Saturday, August 21, 2010

Berries, Bees, and Buds

It rained last night and when I wandered the garden this morning I realized the nandina are covered with berries. (Remember to click on the photos to enlarge.)
There was this beautiful cauliflower mushroom growing on the stump by the school house. Last year we had one that became enormous. From what I have read, it may be edible. Don't worry. I won't be serving it for breakfast. The Mexican petunias responded to the rain by blooming profusely.
The hollies by the pond are loaded with berries, too.
We have 2 fig trees in our garden. The Celeste fig is the one that had the figeater beetles all over the fruit. There are only a few immature figs left on the tree. The other tree is a brown turkey fig, which I photographed today.
If you look closely you can see that it is full of figs and, so far, there are no beetles.
The vitex tree is like a bee magnet. We have watched the bees fall asleep on the branches, but, never have I seen them fighting over one particular bloom. One of the bees was ready to challenge me - see the bee in the center of the photo hovering!

Now, see it on the left. There were 4 bees fighting over these flowers.
In this photo, they are jockeying for position.
And then, all was quiet. It was really interesting to watch.

Thumbelina (one of the neighbor's cats) brought us a lubber grasshopper as a present. I regifted the lubber to the spider in the sago palm. You can see that she has wrapped the "present" - she is in the center and the lubber is below her.
I looked more closely and saw something familiar in the web (remember to click to enlarge).
In an earlier blog post I had mentioned the egg cases on one of the sago palms. Well, now I know who they belong to.
I went over to the pond to check on the tadpoles and was greeted by this dragonfly doing a headstand.
Then, I saw there were 2 others behaving in a similar fashion. Must have been gymnastics time.
We have had many guests ask what the identity of the plant below is. It is "purple queen", with purple foliage and light pink flowers.
The oleander is blooming through the canna lilies and is offset by the white crepe myrtle.
Through all the heat we have had, the Mickey Mouse plants continue to thrive and add a splash of color to the garden.
A lot of the flower beds could use some dead-heading, but, when it is so hot outside, I just can't go out there. This bed of black-eyed Susans is in full bloom.
To finish, a beautiful water lily from the pond.
I hope you enjoyed the garden tour for today. We would love to share it with you in person. Wishing you a beautiful day.

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