene 130 million years ago. this means that the last time the ancestors of maple trees and the ancestors of birch trees were closely related was when dinosaurs still roamed the earth (this would be in the peak of the cretaceous period). even then, they might not have even been trees yet at all. 

obviously you can have trees that are more closely or distantly related, but there’s a sample of like…..how far apart trees can be from one another on an evolutionary basis. like. idk in high school i just assumed that all trees were in a big family of their own and that’s why they all looked like trees lmao 

Regular

nanonaturalist:

A Dilemma

I am but one person with too little time and too many hyperfixations and even though my yard is actually kinda small it ends up taking on a life of its own because hey let nature do its thing, right? What’s the worst that could happen?

image

*sigh*

So, right now, the very back of my yard is a mini-forest of hackberry, elm, and soapberry saplings about chest high (so thick you can’t walk through them without cutting them down, it’s a situation). Behind those, there’s this tangled mass of common hedge parsley and catchweed bedstraw. Both of these plants are terrible. The catchweed is essentially nature’s velcro and it tears into your skin as a bonus. The parsley is fine until is goes to seed—I have clothes I can’t wear until I sit down for a few hours and pick all the burr-covered parsley seeds off them. No, they don’t come off in the wash.

The back of the yard is the worst, but the catchweed and the parsley are all over my entire yard (along with the invasive rescue brome grass I can’t get rid of). I’ve been picking as much of it as I can every time I go outside. I want to destroy ALL OF IT!!!

Except… uh… today while I was watering my trees… uh…

image

Sorry for the grainy quality, I was far away. But… uh… Swallowtail Butterfly host plants include… plants in the… carrot family…

image

You know, like… parsley? She laid several eggs while I watched, and I found three total. I know there’s gotta be more. Well, I guess that’s one host plant I’m not going to run out of… and I’ve never raised swallowtails before!!!

So I put the plants with the eggs inside, and went back to watering. Okay, maybe I don’t hate parsely as much. But I still hate catchweed. GRRR!!!

Oh! Hello Mexican Honey Wasp friend! What are you doing over here?

image

Wait… are you…

image

Nectaring on…

image

Catchweed?!

I watched this wasp, and… yes. The only flowers that seemed to interest her were these tiny catchweed flowers.

Well. I guess I’m not pulling out all of the parsley and catchweed. As if I’d have been able to in the first place.

Just goes to show how even “weeds” are essential components of any ecosystem. My current situation is just a gross imbalance of three particular species.

March 18, 2019

@guardianoftheduat : the seeds aren’t bad in and of themselves. They are perfect and wonderful and do exactly what they are supposed to do…

Which is catch onto passing mammals so they can end up dispersing and creating nice lovely ecosystems with diverse plantlife.

What does that look like for humans who wear (*sigh*) the wrong clothes that day?

These are one of my favorite pairs of hiking pants. They were expensive. They look wrinkled. They’re not. Those little dots are parsley seeds. Let me pull open that middle wrinkle for you.

I will have to hand pick off each individual seed if I want to wear these pants again. These things are essentially the strongest industrial grade velcro, and they are tiny. Maybe a sweater shaver can get them off, I don’t know.

This isn’t the only article of clothing in my “parsley seed” pile. I have a bunch of clothes I can’t wear because of the parsley seeds. This is why I’m trying to pull out all the parsley this year, I don’t want this to keep happening!

It’s a pain. I never have enough time to tame the yard, then I never have enough time to tame my pants. Viscious cycle.

March 25, 2019

Regular

spiderfingers-the-harper:

nanonaturalist:

A Dilemma

I am but one person with too little time and too many hyperfixations and even though my yard is actually kinda small it ends up taking on a life of its own because hey let nature do its thing, right? What’s the worst that could happen?

image

*sigh*

So, right now, the very back of my yard is a mini-forest of hackberry, elm, and soapberry saplings about chest high (so thick you can’t walk through them without cutting them down, it’s a situation). Behind those, there’s this tangled mass of common hedge parsley and catchweed bedstraw. Both of these plants are terrible. The catchweed is essentially nature’s velcro and it tears into your skin as a bonus. The parsley is fine until is goes to seed—I have clothes I can’t wear until I sit down for a few hours and pick all the burr-covered parsley seeds off them. No, they don’t come off in the wash.

