Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Fun with Photos

So recently it was my birthday, and for this joyous yearly event,in addition to delicious ice cream novelties, I acquired myself a fabulous new digital camera! Woo-hoo! My other camera was about 7 years old and the camera on my new phone was nearly better than said old camera. Not good. So I bought a new one - it is one of those middle of the road, Panasonic point and shoot Lumix cameras - it has 10x optical zoom and 8.1 megapixel - MUCH better than my old 2.0 mp camera! And it has all these nifty features for different lighting conditions and such. So I am having fun trying to figure out how to use this thing. What follows are some of my photos with the nu camera. ;)

The front corner of the yard:

Some guara moving about in the breeze. I was testing out this nifty new feature that is supposed to help capture things even if they are moving around a little:


Squash Blossom:

This is what happens when you don't pick your zucchini every day (Ginormous Zucchini!):

Here is one of my Chile Pequin. It seems to enjoy growing under the really big Zucchini leaves:

A closer shot of the peppers (the mockingbirds LOVE these):

And a little closer (I am still trying to figure out the zoom features):

Cayenne peppers:

Hyacinth bean blossoms:


Rain Lily Labuffarosa (this one is growing in deep shade):

A hummingbird. This is what I am really excited about with the new camera - I can take photos of hummingbirds! The new camera has a much better zoom and is much, much, much faster thinking due to the lithium battery. The old camera took 30 seconds to think between shots - not conducive to hummingbird hunting!

Hummingbird again:

Mexican bird of paradise - Caesalpinia mexicana :

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bloom day - July 15th

Bloom day already? Jeez! Well, let's see what is surviving in my garden in this Austin,Texas heat (it was 105 degrees yesterday and 101 today!).

The west side garden strip is full of color. Butterfly bush, rock rose, salvia, Desert willow, and Texas sage. (sorry the picture is a bit blurry - it was breezy outside)

Rain lily:


A nasturtium hiding under the cantaloupe leaves:

Snapdragon Vine:

The fuschia 'Angels earring snowfire' is still hanging in there:




Turks cap - Hey Wait! That's not a flower!

Tahoka Daisy:

A riot of summer color (damianita, salvias, hyacinth bean, pride of barbados):

A baby Anole friend:

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Great Summer Rain Response

So it rained one week ago after months of dry skies and a month of 100 degree temperatures. The flowers have taken advantage and responded with blooms a-plenty.

Here is the Coopers Rain lily that I discovered I had earlier this spring when it surprised me with a bloom. It has now graced me with a second bloom:

Here is another white rain lily or Fairy Lily Zephyranthes candida. This one likes consistently moist soil in the summer and dry soil in the winter. It therefore enjoys living in the drainage field of my air conditioning unit.

The Mexican Single Tuberose I planted this spring just started blooming. It smells so wonderful!:

A side view:

And a close-up:

The Winecups just started blooming. I planted these from seed in January (yes, I know they are supposed to go in during the fall time, but I was lazy and didn't get around to it) and they are just now blooming:

The rains really set the Texas Sage blooming as well:

A closer look:

Oh! A garden friend jumped onto Significant Other's back and I snapped a photo. Such a pretty green grasshopper:

Hyacinth Bean flowers:

This is the Scarlet Runner bean that I was told would not grow well for me down here. Well, it seems to be doing just fine:

I planted it where it would get afternoon shade and I am sure that helps. It is too hot for it to set beans however, so if I want those I have to wait until fall when the weather cools down. I grow it for the superb red flowers it gets, however, and for the hummingbirds who absolutely LOVE this vine. They are always fighting over the red flowers:

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Entryway

So, I promised a friend back home that I would post a photo of the entryway to my house. She wanted to see a photo because I am always telling her how the frogs, toads, lizards, and geckos hang out there amongst the plants and I have to be careful not to step on them when I open the door! She says it sounds like I live in a terrarium, and well, I guess it sorta does look that way:

Here is what it looked like before (this picture may be kinda dark, but it was the only pre-plant photo I had):

And here is the same shot today:

This area is pretty much entirely comprised of deep shade (it gets maybe 2 hours of sunlight on the interior path and maybe a few minutes of sun right by the doorway). I didn't know what I wanted to do with it, but I knew I didn't want to look at the ugly dirt strip and big flat brick wall next to the pathway.

The solution? Start by removing the crap landscapers red-death filler soil in the dirt strip and fill it back up with a high quality soil and top it off with some nice river rocks. Then, with the Home-Depot gift card I received that Christmas, purchase a nifty Lion fountain and put it in the center of the brick wall to give some height to the area.

Next, I purchased some Philodendrons and stuck them on either side of the fountain. I also potted up a Japanese Aralia for the deep shade by the door and an Abutilon a little further out where the sun shines for like an hour or so.

Finally, I bought some boston ferns and hung them above the fountain. I tucked in some bougainvilla in the sunny outer corners and potted up a meyer lemon and put that out at the edge of the path in the front where the sun bakes and bakes it.

And Wha-la! I live in a terrarium ;)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


I have been tagged by Meadowview Thymes Groovy Blog, you should check it out.

The rules are as follows:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on the blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

6 Random things about me:

1) I have child fear (this is made even more amusing when one learns I have a child)
2) I have been known to eat waffles while in the shower
3) I am an avid fan of the Sookie Stackhouse novels
4) I would love to move to the Pacific coast and live in a shiny Airstream trailer on the beach
5) I think skinny-dipping at your local watering hole in the bright moonlight is a fabulous way to spend a warm summer evening
6) I dig movies where mutant giant critters attack towns: Eight-Legged Freaks, Them, Night of the Lepus, Tremors, etc.

I am in turn tagging:

Green Desert - Arizona

In Bloom - Texas

Northern Exposure Gardening - Saskatchewan, Canada

East-Side Patch - Texas

Gardening on the Gulf Coast - MS, Gulf Coast

Austin Urban Gardener - Texas