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Sunday, February 25, 2018

Taking the verbena challenge

This is a lot of work. Hope it actually pays off. Reminds me of years ago when I built an  underground nesting complex for Burrowing Owls. It never attracted that species, because they don't nest where there's not enough prairie grasses, and apparently they don't winter in the high desert either.

Now I'm trying to transplant a patch of verbena. They're not too hard to dig up at the oasis and I've found a few more plants of it. But I'd like a patch of about 3 dozen plants. So far I've dug up half that amount. And then I'll have to prepare a bed, and keep them watered.

Here's my efforts along the highway. The ground is rock hard and I have to use a rock hammer. Can't get them out with roots intact, but my research indicates that they can grow new roots. First I dig a trench around the plant, then fill it with water and work away at it until I get it out. Usually, that's when the dirt around the root crumbles away and leaves me with bare roots.

It's hard to find any small ones, not in bloom.

 I'm really wiped out. Gonna baby them and see if they survive and grow. And if they do, and I can figure out where I want to transplant them to,* and get it ready, and transplant them, it'll be an accomplishment. It only takes a couple of hours of moderate work to totally exhaust me. Here's some that I dug up today.

The six verbena that I dug up a couple of days ago look good. 

Here are a few of those piles of surfacing material along the highway. Would sure be nice if I had it on my road.

Saw my first Funereal Duskywings of the year today. Saw it earlier last year. Seems to hang out by the blooming Mountain Laurel this time of year. It bloomed earlier last year, as I recall.

No hummers yet.

* I want to plant them where they get a little shade, and can be viewed easily, preferably where photographers hang out, so if I'm not there I won't miss a rare sighting. Also need to be away from walkways so they don't get in the way of birders. The only potential place I've found so far would require a lot of grass removal.

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