Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Magnolias and other flowers
I want to take you on a botanical walk through my neighborhood and show you some of the flowers, plants (and a couple of critters) that I saw while taking Gizzy around Lake Irma today. We'll start and end with Magnolias, since they're blooming everywhere now. I took a peek at the Pears that bloomed so early this year (in February) that I worried about their blossoms' survival during the frost, but alas! There will be pears this fall. A nosey, little squirrel pouncing around - there are so many here; it's unbelievable! Star Jasmine around someone's mailbox. It's not as plentiful as in California, but whenever I see it, I stick my nose in the bush (hoping nothing will sting me.) When I reached the little lake, I encountered a friend who took a photo of me in my necessary "armour" and frankly, I'd feel safe working with bees in this get-up. I'm totally covered and additionally sprayed my clothes with insect repellent for the mosquitoes. We have seen an increase of 7,333 % (percent) in our bug population this year, according to the South Health District, who has issued a Mosquito Emergency. Well, as you can see, I'm prepared! Some pretty, little wildflowers covering the ground. Red flower spikes growing next to a tree Interesting blossoms on a Mimosa tree Close-up of the blossom Tree covered with Spanish Moss (my friend calls it spider webs) Did you know? Spanish moss is not a parasitic plant like the Mistletoe! It does not feed of the tree, but rather the air and the particles thereof...just in case you were concerned for the tree ;-) Don't know the name of this bush, but the blossoms remind me a little of Lilacs, but they are more delicate and smell sweet as honey. The bees like it too. I just refer to it as Georgia Lilacs, even though I'm sure it's not so. I this plant. I always thought it was Lemon Verbena, but when I looked it up, it doesn't look like this and now I don't know what it is. When you run your hand through the foliage of this plant, you end up smelling like lemons - and that's why I thought it was a Lemon Verbena, but apparently it's not. This is a big bush, but look at the leaves: don't they look just like an Oak? This is the cutest little house on the corner. They have such pretty garden decorations and usually go all out for Christmas, Easter and 4th of July. This little statute looks so endearing to me. Most Amaryllis flowers have all finished blooming, but this red one is hanging on, in spite of the heat. A pretty, red Oleander flower. The freeways are lined with (usually) white Oleander in California, here they are not as abundant. Lake Irma is less than one mile around. I think it's about 1.5 miles to walk from my house, around the lake, and home again. Standing on the little bridge, called Chadwick Boardwalk, I saw some kind of Heron or Egret stalking a frog or a fish for lunch. Sorry, guys, my zoom lens is not very strong. Heading towards the other side of the bridge One more look at the sparkling water Having reached the other side, we take our ceremonial water break and sit to soak up God's beauty. We'll spend some quiet time bonding, before I pull out his Snoopy brush... Aaaahhhh....that feels soooooo gooooood! Today is a peek-a-boo day, one time sunny, then the sky darkens and it looks like it might rain...very interesting! We sat there for a little while longer, enjoying the view and listening to the 'Glockenspiel' of the nearby belltower that plays a familiar church hymn every hour on the hour. On my way home, I saw another Oleander bush, only this one had a lot less foliage than the red one. Instead, it was covered with many pink flowers. Gizzy patiently waiting for me as I walk back down the driveway from taking the photos. Further down the road and up the hill, I saw a row of Daylilies, in yellow burgundy and orange Here's an eager Hydrangea...most of the flowers are not ready yet! A delicate vine climbing up a mailbox. (I was told it's a Clematis) The other day, there were two flowers on it: one burgundy and this pale lavender one. They complemented each other since the other flower was the color of this one's inside stripes and the burgundy one had pale lavender stripes. Little white wildflowers cover the ground on various lots Lovely red Heirloom Roses grow in dense clusters around the base of this tree Past the old barn where Sally, the horse, used to live. Apparently she went over the Rainbow Bridge, even though noone actually said it. A little bird bobbing on the fence, probably looking for food. The wild Blackberries are developing nicely. Looks like there will be a good harvest, providing the birds don't beat me to them. I saw this red Robin hopping in the grass next to a white mushroom at the grounds of my apartment complex. As promised, some more Magnolia flowers, because obviously it's their time of year!