Weekly Photo Challenge: Up (and the Weekly View!)

This week’s photo challenge is almost TOO easy. :)

Everywhere I look, the plants are reaching up, up, up, like this ipomaea cairica (aka mile-a-minute) vine:

ipomaea cairica, 4/25/13

…..along with budding passiflora and upward facing sunflowers just starting to show their faces:

Passiflora vine and sunflowers, 4/25/13

….remember T. utriculata from my Weekly View posts?   Up, up and away is now an apt description, as its bloomspike breaks free of the orange-tree canopy. :)


While I was looking up through the tree, I glimpsed a marvel of avian engineering, so apropos for today of all days!


How perfect! Finding a mockingbird nest on John Jay Audubon’s birthday (birdday? ha!)

You never know what you’ll see when you start looking up!

Until next time…..

:) :) :)

Neoregelia Flowers, 4/09/13

Weekly Photo Challenge: Color

This week, WordPress asks us to share pictures in which color takes center stage. No problem!  My Neoregelias are coming into bloom, and more than happy to comply!

Neoregelia, 4/6/13

Neoregelias form a group of over 50 species and hybrid varieties within the larger family of bromeliads. Their rosette shaped, strappy leaves are usually green, maroon, or red with contrasting splotches/spots/stripes. When a plant comes into bloom, it assumes a flatter shape and the colors intensify, particularly inside the center “tank”


Regardless of leaf color, neoregelia flowers are typically white or purplish-blue, opening a few at a time from a pad-like inflorescence within the center cup. Look closely at the next photo and you’ll see both structures:

Neoregelia in Bloom, 4/06/13

Two more flowers arrived this morning: :)   This is some serious color :!:

Neoregelia in Bloom, 4/09/13

I’ve written a few other posts about Broms/Neos. If you’d like to learn more about dividing/repotting, read Harvesting Bromeliads.  Curious about the science behind the bloom-time color flush of the hybrid Neos below? Click this one: When Succulents See Red.

Neoregelia, 4/07/13

until next time……

:) :) :)


Weekly Photo Challenge: Lost in the Details.

This week’s challenge asks that we choose a photo in which something gets lost in the details. To me, this means “hidden in plain sight,” but first I’ll give you the context and overview of the story.


Off-camera to the left (in the photo above) sits a water spigot and potting table where most of my days begin. I typically fill a bunch of receptacles, then set about the gardens pouring drinks. ;)

On Sunday morning, I reached beyond the watering cans toward the hose and nearly had a stroke :!: A loooonnngggg  black snake rose out of a coil, stuck his forked tongue out and hissed at me!  I ran for the camera but just like the other 4x I’ve seen this reptile, it disappeared before I came back. This is one fast-moving snake!


It seems I wasn’t the only one jumping out of her skin from Sunday’s encounter.  Look what I saw on Monday!


This molted skin was so well camouflaged, my brain barely processed what my eyes took in!  Definitely lost in the details!  Only after turning away did I think, “wait…was that…..?”  Yup!  A fresh molt from a Southern Black Racer, one of Florida’s most common, non-venomous snakes.  Here’s a different orientation of the shed skin, which measured 40″ long.  Typical adult length is 3-5′

Fresh skin shed from Black Racer Snake, 3/3/13

When cornered (as it was on Sunday) Black Racers will strike and bite….fast!  True to their name, they do everything from slithering to swimming to climbing at incredibly quick speeds. For further information I recommend reading the Black Snake area of the Nighbreeze website.

To see other bloggers’ interpretations of this week’s challenge, take a peek at the Zemanta provided links below!

Until next time…..


Wordless Wednesday: January 9, 2013

Images from the vacant lot next door; this is where I’m (hopefully!) herding my moles!

syagrus romanzoffianum; 1/9/13

If you look closely, you’ll see the roofline of my house behind this Syagrus Romanzoffianum.

There are some beautiful abandoned pink hibiscus here too:

Pink Hibiscus, 1/9/13

That’s my fence on the lefthand side. Too bad the property doesn’t extend an extra foot or two! I often walk around for a closer look:

Pink Hibiscus, 1/9/13

Until next time…..

Nasturtium Dwarf Cherry Rose

Weekly Photo Challenge: Delicate

For this week’s photo challenge, WordPress asks that we share something delicate. Immediately, I thought of showing you one of my birthday gifts: Presents


Lancaster Glass Sunshine Pattern Platter

Since the millennium, I’ve amassed a nice collection of 100yr old glassware, with a special emphasis on pink.  Last week I was thrilled to receive this lovely, delicate  platter as a present from my mother; ( :) yup! I’m a Sagittarius…what’s YOUR sign!?!)

This new-to-me Depression Glass plate was produced circa 1932 by Lancaster Glass Company in pink, soft-green, and topaz.  Originally it was sold under the Sunshine pattern, but was renamed “Lana” in 1974.  The bottom of every Sunshine piece is made from clear glass in a cane-like pattern.  The rest of the item can either be clear (like mine) or satinized like this one.

For further information on Depression Glass (and a peek at a GREAT collection) visit Kejaba’s Treasure Store.

Until next time……

:) :)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Change of Seasons

In my neck of the woods, Aloe flowerspikes scream Change of Season almost as much as cars with northern license plates! ;)  While puttering in my rear garden this morning, I noticed an Aloe Ciliaris  sporting a healthy looking inflorescense:

Aloe Ciliaris Flower Spike, 12/14/12

Like most aloes, A. Ciliaris hails from Africa (mine came from Target, though! ha! ;) ) When planted from seed, this vining climber grows FAST, but often takes 2-3 years to bear bright orange/red flowers. In their fully opened state, the flowers are approximately an inch long and tubular shaped, hanging in loose clusters from cone shaped racemes.

Until next time…..

:) :)

ps. You can visit other Change of Season interpretions via the Zemanta links below:

Wordless Wednesday: November 28, 2012

A while back, I ordered a winter-blooming grab bag from the conservatory collection at Glasshouseworks.com.  Among the plants I received, was this lovely Alternanthera Dentata Purple Knight, commonly known as Calico Plant or Joyweed.  I’ve never grown this zone 10 perennial before and was unsure how winter might affect it; I’m keeping it in a container for now, but despite cooler than normal nights, it seems to be flourishing!

alternanthera dentata purple knight 11/27/12

As you can see, the flowerbuds are progressing nicely. :)

Alternantha Dentata Purple Knight, 11/28/12

If you’d like to learn more about “Purple Knight,” I highly recommend a VERY humorous post called Practical Joker. ;)

For more Wordless Wednesday photos, click on the Zemanta links that follow!

Until next time…..

:) :) :)