Saturday, September 29, 2018

Just a Week or Two or Three

This time of year the Baccharis bush is beginning its bloom and later transition into feathery seeds that float over the shoreline down by my dock. The setting sun paints them in relief this time of year.

They are hardy and a bit fragrant like sage.

The golden evening light is longer and warmer than summer or winter when the sun falls to the autumn angles. All of the shadows are more dramatic.

This is also the time of the year when I get perfect sunsets over the water before the sun moves to the left and sets over the peninsula of land that protects our finger of the river. It is the best time to catch sunset photos. These photos are the smile worthy when the waters are calm like a liquid mirror.

Then the sun crests over the distant farmland and I can then attempt a sunset photo. I patiently wait through all of the stages. This time of year the temperatures are perfect, the biting insects are gone, and the only noise is the baitfish slapping the water ahead of the few striped bass that are chasing them into the edges of the river at my feet.

Patience as the sky blushes even deeper red.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

It Takes Some Effort

Every year I start with small seed pots and soak the hard white seed overnight in a wet towel in a ziplock and then headstart this plant.  Every year I plant this plant in pots on my deck. Every year I have to get them out when the nights are still cool because they need a long growing season and only really take off when the days and nights are warm. Not all of the seeds are viable or easy to germinate.  It is a tropical plant, of course. A friend of mine in Florida wondered if I could send her seeds and I research the plant and found it was classified as an invasive in Florida!

This plant only blooms at night! I have seen tiny ants, small flies, etc. that come in to pollinate.  It is probably pollinated by a night moth in its native home (Argentina to Mexico).   We had a wonderful hot and wet summer and this plant loved it.  It starts real blooms when 12 hour days begin much like our Chrysanthemum.

In the photo above I had to turn on the deck light to capture the detail. It is Ipomoea alba or a "tropical white morning glory."

Now the best part is that it has the most gentle, angelic, exotic fragrance. For those who live in a tropical climate, this may not sound like much, but for those of us who reside where fragrant flowers are iris, phlox and the rare rose, this is so dreamlike and a special reward.

They are only elegant for one night.  By the sun's early light they wilt like wet Kleenex.   They are agressive when in a large well fertilized pot.  The plant below was on its way down the deck to wrap around the kayak.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Our Impression

I have lived in this house for almost 13 years. We were the ones that cleared the land, disturbed the bunny nests, compacted the roots of the tulip trees which later fell in storms, removed the oak tree with the screech owl home because it was leaning toward the house, made the deer walk around the yard instead of through it when we installed our fence, and re-directed drainage.

We also were the ones who put up a protective rock barrier to stop the process of land erosion, revived the oyster reef lease that we own with our neighbors and are working to get it permitted as a sanctuary while we add more oyster shell, planted pollinator gardens and milkweed for the Monarchs, planted strawberries and tomatoes which we share with the land turtles, planted Paw Paw trees for the Zebra butterflies, and rarely use pesticides so that the yard is shared with lots of insects.  (The one below has made its home for two months in my hydrangea---which never bloomed this year because hubby cut it wrong!)

Our footprint could have been smaller, but we live in a culture where homes are investments and neighbors do not let you build Urts and thus your footprint must be a certain size and stature.

And we took time to make friends with the many bird species, providing them food, water, shelter and peace, and quiet as much as possible.  I have sent injured ones to rehab centers and provided shade to nests that seemed too exposed.  We built an expensive nest for the Osprey and have enjoyed their soap opera episode over the years.

I think (hope) we are being forgiven for our impression.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Before the Storm

Do the butterflies know that the storm is coming?? Are they stocking up? Where do they hide when the big winds and pelting rains fall? How many will die?

The fellow above has already seen better days.

Not everything is soft and romantic before the storm, though.

This spider was just outside my front door...wondering if he could take shelter inside.  He was about the size of my hand from tip to tip!