When the heat index hits 110, it’s tempting to stay indoors, but chores and pleasure draw me outside at Little Piney. For one thing, I have young trees to water. In the early spring, we planted 9 trees or shrubs that produce fruit and berries for the birds. The Mulberry, Fig, Rusty Black Haw Virburnum, Texas Buckthorn, Rough Leaf Dogwoods, Coral Berries, and Possumhaw should be feeding the Bluebirds and other fruits eaters by next spring! The wonderful watering trays from Tal-Ya Agriculture Solutions pictured below help immensely by gathering the dew each morning and channeling it directly to the little trees. The channeled surfaces equal 5 square feet of dew-gathering area. Developed in Israel, farmers around the world use the trays to water food crops in arid countries. The Tal-Ya trays have kept my trees alive, but in the August heat wave, the trees still need a weekly soak from the hose.
While I’m watering I have my camera handy. As I photographed bees today out in the field, this assassin bug landed on a sunflower stem. The assassin looks like a coma book villain with shiny red and black stripes. Graphic information warning–the assassin ambushes and paralyzes its prey, injects it with a liquidizing enzyme, and drinks it up. Bumble bee smoothie? Last summer I photographed a robber fly that disguises itself as a bumble bee and employs the same method for mealtime.
And here are the bees enjoying nectar from Texas drought-proof natives esperanza, cenizo, and maximillian sunflower–
Beating the Heat
We got up early today for canoeing and shared the lake with this friendly Green Heron. He posed for photos several times giving us close up views of his glowing green, rust, and maroon feathers.
On the Lake
My sweet husband paddles most of the time so I can take photos. I love the reflections on the still morning lake.
A spider duplex over the water
Back on shore–a Gulf Fritillary