Yesterday I took a walk around our largest pasture, a space that is half woods and half prairie. My primary mission was to look for a fallen tree in case it landed on the fence (something I heard around 2:30 AM that morning but couldn’t definitively locate by sound). My secondary mission, of course, was to take pictures and enjoy nature.
Unfortunately for me, the jaunt came after heavy rain and on a moderately cool day and on a very windy day. I had little hope of seeing much other than flowers and fungi, perhaps even the occasional arthropod, the latter being mostly comatose given the temperature.
To my surprise, I had a good deal of warm company no matter where I looked. That company came in the guise of Texas spiny lizards (Sceloporus olivaceus). Mostly males, these reptiles seemed to be out in force occupying every sunny spot available.
They didn’t welcome my company, of course, but they likewise didn’t rush away just because I appeared. After all, scampering about served only to remove them from open spots in sunlight.
A few butterflies and a few caterpillars couldn’t fill the long walk, and the flowers and fungi are ubiquitous and thus things I have seen and photographed on a regular basis. Thus it was with great pleasure that I welcomed the warm company of these lizards, even if they weren’t exactly thrilled with my invasion of their sunbathing moments.
Despite my lack of activity of late, herein lies a bit of what’s to come. Or at least a bit of the warm company I enjoyed yesterday.
Oh, and the fallen tree was beyond the pasture. The only thing I found on the fence was a sapling about 15 feet/5 meters tall. And I removed it without difficulty. Apparently the big tree I heard fall was one well beyond our property.
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- We have been mindful of monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus). Given the precarious situation they’re in—likely to be wiped out in the next decade at most—we’ve allowed all manner of milkweed to grow around the farm. And we’ve been watchful for their presence. Yesterday I saw two across the expanse of a multi-acre pasture. Sad, yes, but still hopeful.
- For the other tidbits I saw and photographed and didn’t present here, you can expect to see them in an upcoming post.
- I’ve been busy of late with tasks about the family farm, not to mention the rebuild of my laptop—going from Windows to Linux. I’ll share a bit later about my experience on the Linux upgrade.