Wordless Wednesday: 8/20/14 (Mushroom Cloud)

Check out these crazy clouds forming off Jaycee Beach.  (Photos taken 3mins apart at 12:30pm, 8/15/14)



As the storm coalesced and the rain began, it looked a lot like a nuclear mushroom cloud.  We made it off the beach just as it REALLY started coming down!

For more on Wordless Wednesday, click the WW blog/linkup at the Jenny Evolution

Until next time…

:) :) :)

Related articles


Partridge Pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata)

Partridge Pea is a North American wildflower growing from Massachusetts to Michigan and southward to the Gulf Coast states. During August it blooms profusely along the Jaycee boardwalk:


Chamaecrista fasciculata, Jaycee Beach 8/17/14

C. fasciculata is typically 1-3ft tall with similar spread; each compound leaf has up to 20 leaflets that contract when touched. The bright yellow flowers have an open irregular shape with 5 rounded petals that vary in size.  They appear near the leaf axils along the major (green) stems.


Following fertilization, Partridge pea bears typical legume-style fruit in the form of narrow pods measuring 2.5″ long. Right now the pods are bright green and pliable, but by October they’ll be brown, dry, and bursting with flat pitted seeds.


Partridge pea grows from a long central taproot that favors sandy/disturbed areas. It establishes readily, fixes nitrogen, and reseeds year-to-year making it an excellent choice for controlling beach erosion.

For an in depth look at C. fasciculata, click on this .pdf file from the Florida Native Plant Society.

Until next time….

:) :) :)

Related articles


Wordless Wednesday: 8/13/14 (Siam Tulip)

My smartphone’s charging port crapped out after my last post (no smartphone = no camera/photos.) I finally got it repaired and can’t tell you how good it feels to take pictures again. :)  The blog is back in time for Wordless Wednesday.

Siam tulips are Florida late summer bloomers and I look forward to their arrival every August!


Curcuma alismatifolia, Maejo Mont Blanc

Although the inflorescence resembles a northern style tulip, this plant is a member of the Ginger family specifically Curcuma alismatifolia with bracts ranging from pure white to deep purple. Mine are a pink tinged hybrid named Maejo Mont Blanc.

For more on Wordless Wednesday, click the WW blog/linkup at the Jenny Evolution.

Until next time….

Related articles


Flame Lily Update: It’s Opening!

A few weeks ago, my Gloriosa superba vines were barely in bud.  Now they’ve branched in several directions and even started opening.


G. Superba, 8/5/14

Each Flame Lily is borne on a single leaf axis and typically takes 17days to complete the flowering cycle.  The photo above was taken yesterday at 8:30AM and the one below around 3:00PM.  As the blossoms mature, the tepals elongate and wrinkle, eventually arching upward as seen below.  Six stamens encircle a longer “eyelash” pistil that points to the side in an adaptation that discourages self fertilization: any pollen released from the stamens will fall below the pistil.


Looking at it this morning, it’s easy to see how G. superba got its common name!


G. superba, 8/6/14

It really DOES resemble flames against the sky!!

Until next time…

:) :) :)

Related articles


Weekly Photo Challenge: Zigzag

This week’s photo challenge asks us to share a story with jagged lines: mine begins with a zigzag of waves along Humiston Beach.

Zigzag surf line at Humiston Beach, 8/2/14

Zigzag surf line at Humiston Beach, 8/2/14

We’ve had so much rain this summer and precious few good/long beach days! The next two pictures show the zigzag advance of threatening clouds. Strong winds off the Atlantic held them shy of our position but beachgoers a few miles north weren’t so lucky: note the sheet of rain falling behind the lifeguard umbrella:


Off to the south it wasn’t much better: more zigzags rolling in. :eek:


At the exact time Maggie and I were tanning and snacking ;),  Ivana was running the bridge from the mainland. She snapped a fantastic shot of an Osprey with zigzag wings!


It’s so nice when the weather cooperates, isn’t it?

For other interpretations of zigzag, check out the Zemanta related links below.

Until next time….

:) :) :)

Related articles


Wordless Wednesday: 7/30/14 (Verbena Surprise)

I love when flowers appear unexpectedly!

This “volunteer” is a phlox variety  although the leaves seem a bit veiny?  I’ve included additional pics from different angles so let me know if you can I.D. it!

(Edit: 8/3/14: The comments overwhelmingly identified this plant as a Verbena, specifically Verbena canadensis ‘Rosea.’  See comment from Theshrubqueen below)


Somehow it grew in a perfectly located forgotten container! Such a nice accent for the pink Fingerpaint brom (Neoregelia spectabilis.)


…here’s another view with Gaillardia Torch Red Ember in the background.


Seed germination in unexpected spots is not as easy as you might think! Recently, my blog friend–a felllow Treasure Coast resident–George Rogers wrote a VERY informative, entertaining post on the subject.

