Thursday, February 27, 2014

Wildlife Encounters..........

While working outside for hours and hours in the last two months I have had some great wildlife interaction!..Well, my action has been mostly with the camera.  Sometimes it's hard for me to get any work done because I see the need to grab the camera.......

I noticed this Carolina Wren sitting here and when he flew away I took a closer look....sure enough, there is a nest being constructed in the old water can.  It wasn't long until it was obvious the couple was working hard, looking for material (in abundance in this backyard) to build their nest.  Also apparent is the fact that they are particular. A lot of time goes into the search.

Eventually, they return one by one, with some new building material. In the meantime I am standing just far enough away to not scare them off. Holding as still and quiet as possible, with a camera posed at the ready, is as tiring as hard yard work. Sometimes my neck or arm would start hurting so bad I would have to give it up and rest awhile.

This is not one of my best pictures but is the only one that shows both of them at the same time. Hopefully, I can update the progress here in a later post.

Larger birds - White Ibis.  These are in abundance in my area and often are seen pecking in yards or walking up the street.  They hang around in groups of about a dozen. I counted thirteen this day. They cause no trouble that I am aware of and I always like to see them.

And, even bigger birds, walking up my side street - wild turkeys.  This has been a daily sight lately.

The grass IS greener on the other side, in my neighbor's yard.

They have a habit of going through my yard to and from an uncleared lot next door. He was ruffling his feathers in this picture, but he is a huge turkey!!

A smaller one. They travel in groups also, about a dozen or less.

They peck around on the ground but, don't dig or scratch enough to do any damage. They do like to eat my periwinkle blossoms, though!

Back here I am hoping they are eating the camphor tree seeds.  If so I won't have to pull up hundreds of baby camphor trees!

Of course, I have many assorted kinds of small living things too. This one is on a mustard greens leaf.

I surprised this guy (and myself) one day when I moved a bag of potting soil and exposed him to the wide world.  He stayed in the same position long enough for me to go inside, get my camera and take the picture.

Quite often I will take a picture from a distance and when I look at it on my monitor realize I got a bonus subject.

 Chameleons are a part of my everyday life. I hardly notice them and they pay little to no attention to me. They will never get on you (one time in all my years in Florida) and would get off quicker than they got on! This one is on the outside of the back porch screen.

Sunning on little Justin's head.

Like I said, anywhere and everywhere and no problem - live and let live!

The same can be said of the squirrels. Although they are pretty aggravating when they dig in a flower pot!!
I really surprised this one.  He had no clue I was just a few steps away and this is what I saw when he realized I was there.

Another close encounter on another day. When he realized I was a few steps away he put his paws on his chest and thought, oh my goodness! She is close enough to get me!!!

We have several different types of butterflies.  This one is the Longwing.

On a Penta blossom.

I don't see the Queen as often as some other types.

I leave most of the milkweed that reseeds and comes up on its own. It is a great butterfly attractor.

The Monarch count has been down but I am seeing more than I did for awhile.

This is a skipper. I believe a silver-spotted skipper.

I have seen more butterflies including, swallowtails and sulphurs but didn't get pictures. I probably should have made this into two posts but I will be taking more and more pictures and will be back with more wildlife. And, I especially want to keep you updated on the new wren house.  

Friday, February 21, 2014

Roses, Roses, Roses.........

February is Rose month and a good time to feature my roses in a post. All except two bushes have had at least a few blooms lately. All the pictures were made in January or February. None of my rose bushes are ever just loaded down with blossoms like some I see in magazines. I never have much success photographing all the bush. In fact, they aren't all that impressive to look at as a bush, but I love individual close-ups of the blossoms.

First up is Old Blush (1752) a China with continuous repeat blooming but no fragrance and is not especially good for cut arrangements. 

Louis Philippe - 1834. As with all roses it does best with lots of sun but, this one will still bloom in part shade. It is a twiggy bush with sparse foliage. Beautiful crimson color and keeps its cupped shape. 

Clair Matin, a newer rose but I don't remember the year. It is a sprawling bush and repeat blooms in big clusters. I love this one with its flowers that reminds me of fruit tree blossoms.

A delicate beauty.

La Marne from 1915

La Marne is a Polyantha and both the bush and flowers are small.

This is a "found" rose and has an interesting story. It was recently named after a lady by the name of Peggy Martin from Louisiana. Peggy lost her house, both her parents and their property in the flood from storm Katrina. After the water dried up the only living thing on Peggy's property was this rose which was still blooming. She gave a presentation to our rose society meeting and brought tiny Peggy Martin roses started from her bush. I am happy to have this rose.

It is a climber with small cluster roses. This is intertwined with a bottle brush tree. I love the lichen growing on the tree.

This is Cramoisi Supe'rieur with blooms much like Louis Philippe except for the little bit of white on the petals and mine is a much smaller bush.

One of my best bloomers, Ducher - 1869

A great performer and seldom has black spot. By the way, I don't spray any of my roses.

G. Nabonnand , another favorite of mine with its beautifully formed blooms and it is nearly thornless.

Marie Van Houtte. A beautiful cream color tinged with pink on the edge of the outer petals.

Knockout. The only modern rose that I grow. It is problem prone and not a favorite for growing in Florida weather. 

Mutabilis. A single five petal rose with interesting color variations, starting with a creamy color changing to pinkish and then almost salmon. Sometimes called the butterfly rose because full of blooms it looks like a bunch of butterflies has descended on it. I have had to whack mine back so much that it does not have a chance to bloom as well as it should.

I have two more small roses that have not bloomed lately. I will show those when I get some new pictures.
Thank you for staying to the end with so many pictures this time.