Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night. (Rainer Maria Rilke)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

M is for Mango

Mango season is on!  And I am most delighted!  I wish I had a mango tree in my yard, but I just don't have the room for one.  But I have friends with mangoes and luckily they like to share!

This mango is an Irwin and to me, rates as a great mango because it doesn't have any stringy fibers.  It also tastes fantastic!  I usually cut the sides off first and then eat around the pit like a caveman.  I showed only part of the gnawed-on pit, just out of politeness and all.

 I'm freezing up lots of mango pulp so we can have mango smoothies all year long.  I think this smoothie needs a sprig of mint, but I didn't have one since my mint succumbed to the summer heat awhile ago.


We're also making mango ice cream.  It turned out really great!  Well, I'm out of mango photos, so I guess I could say that while M is for Mango...

M can also be for Magnolia.  This is from the backyard and has a Magnificent fragrance!

and M is for Marigold

and for Macro.  (which needs some practice, lol) 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Chirpy Does Good

Chirpy, my gardening buddy that follows me around the yard and comes to the window every day to chirp for food, has been very busy this year.

He and the Mrs. (shown here) have three babies!  They've just started to bring them around to the yard this week.

Here is one of the youngsters.  They have similar coloring to the female, but are little and really sweet.

The juvies are little spazbots - they zoom into the yard, grab a seed and zoom back out.  It was hard to get a shot of these cuties.

Here's a closeup - I really like his spiky crewcut.   Sometimes the cardinal couple will have another brood later in the year.  We'll have to wait and see!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Oh Deer!

The rainy season has started and is in full force.  The backyard is looking lush and everything is growing like crazy!

This small but beautiful buck visited the backyard yesterday morning.  We usually see them late at night or very early, but this guy showed up around 9 AM and ate some sunflower seeds.

Then he had a drink at the birdbath.  I'm sure Mr. Squirrel didn't mind.  Even the racoon comes around sometimes and does a chin-up to get a drink. 

I have a slight suspicion though that the deer are eating the Passion Flower buds. 

Luckily, most of the other flowers have escaped the deers attention, like this yellow Hibiscus.

And the Anthirium.

The Lantana and Geraniums are doing okay.

Something is stressing the Plumbago, I don't think it's the deer, but I'm keeping a look-out to be sure.

Well, I still love to have these beauties visit the yard, and while I don't mind handing out seed and water, I'm happy when they head back into the preserve to eat the plants in there! 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

I've got a thing for trees

My most favorite trees are those that look all jungle-like,  just like they're out of a Tarzan movie.

It doesn't really matter what kind, as long as they're draped in vines.

I also love trees with huge root systems, like Banyan and Ficus.

I'm endlessy fascinated with their intricate patterns.

I've also got a great big Martha boner for live oak trees like these on Shadow Lane in old Ft Myers.  I  make the photos in black & white because I think it adds a bit of Southern Gothic atmosphere.

Oh, I apologize a little for that slightly raunchy joke before.  It was a reference to an old SNL skit about Martha Stewart being REALLY excited over a turkey recipe or something. 

Now, across the street, my neighbor has this gorgeous orchid tree that produces these spectacular lavender blooms!

And if I go behind his house and peek around the lake I see this Royal Poinciana tree that is truly outstanding against all the green.

This is a Royal Poinciana from another neighborhood.  Wish we had one in our yard!

What we do have in the yard - or more accurately - in the preserve that backs up to our yard, is slash pines.  Here they have the morning sunrise behind them.  I'm usually not up this early, so it was an occcasion that demanded a photo.  Although, I honestly think that every sunrise is a special occasion!

Along with a few oak and eugenia trees, we mostly have palms in the yard.  I think my favorite is probably the foxtail palm.  We only have one and it's shown here silhouetted against the sunset.