Saturday, November 14, 2009

This Week in the Patio

Time for a fun blog with some color and flowers. We had a lot of rain the past week or two, as if our rainy season finally blessed us with its presence. I've been wracking my brain with the blogs I am working on, so this is a welcome respite.

I discovered the macro button on my camera this past week. This is a shot of the inside of a flower opening up in the garden today. More on the flower below.

I finally got a good photo of Moka's eyes. This is the first time I captured the bright blue coloration.

Lately we have experienced rainy season-like weather. It is also typical of the northerlies that swing south across the Gulf of Mexico in the winter, but we never had our rainy season this summer, so it was refreshing to have a few days of interspersed sun and rain. They were the coooler raindrops of a cold front instead of the delightful warm tropical rains.
Hurricane Ida slid through the Yucatán Channel last Sunday, amazingly leaving the entire peninsula unscathed. The unstable conditions the entire week before the storm are what brought us several tropical (tropical in this case means HEAVY DUTY)downpours. The passing showers lingered days after the disturbance moved out of our area. It's been extremely humid but also cool. That combination brings out sweatshirts and blankets. When our temperature suddenly dips from 90°F to 70°F, I think about folks living up north. They have harsh cold fronts, and all I can think of is being in a comfortably heated house, at 76°F-80°F. Then gearing up to head outside where it is possibly 50°F or 50°F COLDER, only to reenter a heated car or building again, and of course repeat the cycle all day long. Freeze your ass off, warm up, freeze, warm, etc. Those temperature changes are harsh on the body. No wonder those folks have major flu outbreaks. The body must go into a mild shock several times a day. Maybe I just remember how I felt about going outside when I was little in Ohio. I hated it. (It was ok for playing in the snow all bundled up, but school, family visitations, church, forget about it.) By the time I was in college, in a town called Oberlin located just the right distance from Lake Erie to sweep in the coldest, strongest, "lake effect" winds all winter, I decided one of my goals in life was to forever escape that brutal cold of winter. Looking back, an odd goal, but it steered me out west to the California sunshine, which was where I truly began to learn about the world.

Back to the patio. After all the rain, flowers bloomed, plants shot up in a spurt of rapid growth, including the weeds, of course. We also found new and interesting creatures this past week.
I don't know much about caterpillars, but this white fuzzy one is beautiful. It looks like a huge version of some of the mealy-like bugs eating some of my plants. It reminds me of a nudibranch, a species of underwater animalitos.

This looks just like a stink bug, but it has a bright orange underbelly. Since a regular green stink bug bit me the other day, I decided to leave this guy alone.

White petunias. While we were away two weeks in late September, my housekeeper planted some seeds. These petunias are now flowering prolifically.

This is a chia sprout. I was showing Mike the seeds in the pool and spilled a few. Because the mats were saturated, the seeds sprouted in the cracks. In fact, a variation of sprouts sprung up around the pool was the first time I saw that.

The macro shot toward the top of this post was taken on this plant. This sprouted from seeds the housekeeper brought months ago, at the same time as the giant (ugly and unappreciated) weedlike marigolds,,,or whatever they were. Now that this plant is fully grown, I feel it was worth the wait. It looks like a cross between comfrey and a Christmas tree.

Finally this week, the buds on the tall stem at the top started to bloom, one or two at a time. Below is day one.

Day two. Hmm. Plant blossoms in mid November....looks like a Christmas tree, and is full of bright red flowers. I like it. If the flowers last long enough this is mostly likely going to be the Christmas tree, by the way. Unles we dress up a ficus tree or something.

Today I got this shot. A couple days have passed and buds keep opening. It is getting prettier every day.

I liked something about this picture. Confession: Love flower photos!

So there is it, this week in the patio.


Nancy said...

Gorgeous hollyhocks! I had no idea they would grow here!

Islagringo said...

Since this plant is so small, I would guess Mallow, a cousin of the Hollyhock. Gorgeous whatever it is.

Linda Dorton said...

Wow! they are hollyhocks. I'd never seen them before. Thanks, folks. They thrived in this heat and sun.

But Wayne, it's not small. It is as tall as me. Is that small for a hollyhock?