A slithery visitor
We were surprised to find a juvenile Texas rat snake back near the compost pile. We've only ever seen an extremely large adult example of this snake, and only once. They appear when the rats are plentiful, as they must be, in the wake of all the demolition and remodeling everywhere nearby. Ponder Lee, a neighborhood cat, has brought no slain rats to the yard, though. We continue to enjoy lettuce (now quite mature), grape and cherry tomatoes, and yellow wax beans. In addition to the plentiful Grandpa Ott morning glories, we have seen a beautiful giant blue-and-white striated one, a giant cream bloom with blue spokes, and two dainty old-fashioned smaller flowers with purple partial spokes. There are now five colors of nasturtiums. New shoots are appearing at the base of about half of the pride of Barbados. Four o'clocks are coming on strong. We are seeing the first Turk's cap and agastache flowers. Despite all the rain, we've not yet seen any rain lilies. Some of the sweet peas are going to seed. Our wild sunflowers so far are short and very doubled. Fortunately, more neighbors are allowing theirs to rain, so we enjoy very tall ones from the kitchen window. There are tassels on all the cornstalks, but no cornsilk is visible yet.