Thursday, July 31, 2008

July's End

Here's a special treat unique to this morning: the Casa Blanca lily has begun to bloom. Regrettably, the plant has been a little overtaken by that very first sunflower, which is still blooming like crazy. I planted it there before realizing that the lily would also be rising there.

The lilies were about twice their height at the old location (check the Casa Blanca tag for last year's amazing show), but that was after two years of putting out some nice deep roots. This year, they're recovering from the move and now a little overshadowed by those upstart sunflowers.

But the show's still a lovely just have to go looking for it. The scent is still heavenly...very light this morning, as is its custom. Tomorrow morning the air will be heavily scented...especially if it's kind of foggy and moist like it was this morning...and as it has become again this evening.

Weird computer thing going on appears that my monitor is beginning to give up the ghost. As I posted this morning's entry, the red cones in the monitor seemed to fail, as everything became a sort of pale blue instead of white...and all red tones disappeared.

I think I was still able to develop these photos as I otherwise would...I'm just not seeing the final true colors as you are. Ah, was a second-hand monitor when it came into my possession and truthfully, it's lasted longer than I'd expected at the start of our acquaintance.

I wonder how much longer before it totally gives me the finger. ; )

In other news, as I was tidying up the garden yesterday, I remem bered Butch's advice from back when the sunflowers first began blooming. At the time, he suggested tying the spent flowerhead onto a tree branch, as a feeder for the birds.

So, as I deadhead the smaller sunflowers which had passed, I bundled the seed heads together into a sort of bouquet, and then lashed it to the tallest tomato plant stake.

As you can see, I've left the largest seedhead hanging from its own stem for now. It has the look of a carnival ride and I know the goldfinches will be able to get under there for the seed just fine.

The goldfinches were all over the seed bouquet this morning, as well as nibbling or nectar-sucking from the fresher flowers.

These shots aren't as clear as I might like...they utilize both the fast setting and the digital zoom, as I was shooting through the glass window of the front door.

Fun to watch them flit and flutter around. They are wild little birds to study, fast moving and all over the place...and so light, they can perch on the side of the thinnest plants without bowing them to the ground.

Plus, they are like flowers with their bright yellow and black coloration. Flowers that have come to life and left their stems to take to the air, cavorting with butterflies and bees and all.

Yesterday afternoon, I saw a blue dragonfly a couple of times. It kept landing on the flagstone walk in the sun, but never remained long enough for me to train my camera on it. I have high hopes for the hot afternoons of August, when they seem - as do we all - a little lazy about accomplishing anything more than sitting around in the afternoon sun for a little while.

Today was a bit cooler than we've enjoyed recently, the temperature only climbing into the mid-60s. It was a mildly overcast day and the fog - which never seemed to recede entirely - came rolling back as afternoon became evening...looking like smoke drifting over the neighborhood rooftops.


dykewife said...

a wild life haven :) wonderful! i adore dragonflies. i have a tattoo of one on my right forearm. to me they're all about freedom, flying and getting rid of mosquitoes.

Rick said...

Reminds me of my need to plant a perennial garden. Thanks for sharing.

somewhere joe said...

Gorgeous Casa Blanca... the fresh white and deep rust are so handsome. You can take a whole color scheme idea from some flowers.

Sooo-this-is-me said...

Very nice pictures. I love sunflowers, they often give colour in fall when everything else is getting ready to sleep for the winter.

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous blog! Thanks for dropping by mine!

Greg said...

Joe, aren't they amazing? I just love that white stripe on the anthers--it's only there for the first hour or two after opening!'s only August first, and you used the F word!! Shame on you! : )

I look forward to watching these guys extend the season...

Java said...

I'm jealous of your cool temps.
I had to look closely to see the goldfinches. Had I not know they were there I doubt I'd have seen them. I love your description of them!

bigislandjeepguy said...

i'm curious about the smell of those lilies. i love the look of them, but at my brother's funeral, there were SO many that now, whenever i smell that smell, transports me immediately back to that experience. and that sucks because the flowers (and smell) are really beautiful. i can just do without the memories that are attached to them.

Birdie said...

Between you and Patrick and Joe, this is indeed a Dragonfly Summer.

I loved the finch shots!

Greg said...

Java, they blend in so well with their bright yellows! I was amazed they stayed something like still long enough to snap a photo or two!

BIJG, what a shame to have that association with the scent of flowers. If only you'd known the scent before, it might've been more of a comfort, rather than a lingering sadness.

Birdie, it truly is a Dragonfly Summer, isn't it - they've been visiting the garden like crazy, but remain a little camera-shy!!

Wonder Man said...

The Casa Blanca Lily is beautiful flower