Wednesday, June 30, 2010

June Visitors to the Americus Garden Inn

This interesting looking "guest" was a mystery. It is called an "eyed elater". In the click beetle family, it is the only click beetle whose larvae are beneficial as they eat other troublesome pests.
The lubber grasshoppers, however, are another story. They are not welcome guests. In a very short period of time, they can do a tremendous amount of damage. If you have never seen one, this one was about 4 inches long.
The following photos can be clicked on for a larger view, if you like.
This interesting spider was brought up to the porch by one of our cats.
I flipped it over to try to identify the spider. Haven't figured it out yet...
We found these spider egg cases in the sago palms.
Kim was trimming the brown fronds and came across the eggs. Never saw the adult spider.
The pink echinacea and the bee balm have been enticing hummingbirds, butterflies and bees.
A butterfly has landed on the echinacea.

A bumblebee and a butterfly were side by side enjoying the flowers.
Another butterfly made an entrance.
Two butterflies landed at the same time.
A long time ago, my grandmother gave me a cicada watch necklace. Today, I held a real cicada in my hand.

The cats were playing with something that was making a lot of noise. It turned out to be this cicada.

I held it for quite a while. It did not want to leave my hand.

It had a very interesting face with large compound eyes on either side.
And, its wings looked like beautiful stained glass.

I released it on the plant behind me in the photo.

Thanks for checking out our blog for today. Hope you have had a wonderful June.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day in Americus Georgia

We have been extremely busy and I have not had time to post any new photos. While awaiting our guests arrival today, I just took the following photos to show what is in bloom TODAY! pink echinacea
red rocket crepe myrtle

blue hydrangea
pink hydrangea
lily of the Nile (agapanthus)

Mickey Mouse plants

kim's knee high echinacea

These were all taken in less than 5 minutes around the back garden of the Americus Garden Inn Bed and Breakfast. Guests are arriving so I've got to go for now. Hope you are having a Happy Father's Day.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Bee Swarm Discovers B&B in Americus

Last Friday was a very busy day for us in many ways. It was a holiday weekend and a swarm of bees came for a visit. Click on the photos to see a larger view to truly appreciate what you are looking at.
Kim was looking out the window and said "Something's swarming". We live in Southwest Georgia. Many insects swarm. We had no idea what it was until we went outside and looked up.

I grabbed the camera and took the first few photos outside and then took this one from the inside.
The bees were hitting the windows. It looked like it was raining bees, just like an Alfred Hitchcock movie.
Back outside, the bees were clumping up near the roof.

It looked like they were dripping down the side of the house like honey.

But, slowly, they were disappearing from view as they found their way into a nice, safe place through a crack in the siding and the trim.
We called everyone we could think of who might know how to deal with a swarm of bees that had just decided to take up residence in our home. Unfortunately, as it was Friday of Memorial Day weekend, our options were limited. We spoke with the Agricultural Extension agent, we spoke with a farmer, we spoke with a beekeeper, we looked online.
By Monday, we were unable to find anyone who might be available to assist for at least a week, and from reading about honeybees, we knew that waiting a week would be a problem. A local beekeeper in nearby Leslie suggested that we spray orange oil into the cracks as the bees do not like it and might abandon their new home IF they were not totally established. Kim went on the roof, as covered as possible to avoid being stung, with a makeshift sprayer sprayed orange oil into the crevices. He did this many times throughout the day.
Finally, we did not see any further bee activity coming or going through the siding.
There must have been thousands of these little creatures. Did you know that a queen honeybee can lay up to 2000 eggs per day? That's the number that got us a little nervous about waiting a week or more for help.
We brought in all these beautiful plants with all these fragrant flowers that the bees love. Little did we know that they would decide to move in with us.

Thanks for allowing me to share our latest adventure.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Breakfast on a Beautiful Wednesday in Americus

It is my philosophy on life that you have to allow yourself brief moments everyday to feel connected to the world of nature, "to smell the roses" literally. In this hurried world, it is so easy to get caught up in the rush that you miss the beauty around you. Kim's knee high echinacea is distinctive due to its short stature and pink centers.
Often confused with the much smaller butterfly bush, the amazingly fragrant vitex tree is a butterfly and bee magnet.

On to today's breakfast menu
How about some date nut muffins? Today's variety were vegan, made entirely with whole wheat flour, containing no eggs, butter or milk products. Definitely not ordinary, but decidedly delicious. Want the recipe? I'll be posting it on the recipe page of our website in the next couple of days. Go to and click on the "recipes" tab on the left.
The Farmers' Market is now open in Americus Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings. I found some beautiful local cantaloupes, watermelons and peaches. Today, we had fresh cantaloupe topped with blueberries from our garden. The blueberries are just about finished in our yard, but, everyone else's are on the verge of ripening. So, hopefully, we'll be able to get some more soon.
The main course was an egg and cheese pie with mesquite smoked turkey accompanied by oatmeal raspberry pancakes topped with raspberry maple syrup. This recipe for oatmeal pancakes does not contain any oil or butter making them considerably lower in fat than many other varieties. By using a smoked turkey instead of a pork product in the entree, this was a very healthy and satisfying meal - low in fat, high in whole grains and fiber and plenty of protein.
Thanks for visiting. Hope you'll visit again, soon.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

June 1st in the Garden

What a busy weekend it was! Although there is lots to do, I wanted to take a stroll with you through the garden. It has been raining the past few days and everything is growing like crazy.Looking towards the koi pond, the vitex tree is on the left, sago palms in front, and the canna lilies in the far back.
The bee balm just started to open. Last year, the hummingbirds adored these flowers.
In context, the bee balm neighbors the pink echinacea which is loved by butterflies.
On the side of the house, the oakleaf hydrangea has turned from white to pink. The plum tree beside it is loaded with fruit. I'll post those photos soon.
The white crepe myrtle trees all over Americus are in full bloom. Downtown is beautiful as the crepe myrtles line the streets. The pink crepe myrtles are just starting to open.
Through the stone arch in the front of the house, the pink echinacea is filling out the space along with some wild gladiolas.
In the side yard, the orange canna lilies ridiculously tall and the red have just started to bloom profusely.
These are the Mexican petunias. The flowers open in the morning and drop off towards the afternoon.
The hydrangeas are so happy that we have had all this rain. We have had really hot weather and they do not tolerate the heat unless they have lots of water.
My absolute favorite variety of black-eyed susans.
These daylilies showed up amongst the Happy Returns daylilies, which are pure yellow. I hope these continue to bloom all summer like the others.
The miniature gardenias have responded to the rain with lots of flowers.
This was truly a surprise! One of the saucer magnolias is blooming, again.
I'm ending today's tour with "little business" daylilies. Speaking of which, I'd better get back to work.

All of these photos were taken this morning right after our guests had breakfast. Thanks for sharing a few minutes of your day with me. Come stay with us at the Americus Garden Inn Bed & Breakfast to enjoy the garden for yourself. You can check availability online or call us at 229-931-0122 for reservations. Hope to see you soon.