Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Nature Notes: heading to a new month

I'm almost afraid to mention how pleasant it is with cooler temperatures.
natnote bluejaysepen
I feel like for close to a month I'll say it's getting cooler and then bam the heat hits hard and heavy again. The main difference in September and August this year has been in the evenings and mornings and a few cooler September days.
natnote webspolttr
But with the end of September and moving into the extended forecast it is much cooler and doesn't look like it will be getting hot again. I hope I'm not jinxing it by saying that.
natnote butflyinendsp
The Virginia Creeper below started dropping it's leaves before they turned red because of the combo of hot days and virtually no rain the past few weeks. I didn't realize that there was a bird's nest in there until the vine started dying back.
natnote nestaftlvd
I do have Virginia Creeper in my front yard which is doing fine (probably because it's in the shade unlike the vine above in the back yard) and at least I'll get to see that turn red.
natnote raindogwz
Fortunately we finally got a nice soaking rain and I was definitely ready to see it. The saving grace this summer was plenty of rain with the heat but September has been much drier so rain is welcome at this point.
natnote grplumdw
I hope that we won't see any more extreme heat until next summer. It's encouraging that on average the rest of this week into the next one looks like it will be about 20 degrees cooler than last week. I didn't intend this to turn into a weather report but that seems to be what this week's nature notes has been.
nat notegrenred
Click for the home of Nature Notes. The new link goes up there by Thursday.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Today's Flowers - Looking back to better growing months

At the moment my garden looks a lot more like an abandoned lot than a garden.
tod flow lkbckrsea
I decided to cheer myself up by looking at photographs I took of flowers in my garden during the early summer.
today flow lkbckrose
I have so many photographs of my flowers that I haven't used on my blog before that it was hard to decide which ones to use.
today flow lkbklilly
For flowers around the world, visit the home site for Today's Flowers.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Photohunters: Natural

The theme this week is another of those wide open themes with many choices. I like to watch the natural cycles of life around my house.
natural earlcyrdbtr
The first shot is after the redbud tree has finished flowering and is starting to form the pods which hold the seeds for new trees. The shot below is after the pods and leaves are mature later in the growing season. The natural process means lots of volunteer trees will appear around my yard some of which I let grow when they volunteer somewhere I want a new redbud. The animals also eat a lot of the redbud seeds which nature provides them.
PH natural redbudsd
I have stuck with my natural hair color although what was once all brown is now getting some frosted looking strands courtesy of mother nature. My forehead is also filled with natural lines.
ph naturhacol
The money plant forms seed pods which start as green and then turn white. Having a natural garden, even after the pods have released their seeds, I let the empty white husks below sparkle on the ground.
ph natural moneyplpd
One last natural cycle in my garden is demonstrated by the hibiscus below (rose of sharon) which has gone to seed.
ph naturalhibscsd
For other natural photohunters, please visit the home of the hunt where links are posted beginning Saturday mornings.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Nature Notes: Nature around my house

I've been excited by each sign of fall although it's barely begun. The dogwood trees are great for a preview since they change so much ahead of the rest.
nature notes dogwthclm
The dogwood berries are already red which happened rather quickly.
nature notes berdogwvmc
The holly berries on the other hand are still all green. I'll look forward to their change in color.
nature notes holgrber
I love the way some leaves have several colors, almost as if they were painted.
nature note pntlvaufl
I've noticed a lot of webs around my house although hard to get good shots of them.
nature notes webinbshhm
There are so many different moths flitting around but they are so fast that I only get shots of a few.
nature notes mothflas
I like the way the one below has a red dot on the gray.
nature notes mothrddt
I have a lot of different bird baths but there are still arguments over them.
nat note brownthrashera
When the brown thrasher above is in the bath it's rare for any other birds to share with it. The female cardinal will share with small finches and sparrows (next two shots below) but gets into arguments with towhees.
nature notes twobrdbth
Sometime a male and female cardinal will share the bird bath but I don't think I ever see two male cardinals in the bath together.
nature notes oneionetbrd
The female cardinal and the immature roufus-sided towhee (next two shots) chased each other away from the bird bath.
nature notes birdfacedeck
They didn't seem too mad after they got away from the water and noticed berries to eat.
nature notes cardandrouf
While the larger birds were settling water disputes the small ones moved in.
nature notes smbrdbbsd
Sometimes as many as five small finches and sparrows will happily share a bird bath.
nature notes birshbbtg
The male cardinal, like the brown thrasher, tends to get the bird bath to himself although occasionally shares with some birds.
nature notes malecardbb
The catbird had a turn in the bath and then flew to a spot where it could munch on berries.
nature notes catbbeamp
I thought the towhee below was injured but when I opened the door he flew off.
nature notes birdspwing
To see what is going on in the natural world at other bloggers, visit the home site for nature notes (new link goes up by Thursday).

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Today's Flowers: September Survivors

Only the tough are surviving at my house with continuing hot days and less rain.
today fl lantendsep
My lantana is usually one of the tough flowers in my garden. The butterflies and hummingbirds like lantana which is one of the reasons I grow it. I also like the way the leaves smell like oranges.
today fl lantindvsep
One of my favorite plants which don't start blooming until the end of summer are the fairy asters.
today flw fairyastspe
I have let them volunteer all over the garden. I do that with many plants I start from seed that then self seed and crop up in new spots.
todayflow fairyastmoth
The butterflies and moths like the fairy asters. I like the way they form large masses that from a distance almost look like snow.
today flw massfairyast
I have a lot of morning glories which I enjoy although some of them are growing on my roses and need to be pulled up.
today flow mornglvis
The rose of sharon (hibiscus) is another tough plant I let volunteer all over the place.
today flow hibiswhte
Although they form bushes where they have enough room, I let them come up in places they don't have room to form shrubs.
today flow hibspnk
For flowers around the world, please visit the home of Today's Flowers.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Photohunter: School

The photohunters theme this week is school. I decided to go with some school drive-by- photo-shooting.
When I commute to work I am invariably stopped at lights and stop signs around the Durham School of the Arts.
I should probably point out that I'm talking about Durham, NC, U.S. since I know that I confuse some visitors to my blog from the UK when I mention Durham and don't specify which Durham I am referring to.
The shots are all quick ones taken when I was stuck in traffic at various points. I got a kick out of how the car in the shot below matched the tree.
phschool weavaud
Photohunters post their links at the home of the hunt beginning Saturday morning.