21 August 2011

Kidneywood Ecosystem

Despite the heat and drought, the kidneywood (Eysenhardtia texana) is beginning to bloom. It's making the best of a bad situation. And the critters are happy too. This drought has meant that there are very few bugs flitting about. A summer of almost no butterflies, few cicadas, no locusts. I hate that.

But staring out the front window from a cool repose on the couch, I watched bugs like the beautiful little native bee (below), honey bee and beetles (above) flit about the opening blooms.

Then, I saw this fence lizard, Sceloporus undulatus, jumping from branch to branch munching on the bugs. A full on ecosystem! I love that.

And, in real time right now, a pair of lesser goldfinches - the male black and yellow, the female dusty yellow - just alighted on the a small bunch of spent echinacea seed heads just in front of my window. They are picking out the seeds. Lovely. There's a reason I leave those ugly black things around. Too bad I don't have a telephoto lens...

But back to the kidneywood. It's pretty much painful to be outside right now, even for a heat-lover like myself. So, it's nice to have these little pleasures, and to occasionally catch a whiff of the sweet sent of the kidneywood flowers wafting over the yard in the hot breeze. There's not much else to recommend being outside these days.

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