The back of the yard is the worst, but the catchweed and the parsley are all over my entire yard (along with the invasive rescue brome grass I can’t get rid of). I’ve been picking as much of it as I can every time I go outside. I want to destroy ALL OF IT!!!

Except… uh… today while I was watering my trees… uh…

image

Sorry for the grainy quality, I was far away. But… uh… Swallowtail Butterfly host plants include… plants in the… carrot family…

image

You know, like… parsley? She laid several eggs while I watched, and I found three total. I know there’s gotta be more. Well, I guess that’s one host plant I’m not going to run out of… and I’ve never raised swallowtails before!!!

So I put the plants with the eggs inside, and went back to watering. Okay, maybe I don’t hate parsely as much. But I still hate catchweed. GRRR!!!

Oh! Hello Mexican Honey Wasp friend! What are you doing over here?

image

Wait… are you…

image

Nectaring on…

image

Catchweed?!

I watched this wasp, and… yes. The only flowers that seemed to interest her were these tiny catchweed flowers.

Well. I guess I’m not pulling out all of the parsley and catchweed. As if I’d have been able to in the first place.

Just goes to show how even “weeds” are essential components of any ecosystem. My current situation is just a gross imbalance of three particular species.

March 18, 2019

Is catchweed Galium aparine? Because if so, you can eat it cooked like spinach which should get rid of the unpleasant texture (gather leaves and stems before the burrs appear).

“Can I eat it?” is always my first thought when I have to deal with masses of weeds.

Yes, that is my catchweed, and good lord if I ate it all, I’d turn into one! Maybe I’ll make catchweed and hedge parsley ravioli. The burrs are starting to come in on some of them though (grrrrr too late)

Thanks for the hot tip!

March 24, 2019

Regular

A Dilemma

I am but one person with too little time and too many hyperfixations and even though my yard is actually kinda small it ends up taking on a life of its own because hey let nature do its thing, right? What’s the worst that could happen?

*sigh*

So, right now, the very back of my yard is a mini-forest of hackberry, elm, and soapberry saplings about chest high (so thick you can’t walk through them without cutting them down, it’s a situation). Behind those, there’s this tangled mass of common hedge parsley and catchweed bedstraw. Both of these plants are terrible. The catchweed is essentially nature’s velcro and it tears into your skin as a bonus. The parsley is fine until is goes to seed—I have clothes I can’t wear until I sit down for a few hours and pick all the burr-covered parsley seeds off them. No, they don’t come off in the wash.

The back of the yard is the worst, but the catchweed and the parsley are all over my entire yard (along with the invasive rescue brome grass I can’t get rid of). I’ve been picking as much of it as I can every time I go outside. I want to destroy ALL OF IT!!!

Except… uh… today while I was watering my trees… uh…

Sorry for the grainy quality, I was far away. But… uh… Swallowtail Butterfly host plants include… plants in the… carrot family…

You know, like… parsley? She laid several eggs while I watched, and I found three total. I know there’s gotta be more. Well, I guess that’s one host plant I’m not going to fun out of… and I’ve never raised swallowtails before!!!

So I put the plants with the eggs inside, and went back to watering. Okay, maybe I don’t hate parsely as much. But I still hate catchweed. GRRR!!!

Oh! Hello Mexican Honey Wasp friend! What are you doing over here?

Wait… are you…

Nectaring on…

Catchweed?!

I watched this wasp, and… yes. The only flowers that seemed to interest her were these tiny catchweed flowers.

Well. I guess I’m not pulling out all of the parsley and catchweed. As if I’d have been able to in the first place.

Just goes to show how even “weeds” are essential components of any ecosystem. My current situation is just a gross imbalance of three particular species.

March 18, 2019