Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Flickr has not been improved

With no warning, the Ya-people have changed a lot about Flickr. It's not good at all now for people with dial-up connections. The avatar had to be changed and a header image chosen. Thumbnails were good enough to show what was of interest, and they loaded quickly for everyone. The individual images and the sets of images (in thumbnail form) belonged on the front page together. It will certainly be interesting to see whether there's a fall-off in views.

Monday, May 20, 2013

First appearances

On Saturday we saw a lone robin bob, bob, bobbin' along in a parking lot on Duval in Hyde Park. We have two diffferent kinds of calendula blooming in pots. The first rose of Sharon flowers, white with a crimson center, appeared today. For the first time in ages, there's a zinnia that's not pink or white, my favorite red-orange.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Summer's upon us

We've opened three out of four transoms and part of the sleeping porch, and there are some fans in some windows. We're quite well acclimated, since we've recently been to two tent circuses (Zoppe Italian Family Circus and Circo Hermanos Vazquez), one conjunto fest, and one outdoor concert in the Capitol grounds (Ramon Ayala). Last night there were enough yellow wax beans from the garden for a feast and what's probably the last of the English peas. There are still many, many sweet peas. Yellow summer squashes are forming. So are figs. There continue to be yellow cherry tomatoes. We see the occasional monarch butterfly. Other yards have lots of rain lilies; we've had just one, but, then, we don't have an irrigation system and don't do that much hose-end watering, either. Self-sown Bright Lights cosmos are very showy and so are trailing nasturtiums. Not every flower has been mentioned, but we're lucky that it has stayed so cool so long this year and that showers have occurred when most needed.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

In the pleasure grounds

There are still many, many types of sweet pea in bloom. Fennel is blooming anew. Today's probably the last day for showy Stargazer amaryllis flowering in pots.A beautiful rose, peachy-buttery,  is blooming in the front yard, one of the unnamed experimental Jackson & Perkins varieties from years ago and one of the two that has not reverted totheir rootstock rose variety. We're particularly enjoying our first sunflowers and the many climbing / trailing nasturtiums. Today brought the first Sungold tomato, a cherry type grown in a pot.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Small creatures in the pleasure grounds

Once it rained, the armadillo contingent stopped visiting, but there is some nocturnal creature who consumes every small squash or melon as it forms. So far, tomatoes have suffered no damage. We alternate years between anoles predominating and tree lizards predominating. This year, it's anoles that we're seeing everywhere. This morning, we spied one camouflaged among the milkweeds, about halfway through shedding his old skin.We have never seen this before. It begins at the head and the old skin as it splits and is behind shed appears to be a milky color with a greenish cast. We saw few monarch butterflies this spring but there were enough to lay eggs on all the milkweed plants, and the larvae are very visible, growing longer and fatter each day. There are beanlets forming (yellow wax), and yesterday brought our first four o'clock flowers (wonderfully called marvel of Peru in spanish--maravilla del Peru, but marvel of Jalapa in Latin--mirabilis jalapa).

Friday, May 03, 2013

Keeping a tally

The past three weekends have taken us to Zoppe Italian Family Circus, Circo Hermanos Vazquez, and Gounod's Faust; this weekend it will be Fiestas Patrias for el Cinco de Mayo at Fiesta Gardens. More time has been spent on the Tumblr blog by odoublegood than on this one, but even that's been scanted lately, with so much else going on. No wonder we haven't been keeping track of everything happening in the pleasure grounds! This will be a list and nothing much more than that: a few blue anemones, tomato and chile and bean blossoms, a few tiny tomatoes forming on plants in pots, buds on some of the sunflowers, black-eyed Susans (rudbeckia), roses gone wild, orange cosmos, coreopsis, delphiniums, amaryllises (Stargazer from White Flower Farm) of a spectacular size in pots, blue bachelor buttons, a couple of puny corn poppies, flowers on a hyacinth bean that survived the winter, pink evening primroses, two kinds of hollyhocks, squash blossoms, pumpkin blossoms, the very last of the peas grown for the table, many kinds of sweet peas to perfume the yard, many kinds of nasturtiums blooming in pots and in the ground, several kinds of morning glories, fennel, two kinds of milkweed, lantana, and one zinnia so far (and not a pink one, either, as is usually the case; this one's white with a yellowish cast).