Moonvine Madness

It’s no secret that I love flowers, especially on Mondays, which I think need a bit of extra pretty. Well, for this Monday,  Opus has sent us some gorgeous photos of the last of his moon vine. Enjoy!

Before the freeze I was able to rescue a moon vine blossom and photograph it. It was a bit of a challenge, since I was taking multiple photographs while it was wilting. But, it was worth it. Now I can’t wait for next year, to try again.

Moon vine Unfurling – 1 ©Opus, all rights reserved

Moon vine Unfurling – 2 ©Opus, all rights reserved

Moon vine Unfurling – 3 ©Opus, all rights reserved

Moon vine Unfurling – 4 ©Opus, all rights reserved

Fuzzy and Fierce

From Avalus, two small creatures hard at work. One of them looks adorably fuzzy and cute, and the other one looks fierce and ferocious.

The Black Bee I found buzzing around in this bush, covered in pollen.

Black Bee ©Avalus, all rights reserved

Black Bee 2 ©Avalus, all rights reserved


On the same day, I found this wasp. She sports some terrifying mandibles!

Clawed Wasp ©Avalus, all rights reserved

Clawed wasp 2 ©Avalus, all rights reserved





Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

It was a wet and windy weekend, and by this morning, almost all the pretty leaves had blown away. There are a few bright patches here and there, but the riot of colour is finished for another year. Jack and I set out feeling a bit blue about the bare trees, but the sun was shining, the day was warm and pleasant, and it wasn’t long before we were both feeling better. The colour may be gone looking up, but there’s still plenty of pretty here on the ground. We passed burning bushes burning scarlet and porches with pumpkins and mums in pots. We found lavender of the palest blue, golden hostas and even a red-breasted robin picking at purple berries. The fallen leaves from the weekend are still full of colour, too, and they brightly litter the ground in every direction. Jack says he can see the leaves better this way, and he thinks that’s why they fall – so the small creatures who don’t look up much can appreciate them too. I didn’t tell him otherwise.


Local Reminders of Global Warming

Last year the broken weather nearly killed my fig trees. There were signs of hope afterward, I wrote about it here.

This year, the broken weather has lead to me harvesting over 1 kg of fresh figs today, in late October, when it should be freezing already. I mean, I am glad the trees recovered and are doing well, but this is not normal. Sometimes a small good thing is a result of a big bad one I guess.

A Magnificent Moon Vine

Opus has sent us something special – a lovely story accompanied by some gorgeous photos. Enjoy.

   When I was growing up in north Georgia, in the early 1960s, my mother always grew moon vines.  I remember that the seeds needed a lot of help to germinate – soaking, followed by nicking with a nail file.  The vines were nothing special, much like many members of the morning glory family.  However, unlike morning glories, moon vines bloom in the evening.  Mom always grew them in pots on the front porch, to make it easier to keep an eye on them.  In my hazy memories, they always opened as darkness fell.  Earlier this summer I ran across some seeds and decided to see if they were as beautiful as I remembered. 

  The plant has had two blooms so far, with more on the way.  I missed the first; was busy inside and just didn’t notice until the next morning.. I was alert the next evening, and the bloom was well on its way to opening by early evening when I checked.  

   I had not seen one bloom in well over 50 years and had forgotten:  it was spectacular.   I usually do plant photography in the studio, with lots of light and gadgets galore.  This was just an iPhone, and a truly mind-boggling subject.  No edits, no cropping, no tweaking.

  I have nothing to add to the pictures. 

  Well, one thing:

©Opus, all rights reserved

Click through to see the magnificent flowers. [Read more…]

A Beautiful Butterfly Poses for Photos

I apologize to Avalus for taking so long to post these photos. I received them near the end of August when things were hectic for me and I didn’t have consistent access to the internet. They’re beautiful pictures and I’m delighted to share them today.

Here is a beautiful butterfly. It might be a popular monarch (Limenitis populi) or a white admiral (Limenitis camilla), but I am not sure. In German they are called big and small Eisvogel (Kingfisher). 

©Avalus, all rights reserved

©Avalus, all rights reserved

©Avalus, all rights reserved

©Avalus, all rights reserved

September Light

I can’t think of a better way to end the month than with Nightjar’s portraits of the light.

Here I am to share the last chapter in the Light series. I started it October last year, so the only month missing was September. And what better way to end the series than with birds! For me September is the month of birds, especially because of the arrival of willow warblers and flycatchers and because it always seems like there are birds everywhere. All of these photos were taken on the same day, September 10. The light was lovely and I was very lucky with the waxbills, flycatchers, willow warblers, greenfinches and goldfinches. Thank you all and I hope you enjoyed the series. :)

©Nightjar,all rights reserved

[Read more…]

Can You Spot the Parakeet?

A bit of fun from Avalus,

In my parents garden, we had a visitor recently: this young parakeet (I guess it is a rose-ringed one, Psittacula krameri). It was a bit roughed up by the neighbour’s cat, but it stood its ground and was not injured. The cat on the other hand has a new appreciation of sharp beaks, I guess. The bird did not mind us too much and tried to climb everything. We later had to save it from drowning in our rainwater barrel and it then for a while did not want leave the net on a stick we used on him. Still determined to climb something, it finally scaled our toolshed walls and a few hours later flapped away. The photos are a bit of a searching puzzle. 

©Avalus, all rights reserved. (Click for full-size)

©Avalus, all rights reserved. (click for full size)

©Avalus, all rights reserved. (click for full-size)