Just a few days ago, we had perfect weather with the temperatures in the 80’s and low humidity. I took advantage of the warming sun and just sat near a flower bed. And I wasn’t the only one. The blooms were covered with all kinds of pollinators. I managed to photograph a few.
The American White Pelicans were flying against the clear blue sky and some small flocks of visiting birds were poking around looking for bugs. One little bird, a Ruby Crowned Kinglet, didn’t seem to mind me sitting there and came very close.
Since that sunny day, our winter has returned with heavy rain and cold temperatures. But as it always happens in these parts, the weather is about to change and a great weekend is promised.
I always love the visiting wildlife in the yard. This day started with a rabbit waiting on his breakfast.
One sign of Fall is the arrival of the American White Pelicans. Every morning they take a long lazy flight.
A very unexpected visitor was this Tersa Sphinx Moth. I was weeding and when I brought my hand out of the plants, the moth was attached to my glove.
Take a close look at this photo to see the pine cones that were eaten by the squirrels. The ground was covered with the scales after the seeds were eaten. The squirrels had quite the feast, as a large area was littered with pine cone remains.
Every Autumn I look forward to my Confederate Rose blooming. It is actually a Hibiscus mutabilis that is originally from China. A cutting can easily be started and that is why it has been a great passalong plant in the South. It is a gangly small tree that is unattractive most of the year, until the big payoff in the Fall. This has been a particularly good year and every bud has opened. Each cluster has 5 to 7 buds providing a spectacular display which has been going on for 3 weeks with more to come.
The flowers open pure white in the morning.
In the afternoon, they begin turning pink.
Evening brings a dark rose color to the flowers.
By the end of the day, the Confederate Rose has turned to the colors of a rosy sunset.
The black pot had been sitting in a bed in the front yard for several years. Its purpose was to hold the Golden Dewdrop Duranta (the tallest plant). Over time some, volunteers decided the large pot would be a great place to grow. White Penta and Abelmoschus Moschatus seeds dropped in. Even the Passion Flower is attracted to the pot. Luckily for them, I love volunteers and the plants have a happy place to grow.
Another volunteer that I am thrilled with is the Wishbone Flower (Torenia fournieri). Its tiny seed is able to lie low all winter and germinate when the temperature rises. Its nickname is Summer Pansy, as it is too hot to have real pansies here in the summer.
Shortly after photographing the pot full of volunteers, I came across another Abelmoschus volunteer growing in the cobble rocks. It was quickly moved to a bed. Volunteers are a great way to keep the garden full.
The Mexican Sunflower, Tithonia was a happy beacon on a cloudy day. The bright orange flower was extra shiny after a rain shower. The Tithonia is native to Central America and Mexico and is also called the Golden Flower of the Incas, Tree Marigold and Red Torch.
I was in the garden earlier than usual one morning and was pleasantly greeted by the strong scents of my blooming gingers. This one is Hedychium hybred “Pink V.
My most reliable ginger that has been with me for many years is Butterfly Ginger, Hedychium coronarium, which I believe has the strongest scent and can be detected from across the backyard. I had a neighbor that told me she could smell it as she walked by the front of my house. The plants bloom in the Spring and Autumn.
Because it was early morning, I was able to catch the scent of the Four O’Clocks, which bloom in the early evening. These flowers have a wonderful fragrance and are great to plant near a porch or patio. Oddly, I have never seen hummingbirds or bees on them. Maybe some night I will stay up and see what pollinates them.
Another night bloomer, is Evening Primrose, Oenothera grandiflora, and was collected by William Bartram. It has an usual scent that is an acquired taste. I never really saw any pollinators on this Primrose, until I spotted what I believe to be a green bee, which I hope my reader that is a bee expert will let me know. Anyway, the bee was really working on the flowers and when I passed by later, it was still gathering nectar.
I look forward to my morning garden tour and being greeted by a scent, new bloom or a backyard critter.