For more on Wordless Wednesday, click the WW blog/linkup at the Jenny Evolution.

Until next time….

:) :) :)

 Related articles


Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’

Nothing says Summer Lovin’ like a hot, steamy night with an electric storm on the horizon.


Mcwilliams Boat Ramp, Vero Beach, 7/26/14

I snapped these pics at the McWilliams Park Boat Ramp while waiting for my friend Ivana to start her first ever road race…at age 70!

Shortly after her son died (unexpectedly) last December, Ivana began walking 3-4x per week to manage her sadness and stress levels.  Before too long, walking turned to jogging and the goal became training hard enough to compete in a marathon by 2015. Go Ivana! :)

Last night’s run was a family event to benefit the Vero Beach High School Cross Country team. Participants included kids as young as 6, and men well into their 80s, but Ivana was the sole entrant in the Women ages 70-75 category. :)

After a brief lightning delay, the starting gun and cheerleaders kicked things off:

32mins later, Ivana crossed the finish line with a time that marked her personal best. I wish I’d gotten clearer pictures, but dusk was rapidly falling.

The event finished with a traditional Summer lovin’ menu of Southern Pulled Pork, cole slaw and watermelon. Yum!20140726_200915

For other  Summer Lovin’ posts, click on the Zemanta related links below!

Until next time….

PS:  Did it irk anyone else that WP left the “g” off the end of loving?  Arrrggghhhh!  I cringed every time I had to type that hokey spelling!

:) :) :)


Gloriosa Superba (Flame Lilies)

After hobbling along for 4 yrs, my Gloriosa superba vines are going the distance!  Finally, some healthy, sturdy growth.


Flame lilies are herbaceous perennials in the Colchicaceae family, native to tropical Africa, Asia and India. They love hot sun and heavy rain so adapt well in Florida Zones 9-11.  Mine were germinated from seed but they can also grow from tubers, a wiser choice if you prefer flowers within the first or second season.

When ready to bloom, greenish capsules appear between the leaves and stem, so I was excited to see a bud among these upper leaves!


G.superba are scandent vines, meaning their leaves taper to curling tendrils that cling to anything they encounter.  In the picture below, the tendrils are using  V.bonnariensis for extra support.


Word of caution: all parts of G.superba are poisonous, especially the mature tubers that look A LOT like sweet potatoes!  If you choose to grow both, make sure you recognize the difference, or plant them on opposite ends of the yard to be extra safe. You’d hate to sit down to dinner and be dead by bedtime! :eek:

I’ll post about the Flame Lily’s extraordinary, unusual flower shape as soon as they open!

Until next time….

:) :) :)


New plants :)

I recently placed an order with PlantDelights.com and I’m so impressed!  They packaged their stock with care and shipped it quickly: all three plants arrived in perfect shape and much larger than expected!  This is the Gaura I just popped in the ground. Isn’t it huge for 12.00?


Gaura lindiheimeri “Pink Cloud.” 7/19/14

G. lindheimeri “Pink Cloud” (aka Bee Blossom) was created in 2001 when Loleta Powell, of  North Carolina crossed G. dauphine with G. siskiyou pink. The result was a solidly upright growth pattern with brilliant pink flowers from early spring to late fall.  If you like the informal look of long, wispy stems and spider-like flowers, this one’s for you!


Gaura lindheimeri “Pink Cloud.” flowers, 7/19/14

I was equally impressed by the size of the ornamental pomegranate, although I believe it was mis-identified on the Plant Delights website.  If you go by their catalog descripition/photos, Punica granatum “Nochi Shibari” should instead be P. granatum “Mme Legrelle.”   Both shrubs look similar until huge double blooming flowers appear:  Legrelle’s are orange with white variegation, and Nochi Shibari’s a deep solid red.  So which did i buy?  I emailed Tony (Plant Delight’s owner) for clarification.

Right now the mystery plant is strictly stems and foliage, but look how strong and thick it looks. Mis-labeled or not, I LOVE this nursery’s quality stock!


Punica granatum (unknown) 7/19/14

I also purchased a Gloxnia variety named Sinningia “Bananas Foster” but haven’t placed it yet. As soon as I do, I’ll post pics!

Until next time…

:) :) :)


Wordless Wednesday: Tale of Two Beaches: 7/16/14

What I disliked most about Massachusetts was the greyness but lately I wondered if my memory was selectively negative..  Apparently not!   A long time friend took this pic (this morning) at Revere Beach (MA)


Now check out the photo I took at Jaycee Beach/Seaside Grille within minutes of the one above:


Granted it isn’t ALWAYS bleak in MA or bright and sunny here, but the contrast today is pretty damn amazing!

For more on Wordless Wednesday click the Zemanta related links below.

Until next time…

:) :) :)

Revere Beach photograph by Victor DeRubeis: Thank you!