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Summer means cicada season in Texas. If you look carefully you can usually catch a few as they’ve just emerged from their larval shells. Immediately after molting their wings are still wet and can be easily damaged, so they stay put until the wings are completely dry. I saw this one last weekend, a bit before sunrise.

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This morning I was lucky enough to find another one. I noticed that it seemed stuck in its shell, and as I looked closer something didn’t look right. There were spider webs all over the cicada.

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This small spider, a fraction of the size of the cicada was working on its next meal. I figure that it must have paralyzed the cicada before it went to work.

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Here’s another view of this crazy scene.

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I decided to come outside every half hour or so and check on the progress. My next visit made me question my sanity for a moment. The cicada was gone!

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I heard a squawk and looked to my left. One of the guineas was devouring both the cicada and the spider! It happened so quickly I couldn’t snap a photo.

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Here’s all that remained. I guess the shell wasn’t too appetizing.

Such is the circle of life!

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Pathways have a way of showcasing the personality of the garden and it’s owner. The ones at this year’s Fling in DC/Virginia/Maryland were no exception.

Formal

Whimsical

Freeform

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Living dangerously!

Focused

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Leisurely, as my friend Cat,  The Whimsical Gardener  demonstrated.

One of these days I’ll figure out how to add these to my own garden!

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I had the pleasure of attending my third Garden Bloggers Fling this year. We spent an incredible weekend touring the Washington DC area, including Northern Virginia and Maryland.

One thing that caught my eye was the plethora of concrete yard art. I noticed this more than in Texas, or any of the other Flings I’ve been to, maybe it’s the historical nature of the area.

One of our first stops, was Hillwood Estate, which had French-themed statues.

Throughout the garden, there was loose symmetry, which I love, and have implemented in my own garden.

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Several different gardens displayed St. Francis. This is not only my favorite from the Fling, but my favorite depiction ever.

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I think everyone on The Fling has this picture. The concrete columns of the monastery we visited were masterpieces.

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Even this chipmunk was a fan. This is the first one I’ve ever seen, as we don’t have these little creatures in Texas.

Some concrete was the star of the show.

Some blended effortlessly into the background.

One of these is from the Fling and one is just outside my front door.

 

 

Spring Babies

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These two cuties are the newest addition to the flock. The chick was born yesterday, and the duckling today. These two ducks are sitting on another few dozen eggs, so we are hoping for  several more in the next few days.

Aside from the two new mommas, there are another 4 ducks and 1 chicken sitting on eggs.

So far this season the hatching rate has been very low. We have 4 juvenile ducks and 7 juvenile chickens. We had 5 ducks and 1 chicken sitting a few months ago, but a rat snake and possum got into the coop and ate the majority of the eggs.

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The juvenile ducks are currently in their awkward stage. This one’s wings are a bit too big for his body.

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Here are a two of the seven juvenile chickens. We currently have 3 Bielefelders, 3 Maran/Bielefelder mixes, and 1 White.

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It looks like our new Bielfelder rooster is doing his job.

 

Thanks to Carol at May Dreams Garden for hosting Garden Bloggers Bloom Day the 15th for each month.

Here is what’s blooming in my garden.

The Roses …

The Rise N Shine rose is especially happy since I moved it to a pot. It used to be shadowed by the Livin’ Easy rose where it succumbed to fungus and rarely bloomed.

The Lantana …

The Wildflower Meadow …

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The rest …

Fun with New Lenses

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I’ve been pining after new lenses for quite a while now, and finally pulled the trigger. I bought an upgrade for my daily use lense and a macro lense for the closeups.

The last few days I’ve been playing around with them. I have the Garden Bloggers Fling in DC a week from Thursday, so needed to get used to my new daily lense.

Here are a few of my favorites …

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Milkweed Vine. Until yesterday, I thought the center was a little silver ball.

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From the windflower meadow. I need to find the name of this one.

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Horsemint with sweat bee

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Tiny Kitten

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Carl … it’s the concrete driveway, not snow

 

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Here is our new rescue kitty, Maddie. We’ve had her for over a month. The 3 cats are not best friends yet, but they’re getting better. One reason for the conflict is that Maddie won’t back down from anything. She showed that today, as she stalked a deer, taking her chase all the way across the street!

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Memorial Day weekend seems to be the typical time for fawns to appear in the neighborhood. This year, we’ve seen an abundance of twins. I spotted one set in the front yard this morning and had to grab my camera.

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Momma wasn’t far off, and it turns out I’m not the only one who noticed.

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Maddie Cat was fascinated, and not at all intimidated by the massive size difference.

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Quietly stalking

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Unsuspecting Deer

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Off she goes across the street

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Uh-oh. Caught it, now what do I do?

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Deer took off, guess it is time to head home

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Catching some air

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Back home safe and sound, and still fearless.