on this sixth anniversary of my blog.
What's on that camera wire? A Texas Rat Snake (Elaphe obsoleta lindheimeri) which, true to its name, has alerted us to the presence of a rat in our attic. The rat's days are numbered and repairing that fascia board has been on our list for a while. I think we should move it up in priority although the snake might object.
Texas Rat Snakes always have a gray head even as their patterns vary slightly and look vaguely like a rattlesnake. They also pretend to be rattlers by shaking their tail when threatened. Non-venomous and helpful snakes are welcomed in my garden.
On to prettier wildlife like this pair of Painted Lady Butterflies on the Gregg's Mistflower. Butterflies are returning to the garden in greater numbers now that the heat of summer is past us.
Queen Butterfly on Gregg's Mistflower. There's a theme here. Want more butterflies? Plant more Gregg's Mistflower (Conoclinium greggii).
Except for that Giant Swallowtail enjoying the Gomphrena 'Fireworks'. They all have their favorites and it seems that Gomphrena 'Fireworks' is a popular second choice.
I have seen a couple of Monarch butterflies on the tropical milkweed but did not get photos.
Our golf course correspondent brings us this tall fire ant mound complete with golf ball for scale. This high mounding happens after deep soaking rains, as the ants go into hyper-mode to build mounds and escape the soaked ground. You can see two ants on the golf ball if you look closely. They were not amused.
A Whitetail doe hanging out by the compost pile. Our deer herd frequently check for fresh cuttings of their favorite plants which have been fenced off. We've had tons of rain so there should be plenty to eat out there.