Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Wildlife Wednesday October 2018

Our rainiest September on record in San Antonio followed one of our driest, hottest summers ever.  Over 25" of often pounding rain kept me out of the garden and the usual late summer butterfly population was down but we should soon make up for lost time.  The rain has brought an abundance of flowers to the tank garden which is a magnet for daily bee activity just in time for Wildlife Wednesday hosted on the first Wednesday of each month by Tina at "My Gardener Says....".

Wildlife literally buzzing in the tank garden is a little hard to see from here so we'll have a closer look.  Honeybees are all over the Salvia farinacea.

And so are the bumblebees.  Different bumblebees can be identified by the shape of their fuzzy stripes but I am chart-challenged apparently so just look at all that bright orange pollen.

We need a GIF to demonstrate the activity.

Frostweed (Verbesina virginica) is blooming just in time for Monarch season.  Monarchs have been spotted in Austin just an hour north so they should be here soon.

Our neighbor who regularly mowed "weeds" around the stop sign at the end of our street has moved and I discovered Monarch host plant Zizotes milkweed (Asclepias oenotheroides) has popped up along with a surprising variety of native plants.  I've been collecting seeds in case another "helpful" neighbor decides to start mowing.  Its companion is excellent nectar source pink Oxalis drummondii which has begun colonizing in my buffalo grass.

I continue to be fascinated by tiny toads showing up after a rain.  Immediately after hatching out in the open they make a run for the nearest cover similar to turtles heading for the sea.  This one is smaller than my pinkie nail.  

Baby toads are excellent at camouflage.

Burrowing animals like foxes and armadillos have their access limited by water in our typically dry creek but the deer are loving it.  For years we watched in amusement as they play in the water and often walk or even run up and down the middle of the creek after a rain.

Deer are even better at camouflage than the toads.  It's a handy survival device.

Ah, there you are.

It's a buck, they know to remain in the trees so their antlers blend in.

The rest of the herd is here too.

Enough spying, he's showing off that beautiful leaping style.

That's the wildlife report from my September garden.  Tina has more wildlife garden posts in the comments section of her blog.


  1. Bees! They're really active now, aren't they and thank you for the baby toad shot. I never had my camera ready when one of those cuties hopped in front of me. I like the shots of your wet-weather creek and glad the deer are having fun in the wet!

    1. Those tiny toads are not easy to catch on camera.

  2. Those little toads tug at my heart. And what a miraculous explosion of flowers you've had! As I sit here waiting to see if Mother Nature will come through with what could be our first rain since March, I've been wondering what impact it'll have on my garden but, of course, we'll be lucky if we get as much as half an inch out of this system - and there's still a good chance we'll get nothing at all.

    1. I hope you got rain last night Kris. It looked like you might have from the weather report.

  3. Love the Bee GIF and the baby toad. How lucky that you saw it.

    1. I saw quite a few but they are fast and getting one on camera is a challenge.

  4. If you have deer, are there also cougar around? Or another predator (apart from people)?

    1. Wow, good question Diana. Cougars/Puma aka Mountain Lions are fairly common in nearby natural areas and are occasionally reported in suburban city parks. The most likely deer predators in the city are Coyotes. Our neighborhood has a wildlife manager who keeps track of both the deer herd and coyotes. Management includes relocating them as needed to larger ranches out of town. This is a good thing because coyotes scare me more than snakes or any other wildlife I'm likely to encounter here.


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