Sunday, December 4, 2011
Friday, October 28, 2011
Today I drove to Ruston and back. The pale golden leaves of the muscadine vines were really showing in the trees along the roadside. The individual leaves are about four inches across and shaped like a rounded heart with jagged edges. They look like ornaments scattered across the trees. We have them here at Kalorama, but they are not draped across pine trees like they are on the roadside, so they don't catch the eye among all the other colors. I do love this time of the year at Kalorama. Everything is golden and glowing with the sun shining through.
Here are a few pictures taken this week.
Cocculus carolinus, Carolina moonseed
Parthenocissus quinquefolia, Virginia creeper.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Around here, some parts of the bottom of the bottom of the food chain are doing very well.
Yesterday evening I was tending a brush pile fire which is sort of a captive audience-type task. The bugs joined me in this endeavor. I don’t remember a time when the gnats have been this numerous. You notice I am not saying the gnats are bad. Their presence always reminds me that hungry birds, especially hummingbirds, should be getting plenty to eat. In this case, between the gnats, mosquitoes, and eventually the flies that joined us, my thoughts drifted to the Bible verse above. Then, the words to the old hymn, His Eye is on the Sparrow came to mind. And as time wore on, I thought it would be great if one of those sparrows would drop by and perch on my shoulder and gobble bugs. Before I was done, I was thinking I wouldn’t mind if a big old stinky cattle egret would come hang around with me and scarf some of the flies. Gnats may be too small for cattle egrets.
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Friday, September 23, 2011
The end of summer signals the start of serious seed collecting around here. The bigleaf magnolia, Magnolia macrophylla, (pictured below), prized for its enormous leaves and spectacular blooms in May also has a big showy seed pod. The seeds are very popular with the birds, so it is always a challenge to beat them to the pods. We try to harvest the ones on bottom, leaving plenty up in the top of the tree for the birds.
In spite of the intense summer heat, the meadow areas had spectacular displays of prairie flowers in late June, July, and early August. It is amazing to see how those areas have spread over the years. There is room for a lot more. Typically, those areas are covered with butterflies when the flowers are in bloom. This year butterflies were seldom seen during the spring and summer. As of now, lovely orange Gulf fritillary butterflies and yellow sulphurs are regularly flitting around the Turk’s cap flowers in the butterfly garden. This annoys the ruby-throated hummingbirds to no end as they consider the Turk’s cap to be all theirs.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
I am in New Orleans for the Louisiana Garden Club Federation state convention this week. I spent today on the pre-convention tour. We boarded buses at the New Orleans Botanical Garden in City Park this morning and toured three gardens in the garden district. Each home had the landscape architect that did the grounds on hand to tell us all about it. All three were magnificent homes, but I only found one of the gardens to be a little interesting. We had lunch on the grounds at Longue Vue Gardens, and walked around the gardens there. I was able to get lots of Louisiana Iris pictures. I needed some those because all my pictures are from years ago and are slides. I was glad to get some digital pictures of one of the most spectacular Louisiana native flowers. We were bussed back to the botanical gardens for tours there, and I got some more pictures of different things. It is amazing how both gardens have recovered from Hurricane Katrina, both the wind and the flooding. However, things are able to grow year-round down here, so it grows twice as fast.
I bailed out before the bitter end and came back to the hotel and collapsed for a little while. Later I went out to eat with friends at Commander's Palace. I had never eaten there before. I had Crawfish and Tasso Mac Choux and Ponchatoula Strawberry Shortcake. It was all good!
Here is a link to pictures I took today. Pardon the iris enthusiasm.