Thursday, September 16, 2010

Signs of the season

At lunchtime today, we saw another monarch butterfly. We observe no more spider lilies on the way, but there are a few straggler oxblood lilies and the oxblood-lily leaves are beginning to shoot up. In tall St. Augustine we have found three sets of leaves of the ornamental anemone that blooms with a double row of magenta petals and a dark center. These leaves are very creased and deeply cut. This is an anemone de Caen and it is always the first florist's anemone to appear. Many years we see wild anemone blanda leaves first, but not this time around. The cypress vine has really taken off during the last week or so, and now there are flowers!

Monday, September 13, 2010


This morning brought us five of the beautiful small yellow rain lilies. Before the skies brightened with the sunrise, Orion was visible and seemed very close to Earth. At last there are bi-colored milkweeds, not that there's anything wrong with the all-yellow variety of asclepias. We saw two hummingbirds at once in Mack's yard.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Seasonal sights

Yesterday, we saw two monarch butterflies during the noon hour. Today, we found a great many monarch eggs on various milkweed plants. The grand total of spider lilies is now fourteen. The oxblood lilies keep appearing, now several bloom stalks to a bulb. All quarters of the pleasure grounds have now checked in: five different shows out front (one on each side of the front walk, and also in the upper strip, the lower strip, and all along the front fence. New bloom stalks continue to appear at the oak motte. Last, but not least, are the shorter-stemmed oxblood lilies in Mack's flower bed, the ones that came from a friend in Bastrop, mixed in with narcissi and old-fashioned irises. This has been a very good year for new generations of tree lizards and of anoles. For once, they're occupying the same places at the same time; usually, where there are lizards, the anoles lose out. The morning glories are loving this weather. All chile plants are covered with blossoms. The rains are bringing the lantanas into bloom at last, and we're seeing more hyacinth-bean blooms with the passing days. The hummingbirds continue to go first of all to the Turk's cap before any other flowers. Honeybees enjoy the garlic chives, and both kinds of doves prospect every day among the seedheads of the wild sunflowers. Some pecans are still in green hulls; others are ready to eat.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010


Our beautiful small pink rain liles that arrive complete with leaves have been found depicted in one of six photographs on the cover of Bulbs for Warm Climates, by Thad M. Howard. No photograph can convey its beauty. It's Zephyranthes rosea, with a notation "Lindley 1824" and a report that it's native to the mountains of Cuba. Elsewhere on line it's identified as the Cuban zephyrlily, or Zephyranthes rosea Lindl. (not the large pink rain lily).

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Lilies galore

We are seeing more and more oxblood lilies, in four locations so far. For the first time in years, there will be spider lily flowers (lycoris radiata) on the oak motte; nine stalks have appeared thus far. The leaves appear without fail, but the flowers sometimes arrive and more often don't. Common white rain liles are everywhere. The diminutive yellow rain lilies are Jones rain liles. Today we found a tiny deep pink rain lily with a green-white center. This picture is taken with the toy camera and is, for that reason, crude and of low resolution, but, by showing the lily nestled among the blades of St. Augustine gress, some idea of scale is conveyed.