Fall Color

Happy Fall!  Many are posting photos of colorful leaves.

The leaves here will not change for a long time.

Instead, our Fall color comes from blooming plants that have woke up from their summer “sleep”, when it was just too hot to make a flower.

We don’t have flaming foliage, so these flaming tropicals will have to do.

Click on the photos to enlarge.



Mine, mine, mine!  The Ruby Throated Hummingbirds are making a migration stop in the Automatic Garden.

It has been pandemonium or hummermonium around the feeders.  Some clever little birds decided to guard the feeders and chase the others away.

Dueling Hummers sit opposite each other fiercely defending the food source. The fights have been brutal, including wrestling each other to the ground. The hits are loud and are accompanied  with Hummingbird screams.

I have located 4 feeders in the yard and the Automatic Garden came through the storm rather well with flowers continuing to bloom.

From the perch on the back porch, this Hummer can survey all the feeders.  The bird was so absorbed with keeping an eye on the others, it never noticed me standing 12 inches away.  (This photo was later taken through a window.)

I know the Hummingbirds need to head south, but I am hoping they will stay for awhile.


Seven Buds


After the six days of rain from Hurricane Harvey stopped, I took a survey of my plants and found my Night Blooming Cactus, Epiphylium strictum, had seven buds on it. It has never made more than two flowers a year and only blooms in early summer.

Apparently, it enjoyed the 33 inches of rain we had on our side of town and opened 6 flowers, one for each day of rain.  Others parts of the city had 51 inches and it is estimated that 25 trillion gallons of water fell on the state.

Harvey bopped around, being caught between two high pressure weather systems. It hit Texas twice as a hurricane, refueling with water from the Gulf of Mexico. Then Harvey meandered along the Texas/Louisiana border as a Tropical Storm. The Hurricane spawned 152 tornado warnings with some actually touching down.

Disaster areas were declared in 58 counties. There were 3,400 water rescues, including many in my community.  Over 200,000 homes were damaged. It will take a long time to bring the area back.

And on the seventh day, we finally saw sunshine and the rain stopped for us.

Now we need to turn our attentions to the Islands and Florida. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Building High for the Flood

Did the ants know that a flooding storm was coming?

I noticed as I was surveying my plants, that there were more than usual ant hills built up on the rocks that surround the beds.  My property is also the highest in the area.

This ant hill is on the rocks and cradled in the stems of a salvia. Unfortunately, these ants bite and are making it hard to clean up the beds.

Some Like the Rain

Most of us did not enjoy the 33 inches of rain that fell in our community. Other parts of Texas/Louisiana received over 50 inches.  After the clouds cleared, these white Rain Lilies showed their appreciation of the rain.  It is nice to see beauty after such a disaster.

Texas Flood Update

This is across the street from me.  It shows how much the water receded. Their backyards are still full of water and the level was 6 feet or more yesterday.

At the other end of the street, someone drove their car into high water and it is still swamped. The people down there were evacuated. There is a corner of an air boat to the left.  Many citizen volunteers showed up to help fellow Texans.

My house is fine and we did not have any problems, but thousands of people in a 5 county area are devastated and now the storm is headed to Louisiana.  Rivers and dams are still bringing high waters.  Just in my part of town, there is only one way out and the grocery stores have water in them.

If anyone is inclined to make a donation, the officials would prefer monetary donations  made to organizations such as the Red Cross.  They have plenty of clothes. Chron.com, Houston Chronicle newspaper, has a good list of official organizations for those wanting to donate.

Our furry friends needed help too.  This is the backyard rabbit, Patch.  Oh, we also had a pack of wild boars run down the street yesterday and a herd of deer today.  The wild animals live on the land around the lake, which is flooded now.  Saying good-bye to my front yard plants.

Epic Flooding

This photo does not even begin to show what is happening here.  Lake Houston, that is fed by the San Jacinto River, has flooded into our community. Many have been evacuated and many homes are flooded.  The neighbors across the street have 6 feet in their back yard.  The storm is moving off in a day or so, but the water will be filling the rivers and lakes.

Most of this part of Texas has been hard hit and many will be without homes.

Please know, if you are watching news stories, we agree with out mayor about not evacuating. Almost all roads and highways are flooded and many more would have died on the road.

As of now my house is dry and I have electricity.  Please keep our fellow Texans in your prayers.