texas wildflower

3

Naturalist Journal:
Jones State Forest, North of Houston, TX

The bf and I took a hike up in the pineywoods, North of Houston. It’s been unseasonably warm in the South, so we have all kinds of butterflies and other insects active, and wildflowers blooming a month or 2 early. I didn’t get that many good photos (The butterflies wouln’t cooperate), but i got a few.

1. Blue Violet (Viola sororia), violets are usually smongst the first wildflowers that bloom down here.

2. Festive Tiger Beetle (Cicindela scutellaris flavoviridis), these fast little devils kept flying and running along the wet sand paths on the edge of the woods, hunting other insects. This species has a lot of color and pattern variation amongst the sub-species.

3. I’m not sure, it looks like a chanterelle, but it may be a “False Chanterelle”?

4

Naturalist Journal:  Recent sightings in the park, Houston, TX

1. Drummond’s Skullcap (Scutellaria drummondii), tiny flowers, small plant, often has ants associated with it, gathering nectar and pollen, and protecting the plant from other insects

2. Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata), climbing vine, very popular with hummingbirds

3. Green-striped Grasshopper (Chortophaga viridifasciata) female, females usually green, males usually brown, widely distributed across N. America, found usually in short grass habitats, populations in South may be separate species - C. australior 

4. Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos), small butterfly, larvae feen on smooth-leaved Aster spp.

photos/observations by Paxon Kale

2X AO3 REQUEST GOODNESS

ok so now that i’ve rested after MANY DAYS IN A ROW at work i’ve filled two ao3 prompts and bc they have a running theme i’m posting them together (out of ao3 order bc the second was a sort of prequel)

Requests were: the others find out Arthur has a secret hobby (bonus points for something that could be considered “girly” by some and has him flustered) AND Arthur’s the one to save the day for once

These both make more sense if ur familiar with the fatal frame series lmao im weak

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

The transparent woman slid through the closed door, and Vivi swore so violently the boys both flinched. Lewis glided over the sunken fireplace, reaching for the sliding door and yelping as he drew his hand back. In the back of his eye sockets, his violet irises rolled, and he turned to the rest of the group. “It’s sealed with some sort of powerful energy. We need to find the source to remove it.”

Vivi hopped up onto the raised floor of the room, following the glowing blue filament in the camera to stand before the offending spot. She inhaled deeply, raised the camera, and-

Click.

Nothing happened.

“SON OF A BITCH!”

Vivi stomped her feet, ready to have an absolute fit, and Arthur gently took the camera out of her hands before she could toss it to the floor. “How are we sucking this bad?”

Lewis shrank back, rubbing a bony hand along his arm with the best air of sheepishness he could manage without a proper face. “It’s an old camera, I guess? I mean, we’ve only ever used our phones-”

Click~!

The pair turned to look at the door in surprise, as a mass of blue incorporeal faces wavered like a mirage on hot pavement. The camera spat out a little square, and Arthur gingerly pinched the film between two fingers, waiting patiently for the image to appear instead of frantically flapping it (like Vivi had done with the photo of the woman blocking the door earlier; lord he loved his boyfriend and girlfriend, but bless their hearts-).

“Correction: you two have only ever used your phones.”

Vivi scurried over to peek down at the photo, gaping at the crystal-clear (if aged) image of a familiar coal brazier. “How-?!”

Arthur shrugged, grinning. “You have to adjust the f-stop and shutter speeds, or else everything’s just a blurry, poorly lit mess-”

Lewis crossed his arms, raising one brow. “And you know this how?”

Arthur was now suddenly aware that his friends were both staring at him, and down by the front door, Mystery shot him a knowing smirk. The mechanic chuckled nervously, fidgeting with the camera controls and turning to head for the back. “Come on, guys, we have to get to the coal room to find the source; that might be where the ginger key is-”

“The what key?”

Arthur gestured upstairs. “The key for the lock? The one with a ginger pattern?”

For the second time in as many minutes, the other two were surprised by the blond’s obscure knowledge. “How do you get ginger from that pattern?”

“Have neither of you seen ginger flowers before?”

“Have you?”

Oh boy. Arthur cleared his throat, metal fingers tapping an awkward rhythm on the camera’s casing, and Vivi held up a hand to signal a timeout.

Proper old camera adjustment. Experience with SLR photography. Innate knowledge of obscure flowers.

Could they possibly…be related?

Lewis seemed to come to the same realization at the exact same time as she did, and while she chuckled, he quirked his skull in his closest imitation of a smile. “Arthur…”

“Haha whoops think I hear a ghost coming better hurry up-”

“Arthur, have you been hiding a lil hobby of sorts from us?”

The blond nearly tripped down the step to the lowered hallway, disappearing down the corner with a forced laugh. “Haaaaaaaa can’t hear you buddy can you repea-”

“Wait a second, IS THIS WHY YOU ASK ME TO PULL OVER WHEN YOU SEE WILDFLOWERS ALONG THE HIGHWAY? I THOUGHT YOU JUST NEEDED BATHROOM BREAKS!”

Arthur scurried down the hall, camera tucked against his chest as he blushed furiously, and Vivi cackled with delight in the front room. “ARTHUR THIS IS THE CUTEST THING I SWEAR WHEN WE GET OUT OF HERE I’M GONNA NEED TO SEE YOUR PORTFOLIOS I MEAN IT-”

~*~*~

Lewis sucked a useless breath in between his gritted teeth, clutching his anchor in a panic as its erratic beating expanded and contracted the spiderweb of cracks along the surface. Vivi clutched at his other arm in concern, ignoring the approaching spirit to stare up at him with her big, wet eyes. In front of the pair, Mystery snarled, tails flicking as they fanned out to put a moving obstacle between the kids and the cackling girl in the stained kimono.

“You two need to run! She’s too powerful!”

Vivi glared at the kitsune, ready to read him the riot act, but Lewis beat her to it. “She’s a boss ghost, Mystery, in your physical form you can hardly touch her! Get Vivi out of here, let me-”

A little hand came up and snapped his jaw closed mid-sentence, the bluenette by his side staring up at him through furious tears. “Both of youshut up! I am not going anywhere, you are not fighting over who gets to play heroic sacrifice, and-”

“LEWIS, HIT THE FLOOR!”

In a split second, the world had slowed, turning at a quarter pace. Lewis barely had time to notice the mad ghost, hands stopped just shy of Mystery’s snout, turn to look at the intruder. Before he could process anything, Vivi grabbed him by the lapels, pulling him down to the floor with her. As he fell, he could just make out the glint of a glass lens in the darkness of the hall.

Ding-ding-ding~!

Click-FWOOSH~!

The afterimage of the camera flash faded just in time to catch the shrieking ghost’s final flails, and as she faded out, the night was once again preternaturally quiet. Vivi squirmed under Lewis’s arm, and he scrambled off of her, both of them and Mystery gaping at the panting orange figure stepping out of the darkness. Arthur glared at the spot on the floor where the screaming twin had menaced his friends, then raised his head to look at them, furious expression melting into a relieved deadpan.

“This…vacation…sucks-”

In a second, the rescued trio had sprung up off the floor and into his mismatched arms, and he shrieked with shocked laughter as he fell backwards under the weight of the sudden affection.

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