Monday, April 30, 2012

Macro Monday ~ Pandora Sphinx Moth

Recently, I had this lovely green moth clinging to my backdoor screen. When I noticed it from inside the house, I immediately ran for my camera. Heading out the front door, then around back I snapped this photo.

Pandora Sphinx Moth (Eumorpha pandorus) This photo was taken in April of 2012 in Harris County, Texas.

The host plants for this moth include: grapes and Virginia creeper. The caterpillars are large and can be red or green with white spots. After they have eaten their fill of foliage, they will then burrow in to the ground. They pupate in the ground for as short as a few weeks, but it can be for months. The adult’s wing span is from 3 to 4 inches. They fly as dusk, but this photo was taken at 3:30 in the afternoon.
Today, I’m joining Lisa’s Chaos for Marco Monday. You can visit her blog in order to view some great macro photography. For my last Macro Monday post follow this link: Macro Monday

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Garden in Black and White

I have always loved black and white photographs. I have many of my favorites framed. I often give myself the challenge of looking at my garden in black and white; in doing so I believe you see things in a new light. I was please to find The Weekend in Black and White, which is a blog devoted to black and white photography. Here are a few black and white photos I took in my garden today.
Black-Eyed Susan Vine ‘White-Eyed Susie’

Agave Americana ‘Variegata’

Parrot Feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum)

Aztec Grass (Liriope muscari)

Echeveria subsessillis

Rose Souvenir de Saint Anne
I hope that these photos may inspire you to take a few photos of your own garden in black and white.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The View From My Front and Back Door

I’m sure all of us gardeners look at our gardens from doorways and windows. I know I certainly often look out at my garden. I thought it would be nice to keep a record of my garden, by photographing the view from my front and back door once a month. Not only is it fun to watch the evolution of the season, but it is also nice to see changes put in place by the hand of the gardener. These photos include January, February, March and April; beginning in the upper left.
This is the view standing on the front porch. As you can see, we had a very dramatic transformation. We now have a water feature in our Front Garden.

Here we are still standing on the front porch, but now looking to the right. We have a new patio with a fire pit, which was part of our Front Garden make-Over. We are still waiting on new furniture.

Now we are looking out the back door. The crape myrtle tree is a dominate feature. We love the shade it provides for our outdoor dining table.
If you would like to see the photos from last month, then follow this link: The View From My Front and Back Door

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wildflower Wednesday

I am so happy to participate in another installment of Wildflower Wednesday hosted by Gail over at Clay and Limestone. Here in my part of Texas, we have had wonderful spring rains, thus greatly increasing the number of wildflowers along our highways. I love the kaleidoscope of wildflowers blooming in and a around my garden. Here is a little snapshot of what’s in bloom in my own garden today.
Wine Cup (Calirhoe involucrate) has a lovely color. I currently, have it planted below my bottle tree. I love the cobalt blue and these cupped purple flowers together.

Black-Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta) are easily started from seed. This flower just opened today. It is the first of the season.

Texas Paintbrush (Castilleja indivisa) has done very well for me this year. I have several plants that have come up from seed I directed sowed last fall. The flower shape is so unusual.

Firewheel (Gaillardia arisata) is a very hardy native. The flowers are red and yellow. Very Attractive!

Texas Bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis) is the state flower of Texas. Gotta Love It! We have had several cool weeks and the flowers still look lovely.

Plains Coreopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria) is so delicate. I love the way the small flower bounce on the breeze. This plant can easily be started from seeds planted in the fall.

Here we have Yellow Cosmos-Klondyke Mix and Pink Evening primrose growing together. I thought the color combination was a happy accident. The yellow of the cosmos picks up the yellow center of the primrose.

White Mistflower (Eupatorium wrightii) just started to bloom. It is a favorite of bees and butterflies.

Clasping Coneflower (Rudbeckia amplexicaulis) is an annual. The bright yellow flowers look great with my Julia Childs rose.

Scarlet Sage (Salvia coccinea) is a favorite of hummingbirds and butterflies. I find that as the weather heats up this beauty would prefer a little afternoon shade. One of my favorite wild flowers, due to it’s long bloom time.

Mexican Hat (Ratibida columnaris) is another great native. The flower shape is so beautiful. I love the dark drooping petals.

Esperanza (Tecoma stans) is a native to central and western Texas. The trumpet shaped yellow flowers are loved by bees and butterflies. Very attractive!
If you would like to see a few more wildflower pictures follow this link: Wildflower Wednesday

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Time to Leave the Nest

I recently had a pair of Northern Cardinals raise their young in my back garden. From the time they built their nest until the hatchlings flew was only about a month. Last week the babies fledged the nest. The following is a series of photographs taken as they left the nest and began to fly.
Well, I guess there comes a time in everyone’s life when it is time to leave home and spread your wings.

This was home for three baby Cardinals. Their parents had a nest in this bay. I was in the habit of looking in on them every morning. I noticed on the morning of April 19, the hatchlings where still in their nest.

Later in the day, I noticed two of the Cardinals perched on the edge of the nest.

I frantically searched the ground for the third baby, but they were nowhere to be found.

The parents were very upset with me being so close to their babies. I decided to go inside and let everyone calm down. Then later I looked out the window and I saw one of the babies on our dining table.

While I was getting my camera, I saw the hatchling make the short flight to the chair.

The momma Cardinal came and perched on another chair and chirped loudly to her baby.

The baby looked around and seemed unsure as to what she wanted.

Next, the mom flew to a plant hanger and called to the baby again.

Her young one looked over at her, but still didn’t seem to know what she wanted.

The mother came and perched next to her baby and chirped as if to call them to follow her.

Then the mom flew off and the baby looked a little confused.

She returned and again called to her little one to join her.

However, her baby continued to hold on to its’ perch.

The momma Cardinal called to her baby from just above the table.

The baby looked over at me.

The momma called again.

But the baby held fast.

The mother called again in a very excited fashion.

Then suddenly the baby flew up to meet their mom and the two of them flew quickly over the fence.
I have seen the parents in my garden almost every day. The babies I have not seen since they fledged. I hope I will get an opportunity to see them one more time.
For my last post about this family follow this link: Look Who’s Turning One Week Old Today!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Mosaic Monday

Today, I’m joining Mary over at Little Red House for Mosaic Monday. I love blue and white in the garden, so what better than a blue and white photo mosaic? Often blue flowers are actually shades of purple and lavender, but these flowers come fairly close to blue. All of these pictures were taken in my garden.


Blue and White Photo Mosaic
 
‘Black and Blue’ (Salvia guaranitica)


Aztec Grass (Liriope muscari)

Blue Daze (Evolulus glomeratus)

White Mistflower (Eupatorium havananense)

Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus)

Civil War White Verbena (Verbena urticifolia)

Texas Bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis)

Impatiens (Impatiens walleriana)

Lobelia

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)

Polka Dot Plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya)

Borage (Borago officinalis)
Would you like to view my previous mosaic? If so, follow this link: Mosaic Monday