Onondaga Cave

Missouri is home to many caves (and there will be a map at the end of this post to prove it), and there are several that are open to the public. A few summers back my wife and I visited Meramec Caverns, and last month we went to another that's just an hour or so from home: Onondaga.

There's not too much narrative to this post, although we did learn a few interesting things about the cave that I'll add here and there. (This post took forever to write!)



This is the deer that wanders around our neighborhood during the day, almost fearlessly.

She is either quite bold, or has very poor eyesight -- worse than other deer. Or perhaps she's just soooo hungry? I've been able to get within 10' (3m) of her, although these photos were taken from indoors.


Totem Pole Cactus

My totem pole cactus (Lophocereus schottii) is doing great! Well, fine at least. It didn't put on much growth last year...

...but it seems to be healthy. It might need a little more fertilizer, and maybe a few hours more sun a day? I don't know if I have a better spot than the deck stairs though.


Midsummer replacement

The walkway garden has been quite nice this year with a couple of summer additions. There are a few plants that are spent though, and it's time for a refresh.

If you can ignore the white-hot spot of sunlight on the wonderfully silver foliage of the Artemesia ludoviciana, you can see the tired green of the cleome surrounding it. Blech.


Tadpole update

Remember how the stream rebuild unexpectedly turned into a tadpole rescue? Well, it's time for an update on these metamorphosing amphibians.

I thought these tadpoles looked different, not the American Toad tadpoles that I'm used to seeing.


Milkweed, why?

I've given the milkweed patch in my garden a few years to start attracting swarms of monarch butterflies, and because this is common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) which spreads from its roots...

...it has taken over the entire "prairie" portion of my garden. I let it because it's easier for the butterflies to spot a large patch, right?



I think "ootheca" is the perfect word for... well, I'll tell you in a minute if you don't already know.

This is one of my Fargesia sp. 'Rufa' (possibly no longer the correct name as it seems to change every couple of years):

I need to clean out dead culms and also take a division of it, but doing it in the summer is dangerous -- wasps make nests in it every year. So I did clean out quite a bit in early spring, but there were still some visible dead culms poking out and a week or so ago I decided to remove them.


What the peck?

The other day I noticed this downy woodpecker on the yucca flower stalk:

Hmmm -- what's he doing there?


Summer is cool!

That's something we don't say too often in St. Louis, where we usually have hot and humid summers that end up being quite dry much of the time. For the last four or five days it's been unusually cool though, with highs in the 70-80ºF (21-27ºC) range, and we've had quite a bit of rain.

The humidity has been relatively low too, with a nice breeze. In other words, pretty awesome weather! This means windows open, no watering for several days, all the plants perking up -- and even a little bit of garden work. (Nothing on the stream project though -- too wet!)


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