I am enamored by Confederate Roses which are sometimes called Cotton Rose. Over the years I have posted photos of them on my blog 22 times. If you are like me and can’t get enough of the cabbage rose-shaped flowers that change color, search Confederate Rose on my blog. I’m obsessed with taking photos of my favorite flower, so here are some of the best for this year.
This beautiful Hibiscus mutabilis starts the day with a snowy white flower.
By late morning the color changes to light pink and grows darker in the afternoon.
By evening the Confederate Rose reaches a dark pink color.
The next morning the flower closes and is finished. Happily, the buds will continue to open for a few weeks.
I have been envious of all the brightly colored autumn leaves that my blog friends have been posting. Here is a view of my wooded area which is still the color green. I realized I do have autumn color East Texas style. Enjoy my November color.
I did actually find some colored leaves from the Chinese Tallow tree which reliably changes color every year.
The pink Coral Vine (Antigonon leptopus) has been growing in my yard for years and spent it’s its time at the top of the Weeping Bottle Brush that was killed by the 2021 freeze. This year it is rambling all over the place. The vine is also called Mexican Creeper and is a magnet for bees and hummingbirds.
I am sure it has reseeded over the years, but this year two plants that germinated no more than six feet away had white blooms. It was quite a surprise, but the flowers are very pretty and didn’t make any difference to the pollinators.
This gruesome creature carries the dead bodies it collects upon its back. The creature relentlessly paces back and forth, over and under leaves preying on innocent aphids and taking their dead remains with it.
Happy gruesome Halloween.
I spotted this very weird bug on my Hummingbird Bush that has been covered with aphids and so much honeydew that it made my hair sticky when I got too close. This gruesome creature is actually good news for gardeners as they eat the aphids that suck on plants and cause damage or death. These bugs are called junk bugs or aphid lions and are the larval stage of green lacewings which are beneficial insects for the garden. The junk bug is about the size of the tip of my pinkie.
Even though they are gruesome, the junk bug is welcome to haunt my garden.
I never know what critter I may find in my yard. I have found plenty of tree frogs, but this big Leopard Frog is certainly not any kind of tree frog.
This gal is big enough to fill my hand and was nearly two and a half feet up in the camellia. I am guessing the leopard frog is female as they are larger than males. I’m sure this is also the one that hit my leg a few weeks ago. Now, how or why that frog is in a bush I just don’t know.
According to what I have read, the Leopard Frog likes to be near shallow fresh water. I do not have a pond and the lake is about two blocks or so away. But, the ever-helpful armadillo has dug a small pond under the camellia that fills with sprinkler water to keep the frog happy.
I was given the gift of a Ruby Supreme Guava. It has made flowers but never fruit. Right before I left for an extended vacation, I snapped a quick, but an out-of-focus photo of the fruit not expecting it to amount to anything.
What a surprise awaited me when I came home. The tiny fruit grew to full size and was not eaten by the wild animals that inhabit my yard. I guess they considered it foreign food.
The guava’s botanical name is Psidium guajava and the inside is a beautiful dark pink color.
I spotted this bird in an area of tall office buildings, a mall, apartments, and heavy traffic. It is as large as a big crow but has a much fatter body. Its features included a white beak and large stripped feet. Merlin Bird ID could not identify it. I don’t know if it is a migrating bird or domestic fowl really lost in the big city. If anyone has any idea of what kind of bird this is, please let me know.
I had a week of notable critter encounters and stand-out plants. This green anole took a trip across the yard in a shaky wagon as I moved this plant from its summer spot in the woods. The little lizard is staying in its plant home and greets me every morning when I head outside.
I got a few somewhat good shots of the hummingbird moth. Usually, it is busy during the night, but I caught it out in the daytime. Click to get a better look at its wings.
I thought it was interesting that the purple oxalis found a way to grow out of the bottom of the pot.
A Gulf Fritillary butterfly has been hanging out on the hummingbird feeders. I was finally able to get close enough for a photo.
I have a love/hate relationship with Swamp Sunflowers. They are very invasive, and grow ten feet tall, but are so happy and sunny in the fall.
Back to odd anole habits. This lizard is my regular porch anole that clings to the window screens most of the day. As it turns out the lizzie likes to sleep on my weather stick at night. When I check on it in the early morning hours it will have actually changed positions. I feel fortunate to have such a variety of plants and wildlife in my backyard.
I was sipping my morning coffee and glancing out of the window when I noticed plants waving in an odd way. And then I saw the grey body that was causing the chaotic motion. It was the armadillo that dug a huge hole in my flower bed outside my kitchen window.
I quickly grabbed my cell phone and started my early morning armadillo chase. I managed to chase it under the fence into my neighbor’s yard. I didn’t feel too bad about that as they don’t have flower beds for the armadillo to dig up. I’m sure are some point it returned to its den on my side.
Another plant that I have an abundance of this year is the Yellow Dancing Lady Ginger. Their name comes from the flower that is shaped like a dress and it looks as if it is dancing in the breeze.
The plant reproduces by dropping bulbils that wait until the soil heats up to germinate. The Dancing Lady always seems to keep a spare bulbil in its throat.
I have several areas around the garden where the Dancing Lady has dropped its bulbils and they have all started growing. I checked the internet and found that the plant sells for as high as $13. Maybe I should have a sale. I am not sure what stimulated all the bulbils to grow. I was thinking maybe it was the cold winters or lack of rabbits.
And just as I had that thought, a rabbit popped out of the hole under the fence.
A few days later I saw this juvenile bunny hopping on my back porch. I may be saying goodbye to my bounty of plants.