Monday, April 22, 2013

Mostly images

There's a place on Flickr for toy-camera photographs. Blog-fodder goes here or at Austin Metblogs, depending on what it is. Pinterest hasn't been of interest. Lately, though, for those brief or ephemeral items that it seems a shame to discard or let go by without remark, there's Tumblr by odoublegood. Most of the entries are visual; some of them the Austin History Center used to have an interest in but doesn't seem to these days (Austin, Austin, Austin, generally, plus a lot of promotional items or programs related to Tejano, Juneteenth, and HBCU events as well as items vaguely akin to those). Not all entries will be related to Austin, but many will be.

Sunday, April 21, 2013


This has been day three of cedar waxwings. They're skittish, but when the light is right, they can be observed among the loquats for long periods of time, complete with the strong yellow border on their tails and the red spots on their wings, with crests up or pointing backward. The fruits are beginning to ferment and attract flies and wasps. Some creature or group of creatures tussles over them during the night, making very odd noises. A neighbor has been making loquat cobblers and loquat chutney. There are so many slobbery pits around on the ground that the time has come to let them lie there and then pull up the resulting seedlings later.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Newest in the pleasure grounds

At least two batches of monarch butterfly eggs have hatched, and the caterpillars are growing larger all the time,  very busy consuming the milkweed plants in pots. Pecan flowers have now appeared. There's one hollyhock flower, a pale pink one with ruffled edges, on a plant with very elaborate leaves. The loquat fruits remain a great attraction to creatures of many kinds. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

One monarch butterfly and other evanescent presences

There are eggs of the monarch butterfly all over the milkweed plants in pots, but we've seen only one monarch butterfly, two days ago. The image here depicts just one of the many clematis flowers from our three 99-cent plants. They are gigantic and they continue to appear.

There are flower buds on two different hollyhock plants. Nasturtiums flourish. Only a tardy narcissus blooms here and there. The flowers have dropped from one oak tree; the others haven't bloomed yet. We have seen a few small delphinium plants. Something is eating the leaves of the bush beans; we suspect grasshoppers. The pumpkins or squashes have many gaudy flowers on them; they haven't succumbed yet to mold or damping off or whatever usually claims them where they volunteer.

We're very glad to have so many pink evening primroses this year. There are buds on the bachelor buttons. Nasturtiums are sprawling everywhere. We've seen our first Turk's cap flowers, along with our first skinks and first anoles.

We can hear and smell people cranking up their air-conditioners. We haven't opened the transoms yet but have had some windows open, although without fans in them so far.

This was perfect weekend weather for the Zoppe Italian Family Circus; there were drafts created in the tent by rolling up the walls from the bottom. We think we remember that Circo Hermanos Vazquez, setting up at Highland Mall at the end of the week after a gap in Austin appearances, has mechanical ventilation in its tent these days.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Heritage irises and more

It's been two years since we've had these and it was two years before that that they appeared; they must have been regrouping. They have a licorice or anise scent.

The Dutch irises are done after putting on quite a show, in several colors. Dayflowers (or spiderworts) are thriving and adding to the blue colors in the garden.

We would buy the flame or sunset assortment of ranunculus again. We've never seen some of these showy two-tone colors before. They came from John Scheepers, when most sources were pretty much sold out for the season.

Clematis continues to produce flowers. Thunbergia is blooming again; this one has a green center eye instead of a dark one. There are butterfly eggs on the milkweed plants. Every lantana plant is covered in flowers. Purpleheart is blooming. The second, smaller sort of ornamental allium is blooming.

We are seeing volunteers from nasturtiums and hyacinth beans. Last year's torenia is volunteering, also. There are still some anemones. The old-fashioned narcissus is done. There are still some iphieon. Pink oxalis is covered in bloom. There's one pink wood hyacinth. The plumbago next door is starting to bloom, but ours isn't. There was a second set of Erlicheer blooming, along with one kind or another of yellow miniature daffodils. We have seen no sign of Thalia this year.

All leaves are down from the oak trees, but the flowers have dropped from only one. Soon, we'll see pecan flowers.

The former mystery rose is covered with fierce thorns and handsome flowers. Amaryllises set outdoors in pots over the years are shooting up flower stalks. The latest to appear is entirely red.

Sweet peas are flowering in profusion, in many, many colors, including a striated red and white, several shades of blue and purple and crimson, and many other colors, but we have none of the crimson-and-purple antique bicolor one.

We're still harvesting lettuce and peas for the table. Bush beans are doing nicely in pots. Morning glories are coming along.

Squirrels, blue jays, and others continue to disport themselves among the loquats, which are beginning to ferment and attract wasps.

We keep deadheading the violas, and they continue to bloom, but soon it will no longer be cool enough for them.

The grass seems to be greening up. It's not really growing upward, but it is beginning to sprawl a bit. It's time to neaten it up with the offset edging shears.

We think that we've heard warblers the last two days, but we haven't been able to catch a glimpse of any. The blue jays are also fond of the loquats, and the titmice are attracted by something. Many birds are searching for inchworms among the oak and pecan flowers.

Every day is beautiful and passes all too soon.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Because the toy camera is sort of working

 The camera's not responsible for the color of these ranunculus and nasturtium flowers. That's really the way that they look.

For sweet peas, there were better pictures last year. Oak pollen is beginning to fall. Pecan buds continue to swell. There are six saucer-sized clematis flowers now.

We still enjoy every color of Dutch iris seen so far, now with both all-yellow and yellow-and-white predominating, but with several shades of blue and a very pale mauve variety.

The white Dutch irises are beginning to go now. We have a larger tulipa tarda.

We were very happy to see a pink evening primrose blooming. They used to be there in profusion but are very scant these days. There are buds on the second, smaller type of ornamental garlic (allium), but no flowers have yet opened.

The armadillo remains in intermittent noctural residence. We even saw him or her lolloping along across the yard, under a fence, and into another yard one morning this weekend at 9:30 am or so.

Bush beans have germinated and are handsome in their large pots, whether or not they ever produce anything edible for the table.

There was one deep-pink morning-glory flower yesterday. We imagine that the most advanced hollyhock is growing taller and forming buds.

A giant pumpkin flower flaunts itself stop a corner of the compost pile, a souvenir of Hallowe'en.