Sunday, July 29, 2007
Mysteries and Surprises
Woo hoo!! For the first time since the third week of June, I'm completely caught up on blog postings!
Today was another hot and humid day, but I was happy to see that the hydrangeas are holding up pretty well so far. Down behind them, I found these little white flower clusters. Don't know what it is, but I know I like it!
Here's a sweeter shot of the pineapple lilies in the front garden bed. I'd forgotten how they look like little palm trees with their tuft of foliage at the top.
One of these might work well in my prehistoric-themed whiskey barrel (see Memorial Day weekend or thereabouts for a photo).
Heading into the back garden, I was quickly faced with another mystery. That being, what exactly is this particular bird.
Yes, I know it's hard to see in this image, but give it a try.
I haven't yet found a match in my Eastern Birds guide to this gray headed and brownish-golden winged bird, but it seemed to be playing with, or chasing a chickadee. Anyway, the chickadee seemed to think it was a game.
While we're on the subject of mysteries, I'm glad to see that this delightful little flower (as yet unidentified) is blooming again this year...and seems to have four or five other spires to look forward to.
Despite the many Mysteries of the Garden, there are some things I know, however, and I have come to recognize the alarm calls of the various birds who live out back, and they tipped me off to the circling of a hawk high overhead.
I can't help but be tickled by the enthusiasm with which these butterflies loop and dive and swirl through the air above the garden...and this particular one seemed especially happy this morning.
These tiny marigolds definitely win a prize for my Discovery of the Year. As long as I keep them deadheaded, they will apparently continue to bloom like mad.
It seems a lot to hope for that they might seed themselves into the garden for next year, but a gardener can dream, eh?
I was lucky to catch this giant bumblebee coming in for a landing on some of the white oregano currently in bloom.
Finally, the large African marigolds are coming into serious bloom, dotting a few different beds here and there in the Orchard Garden. In the background is a pale orange calendula.
Above, another bloom on the yellow daylily.
Added the mystery list is the identity of this pale yellow caterpillar I found inching across a new daisy in the lower garden.
I've made much of the quality of light lately, especially about how early morning and early evening are so wonderful.
This morning I didn't get out back until around 10 or so...and although it was a very over-cast day, every now and then the sun shone brightly enough through the clouds to create some interesting hazy effects.
I couldn't help smiling at the way the sunlight made these rudbeckia glow.
This dragonfly perched on one of tomorrow's Joan Senior daylily buds.
Finally, I captured a decent photo of this pale blue veronica, blooming across the path from that magenta starry-spired flower.
There are similarities between the two, but the leaf structure's very different.
As we prepare to turn the calendar from July to August, there are plenty of surprises. Usually by now I begin to fear that everything has bloomed and there won't be anything left to show off in August...which usually just means I'm being forgetful.
It's this time of year...this morning, particularly...when my eyes are looking at one thing, and suddenly re-focus to reveal the thing that's towering right before me. In this case(above), a Queen Anne's lace flower slowly unfurling.
Queen Anne was not the only surprise today. When I sat down to take a few moments of rays, I spotted the first flower buds rising above the swordlike foliage of the gladiolas I planted back in May.
With luck, they'll draw that hummingbird in for a closer look, so I can take a photo of it.
And just in case I wasn't completely sure that August was almost here, on the southwestern side of the house, the first spectacular Rose of Sharon flower opened today, too!