A Gardener’s Obsession

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Obsession is a word that can be applied to gardening.  How many times does a gardener head outside to do a few quick chores and finishes hours later? That was the plan. Finish three quick tasks. First off was to photograph the Butterfly Weed seeds ripening outside the kitchen window.

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Next, the potted plants had their daily watering.

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Lastly, the porch needed a quick sweep to get the newly hatched Shrimp Bugs cleaned up.  The chores were done in no time.  As part of my daily habit, it was time to take a stroll through the gardens.

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It is never that simple. A big branch had to be removed from on top of the Azaleas.

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While the branch was being moved, I noticed the Sword Ferns had left their boundary.  The ferns needed to be pulled and there was many more than pictured.

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Heading to the backyard, I could see the Rain Lilies were ready to be deadheaded.

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Walking up the driveway to admire the gingers, I was pleased to see new sprouts coming up.  They needed to be protected from the rabbits, which led to getting supplies from the highest garage shelf and cutting netting and stakes to the right length.

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While working on the Gingers, I found one that had left the bed.  Naturally, it had to be potted up, so I searched for an empty pot and soil for that job.

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The hanging upside-down pot caught my attention when I hit my head on it working in the Ginger garden.  It was empty and needed to be filled.  I found some Torenia seedlings and potted them.

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And I just couldn’t walk away from the Wax Myrtle runners that were coming up in the Ginger bed.  They had to be cut.

About 3 hours later I finished. And oh yeah, I then decided to photograph everything to make a post.  Add another half hour.


Around the Garden

Here are some photos of flowers currently blooming around the garden.  The first batch is from the wildflower bed.  They represent plants from farther west that grow in drier terrain.

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The next few shots are the exotics.  These plants enjoy wet weather and are from the tropics.  The shiny pearl buds are from Variegated Ginger (Alpinia zerumbet).

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Hot colors make this ginger, Costus barbatus, really stand out.  The red bracts and yellow flowers are waxy to the touch.  I had to look up its name, as the plant had traveled away from its marker.

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This intriguing plant is the Blood Lily.  Its head is actually nearly 200 individual flowers. Happily the bulb has reproduced and there are more each year. Read more at this previous post.

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An interesting flower is that of the Split Leaf Philodendron.  At night it scents the air very pleasantly.  When it is done blooming, the flower rots on the plant.  A fun fact is that there are over 489 species of Philodendron.  You can’t go wrong calling a leafy tropical plant a Philodendron!

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Lastly is a garden favorite, the Rain Lily.  Magically, these sweet pink lilies bloom only after a rainfall.  Yes, they can tell the difference between real rainwater and sprinkler water.


Ready to Fly

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The Butterfly Weed pods have been popping open, revealing seeds attached to their silks waiting for the right moment to fly.


Frick and Frack’s Family

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Frank, Frankie and Freeda, the newest Carolina Wrens were recently spotted. All three are flying and doing well.  Frick and Frack are  teaching their kids the ins and outs of suburban life, including lessons in finding bugs on ceiling fans.  Dad is sitting on the porch furniture (not in frame) loudly giving instructions.


Out of Sync

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One lonely Confederate Rose flower is completely out of sync with its usual blooming time.  The plant normally blooms in the Fall and is one of my favorites.  The Confederate Rose went through its usual life cycle and lost all of its leaves in the winter. I have no idea what stimulated the plant to make one flower.  I guess I will just enjoy the preview of what’s to come.

 


Baby Announcement for Frick and Frack

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Frick and Frack’s three eggs have hatched.  Meet the newest Carolina Wrens, Frank, Frankie and Freeda.

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Mom and Dad have been busy keeping them fed.  It is a multi-step process getting to the nest and making sure no predators are watching.

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The meals have been small moths, little worms and various bugs.

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I missed  the shot, but the parent was pulling out a fecal sac.  The nest is kept very clean.

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When I finally got the shots I wanted for the post,  I noticed that evening the adult Wrens were not tending the nest.  I grabbed a flashlight to see inside and found the nest empty.  It was the day the baby Carolina Wrens were ready to go out into the world.  I wish them well!


All in One Day

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I was checking a bed in the backyard when I hear a loud ruckus on the other side of the fence.  A flock of Bluejays were screaming and  Chickadees were joining in.  I was hoping to see a Barred Owl or an Eagle, but the birds were low in the trees and looking at the ground.  The animal upsetting them was a Rat Snake.

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The Rat Snake was slinking away and going for cover.  He looks lumpy and maybe just ate. The brave little Chickadees were right above him and didn’t seem to mind me being there.  Rat Snakes can crawl up trees and eat eggs and baby birds.  This one was quite long and they can get up to 6 feet in length.  According to my research, they curl up and defend themselves, are not venomous, but will bite. This snake allowed me to snap quite a few photos with my phone.  I have encountered them before and never found the Rat Snakes vicious and they usually slither away.

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Next, I headed to the front yard to collect Poppy seeds.  I noticed this Copperhead right before I stepped on the rock.  It is still a baby and I have been told they are more venomous than adults.  I find Copperheads just like to watch.

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And not as scary, I found a Crawfish hole.  Apparently, there are various kinds of these creatures, but are all very similar.  They can also be called Crayfish.  Crayfish is the name an English scientist gave to them and Crawfish is the American name and used in the South.  Crawfish it shall be.  Unwelcomed   critters seemed to show up in the garden all in one day.


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