Monday, May 28, 2012

There's Something Going On

What it is ain't exactly clear.
  • January 5, 30
  • February 2
  • March 12, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22
  • April 2
  • May 3, 6, 7, 24, 27, 28?
What do these dates have in common in 2012? They all tied or broke records for high temperatures. That's nineteen days and we aren't even done with the fifth month of the year. 

I'm wondering about the changes I've seen in plant development and how bloom times and early plant death will impact the insects and other members of the food webs. The National Weather Service is predicting above normal temperatures for the rest of the summer and below normal precipitation. Wonderful. I've already watered my garden way more than I ever have at this time of year. That's ugly. 

How 'bout a quick pictorial view of what's in bloom since it is a holiday or something. BBQ day?

Flowers in Bloom
Datura- before

Datura- the morning after. She's already weeping.
I'd really like to do a series of 10-20 minute pics of this flower opening. It's starts emitting it's lemony smell before it opens. Delish. 
Illinois Prairie Rose in full burst (left)

Illinois Prairie Rose upclose
beloved by Honeybees and Bumbles

Lily #1

Lily #2

Lily #3

Lily #4

Variegation Obsession
Being a plant dork I was obsessing over the patterns in variegated leaves on my back porch last night. Nothing better to do. Kept me mostly out of trouble while the hub was away. These were some of my favorite individual leaves. In awe. 
Caladium variegation
Scented Geranium variegation

Elephant Ear- variety Mojito

Oh ya, Back to more Flowers in Bloom
More Sunflowers planted by the chickens. (came with the compost from the chicken coop)

Flower from one of my desert succulents. Coolness.

Gesneriad- front porch

Peruvian Spider Lily- ooohhh. First time for this one. Got some old bulbs at a box store. 

And one for the ridiculous file
Why yes this IS New England Aster (a late summer/fall bloomer) blooming in late May.

Scenes from the Wild Kingdom
Back porch collection

Brick path to back porch- blue thing is the rain barrel

Hosta bed

Cuttings and Seed Starting
Sedum cuttings for the hellstrip in town
(in a 50-50 sand/potting mix)

Clitoria (shhhs) and 3 types of Basil starting
(nothing will germinate in the soil- too dry)

Oxalis depressa bulbs sprouting

"Autumn Mix" pumpkins and squashes (right) 
Luffa gourds (left)

Other happenings and Experiments
Mortgage Lifter (will it be my first large mater of the season?)

My hundredth attempt at growing Eggplant organically. This time using tulle (only 90cents per yard with my coupon- cheaper than buying garden bug barrier)

Newest attempt at surviving the drought. Kitty litter buckets with 2 pinholes each on the bottom. It takes almost all day for these to drain slowly releasing water into the soil. Straw as mulch also for water preservation.

Same practice, but in my containers using a grape juice bottle:

I like insects
Found this very interesting critter on my bathroom curtain. It looks like it mimics the scale of a pinecone. It tucks its 2 front legs in so you can only see the 4 with crazy feathery projections. I'm thinking it is related to the assassin bugs. I also think that I may have seen it squirt something out its rear end. 

Camouflaged Dragonfly on the lime green feverfew.

Free Stuff 
I made 16 pints of Strawberry jam from all the free strawberries I could pick. The owners were out of town and asked people to pick as much as they could. 

Happy Memorial Day Ya'll.

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