Monday, April 30, 2012

Gold in the Trumpet Vine

Saw a flash of warm gold in the pecan tree next door while I was sitting at my computer. Some type of oriole, I think, female or juvenile. Grabbed the telephoto lens and took these photos of the antics from the comfort of my desk chair (an entirely different view than the bare fence I looked at all winter). Apparently there's good eatin' in trumpet vine flowers. IMG_4457 IMG_4479 IMG_4496 IMG_4484 IMG_4483 IMG_4493

Sunday walk at Turkey Creek

IMG_1445 IMG_1447 IMG_1461 IMG_1452 IMG_1449 IMG_1451 IMG_1457 Some wildflowers I hadn't seen before (the two purples) at Turkey Creek this weekend. And Lloyd.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Trumpets and Volunteer Tomatoes

IMG_4395 Trumpet vine has been opening its orange-red bells all week. IMG_4393 Above is the view from my back porch. You can see behind the canna that the vine has put a pretty solid claim on the fence (and anything near the fence). Saw a hummingbird visit for a sip yesterday. IMG_1382 First angel's trumpet bloom of the year. This started in a 4" pot from the Ladybird Wildflower Center sale several years ago and somehow survived last summer's drought and my move. P1020850 P1020851 The buds always fool me into thinking it might bloom lavender instead of white.

Below: Volunteer tomato 1, Roma. IMG_4403 IMG_4401 I love a volunteer in the garden, but there's just something extra special about these tomatoes because there wasn't a vegetable garden anywhere here before. No pot that they strayed from. The only thing that used to be where this Roma is was lawn. Then that died, and the spot was parking. It's like a little savory miracle.

Below: Volunteer tomato 2, cherry IMG_4397 IMG_4400 This one's right next to my back porch where the ground used to be covered in concrete. IMG_4398 And I threw out some seeds a week ago in a patch of dirt that I haven't figured out a landscape plan for yet. Just thought it'd be nice to have some cosmos and sunflowers. And apparently zinnias (I found an unlabeled ziploc bag of seeds that I thought were Mexican sunflowers but turned out to be zinnias).

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Days of thistles and butterflies...and rock slides

IMG_1405 IMG_1403 IMG_1410 IMG_1418 IMG_1394 IMG_1387 IMG_1386 It was all hearts and thistles and butterflies till I came upon this yellow tape stretched across Walnut Creek. What?! IMG_1427 IMG_1429 The entire side of the cliff fell down into the creek. Just this past Friday, I was walking exactly where the rock fell (luckily it did not come down till Monday). And according to the news, no one was injured. Guess I won't be taking the strength of rock walls for granted anymore!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Caterpillar with a ladybug head

P1020840 Does anyone know what this is? The closest I could find was a pearly wood nymph caterpillar, but this seems hairier than the images I found online.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Morning light and other inspiration

IMG_4376 IMG_4369 IMG_4383 IMG_4372 IMG_4373 These last two are the view from my kitchen sink. Washing dishes has never been so dreamy!

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Pretty and the Not So Pretty

IMG_4363 IMG_4365 So, that was the pretty, 20 stems of iris from the grocery store yesterday. All closed up tight until they started bursting open last night. Next up: one of many not-so-pretty dirt beds around the backyard. IMG_4346 IMG_4350 Dug in some compost and planted some of the iris I rescued from foundation work last summer, along with new plants: rosemary, fragrant white mistflower, pavonia, a Martha Gonzales rose, and my go-to, Mexican feathergrass. Left in the not-so-pretty volunteer sunflowers just because it'll take everything else a while to get interesting. IMG_4351 Everything looks a little better when mulched. IMG_4353 IMG_4355 So, here was the dill a week and a half ago: IMG_4254 And for reference, my dog's fairly large. P1020817 My sister pulled up the dill yesterday, and the veggie garden looks very different. Poor kale was struggling to get sun. IMG_4358 Added compost, okra, and a jalapeno to the veggie bed today, and I'm hoping things get enough sun now that the pecans have leafed out. Just have to wait and see...

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day: April 2012

IMG_0948 IMG_4338 IMG_4337 IMG_4343 IMG_4341 So, the front yard planting seem to be settling in happily, but they're all just a couple weeks old. From the top: gaura, gregg's mist (butterfly favorite), burgundy hibiscus, and firecracker fern IMG_4328 This abutilon was an impromptu purchase as I was hurrying through Natural Gardener today in the cold, semi-expected rain; I think I'll put it in the shade in front of the porch. IMG_4334 IMG_4332 Nandina and Mexican petunias are survivors IMG_4319 IMG_4317 IMG_4329 Dill gone seedy; it had gotten pretty beastly, shading out everything else, so it got pulled this afternoon. IMG_4324 Volunteer tomato; I wonder what type this will be... IMG_4322 Honeysuckle on my neighbor's fence. Next up to bloom: trumpet vine, magnolia and crepe myrtle IMG_4326 IMG_4345 IMG_4339