Tuesday, September 5, 2017


Time, slowly, to get back to farm things.  We must keep moving forward. 

Went to the farm to mow yesterday.  I wore a long sleeved shirt, pants with mud boots, and a hat, so the only exposed skin was face, neck and hands.  The mosquitoes weren't too bad while riding on the mower.  All I did though yesterday was mow and come back into town.  Needed rest before work hits yet again today (as this posts in fact, ha).

But while I was there, I noticed this: 

Sometime in the last couple of weeks, a snake (another one) shed it's skin on one of the garden trellises I left on the porch away from the storm.

Then I put a couple of plants on the porch to be out of the wind and wasps built this nest in one of them.

And just below the wasp nest, this banana spider built her web.  I guess they all found shelter from the storm...on our porch, ha!

This is growing out there all of a sudden, in the shade of a tree on the other side of the property. We have never see it before.  It's not "pokeweed" because the berry clusters are different and we have ID'd that out there already, but this one is new. Anyone know?

Nature keeps going on in spite of whatever hardships life throws at us doesn't it?


  1. The mystery shrub is an American Beautyberry. They are fairly common in the southeast and you sometimes see them in plant nurserys were they can be kinda pricey. I have quite a lot of them on my land. They do make a very nice focal point in a flower garden or naturalized in a border.

  2. MaMaHen beat me to the punch on identifying your mystery plant.
    Here is a link for the Beautyberry: http://mtcubacenter.org/plants/american-beautyberry/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIo6CVs6qO1gIVk7XACh1kyw62EAAYASAAEgLJfPD_BwE

    Another with more info: https://garden.org/ideas/view/wildflowers/147/All-About-American-Beautyberry/

    I found a rather large wasps nest on a chain link gate that was leaning up against the shed by my pepper plants :{ It's gone now. :}

    I must say; looks like you are well blessed with snakes there on the farm. Do be careful when going in the house.

  3. They grow in OK too. Good snake and spider, bad wasps.

  4. That snake must be mighty long. Sometimes wasps build their nests under the eaves of my house. I knock them down early in the morning when the wasps are sleepy. The number of wasps that can be in those nests in shocking.


  5. That plant is so pretty - but not the snake skin! I know there are good snakes but...

    Glad you two are doing okay. Flooding for Texas, fires here in Oregon. Looking forward to winter!

  6. Eeek...your insect refuge is icky to me lol...I'm glad you didn't get eaten alive by skeeters...they are horrible when it's muggy and rainy!

  7. yep beautyberry. be sure you like it where it is growing because they area nightmare to get rid of. i am still digging mine up years after i thought i got rid of it. they are almost impossible to kill!

  8. I concur. American Beautyberry.

  9. You have a menagerie on your front porch! You should point one of your game cameras there while you are gone - it’s no telling what you’ll see visiting your porch!
    Maybe the orb-weaver garden spider was beneath the yellow jackets in hopes of catching one in her web. Ahh, the circle of life.
    The snake skin may have come from a chicken snake - they can get pretty long. They love to eat rats and mice, so I always considered them my friends when I lived in the country.
    That plant really is a beauty - and it’s growing free and wild on your Farm!

  10. Many years ago Parade Magazine, which is included in our Sunday newspaper, did a story about vitamin B1 being a mosquito deterrent. Their study showed that the vitamin is excreted through the skin and apparently repels mosquitoes. My husband and I always did a lot of camping in our younger years and sat outside in the evening being mosquito bait. So we decided to try taking the supplements. They worked for us. We were in a camping club which met monthly and others in the group got a lot of mosquito bites, but we didn't. Those long ago tests don't meet with today's strict guidelines for scientific studies, but we know it worked for us. We took a 100 MG pill about an hour before going out, and if we were out most of the day would take one in the afternoon and another one in the early evening. In researching for more modern results, I read of one person who said he took 500 MG a day and never got bitten by mosquitoes or black flies. The pills are really cheap and not harmful if taken sensibly. I still keep some on hand, buying fresh ones every year. I can't remember the last time I got a mosquito bite.

    I'm very glad that your farm was spared the flooding from Harvey. Was your old neighborhood in town in a flood area? I remember some photos you posted of a highway not far from the house being flooded. I can't imagine living through a flood, much less doing it over and over, or a least worrying about being flooded. We had a motorhome totaled by a flash flood in San Antonio over 20 years ago and I almost couldn't get home one day because of flooded roads. That was enough of a flood experience for me. My heart breaks for those who lost everything. They still have mortgages, but no houses - no place to call home.

    1. I will certainly put B1 in my arsenal! Thanks for the tip! With all the water in that area, mosquitoes are bound to be awful, as I am getting ready to prepare for Irma!

  11. Our son-in-law eats A lot of garlic (raw and in food)and the mosquitoes just don't bother him.

  12. Beauty Berry Jelly! Try it you will like it. These bushes are a magnet for the birds and look awesome in the yard. Very colorful.

  13. I have seen these plants all my life and never knew what they were other than a weed! Learn something everyday!

    The only good I saw in those photos was the garden spider! I welcome them and they are really beautiful in their own way! Hopefully, the snake went on his way! I am allergic to wasps so I hope they are just dead!


Please leave us a comment! I have some comment moderation on and of course will approve your comment relatively quickly. We love feedback and hearing what others have to share with us all. Please know that I can't always reply to it right away, but ALL comments are read. I will reply just as soon as I can so be sure to come back and see my reply.

Now, let us hear from you!