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: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ipomoea_alba

©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

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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)

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

Jack and I decided to spend some time in the garden this morning. I did a few minutes worth of weeding and Jack helpfully surveyed the damage done to my hibiscus by hungry little caterpillars – the bastards! No matter, it’s near the end of garden season and Jack and I are both looking forward to the arrival of fall next week. The boy loves the cooler temps and all the new smells that come with the season of decay. My pitiful human nose can’t appreciate most of the smells, but I do have excellent eyes to appreciate all the colours.

We both hope you get outdoors to enjoy this last weekend of summer. We’ll be back on Monday so we’ll see you in the fall!

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

I’ve always thought of hibiscus as a tropical flower, but over the past few years I’ve noticed several of my neighbours plant the bush successfully right here in not-even-remotely-tropical Ontario. I love the big, bright, showy flowers that hibiscus put out so I thought I’d take a chance and plant one in my own garden. That was in the spring of 2018 and I took great care to give the plant the best start possible. I chose a nice sunny spot, amended the soil with horse manure and peat before planting and then hand watered it twice a day for weeks. By early July when we left for the east coast the plant had settled in and was growing well so I was expecting to see flowers when we got home.

Then our return home was delayed and delayed again and then delayed some more after that. By the time we got home it was the end of September and the flowers were finished and gone. The big, beautiful flowers were bountiful – so I was told – but I never got to see them. I had lots of people describe them to me and every single person made a circle with their hands to show me their size, but no-one had a picture to share. I’ve had to wait all the way until today to see what my big, red hibiscus flowers look like. I won’t describe them to you. I took a photo instead.

Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

©voyager, all rights reserved

©voyager, all rights reserved

This pretty pink sedum plant lives along one of our regular walking routes and I’ve been waiting for the colours to emerge. I haven’t seen it in a week or so and was happily surprised today with its progress. Just look at all those delicate pinks jumbled together like a bag of confetti. This plant is throwing its own garden party!

Jack’s Walk

Rose of Sharon ©voyager, all rights reserved

It’s a beautiful day in my neighborhood and there are still plenty of flowers left to make me smile. This Rose of Sharon has been making me smile most of the summer. It’s been in full bloom for weeks and shows no signs of slowing down in the shorter days and cooler nights of September. I spend a lot of time admiring this particular Rose of Sharon because it lives at a home with a dog and Jack insists on a long, slow, careful sniff of their hedge every time we walk this way. It’s Jack’s Walk so I try to never hurry him along, but it’s always nice when he stops places that I can appreciate, too.


A lovely blue flower courtesy of Avalus who says,

A beautiful Cornflower, next to a field of wheat. Since last year, farmers are encouraged to leave the borders of their fields unplowed and many plants have found new niches. I have cycled this road for over 7 years and these are the first cornflowers I have seen there. I hope next year, there will be more.

Kornblume ©Avalus, all rights reserved