Many local wild plants are putting on berries right now. The first two photos show briars andthe third is a wild annual I haven't id'ed yet. You cannot eat either of them! Edible berries ripening now will be in a separate post (Safe Food Handling, you know). Others are blooming for their final hoorah.
The butterflies are going nuts! They will not sit still for a minute, so no pics of them. I saw a little orange one the other day chasing a larger green insect - maybe a grasshopper or a dragonfly - it looked like a sparrow chasing a hawk! The butterfly chased the larger creature into a tree, then turned around and flew back the way it came. It was a sight to see!
A couple of years ago, at Nick's, during the season when his Live Oak tree was blooming, we saw another episode of butterfly behavior. The tree was filled with bees and with butterflies. Not sure what kind of bees but I assume they were honeybees. The butterflies looked a lot like the Hackberry Emperors that come to fruit and melon rinds.
Anyway, the tree was so full of both of these that it was humming. And here's the thing: the butterflies were battling with the bees, but the bees weren't stinging. The butterflies were wrestling with the bees: jumping on them and knocking them out of the tree and wrestling
with them on the ground. The bees, on the other hand, were docile and just trying to get back up to the blossoms. It was the most unusual thing. Have you ever heard of such?
Don't forget that now is the time to plant bulbs and fruit trees! I ordered hyacinth, saffron crocus and grape hyacynth bulbs. I planted bulbs last year for the first time and OH MY! They are the best thing since sliced bread. They are easy: just dig a hole and put them in. You can even put different kinds in the same hole, at different depths.
Then in the dreary depths of winter, happy green leaves pop up, followed by flowers that last a long long time. The fragrance of the hyacinths in a vase fills the whole room. It's better than a room full of roses!