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)

Friday, April 24, 2015

Magnificent Magnolias

It's that time again - when the Magnolia grandiflora is blooming in the backyard!  

It hasn't been very long ago that I noticed the buds that seemed to have popped up so quickly.  I am compelled to touch their fuzziness...

Then to watch them develop.

Their fragrance is so incredibly beautiful.  I love to wander around the garden in the morning when it's still humid after a light rain - it's such a heady delight!

Even in decay she's an elegant bloom.

While I'm out back, I usually take a look to see how the bananas are doing.  You can see the black flower hanging down and the banana bunch right above it.  

They seem to be coming along okay.  I didn't plant them and I have no idea what kind of banana they are.  Nor do I know when they should be harvested.  Guess I have some researching to do!

Here's just some random prettiness I thought I'd take a picture of.

I love seeing all the new Sambac Jasmine buds getting ready to open.

Apparently, this gorgeous Corn Snake decided he liked the Jasmine as well.

I didn't get very good pics of him as the slightest vibration and he was off.  I'm happy this beauty is a part of our yard - he's one of the good guys!

I got a nice surprise finding this lovely yellow Hibiscus bloom out back this week.

I think she was reminding me - "Hey, Lady - could you put me in some more sunshine...then I could really bloom like crazy!"  

I feel bad, because it's true - I have neglected her.  I've left her in the shade, left her in an undersized container...I am going to make her move to the light a priority this weekend!  

It appears that all of our Bunting friends have left for the season.  I managed to get this last snap of a female Painted Bunting, before they left.  But they'll be back this fall to grace the garden with their glorious colors and enchanting voices!

I've noticed that the Catbird is still here.  And what a goof he is - I love all the different noises he makes!  And yes, he does sound like a cat sometimes. 

I keep looking for my friend the Brown Thrasher.  I love his antics in the birdbath and he truly is handsome with all  those wonderful markings.  I have a feeling he's around, but he hasn't visited the garden yet.  Hopefully soon!

Well, I think I've blathered on for long enough, lol!  I'll leave with another Magnolia shot.  I hope that Spring has sprung for you and you're enjoying the fragrant flowers and plants in your area and garden!  

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Glorious Gardenias

Well, the big Gardenia bush is finally blooming!  Hurray!!!  The fragrance is intoxicating!  And I think I'm probably an addict...

At least it's a good addiction!  (and I know, addiction is nothing to joke about - I have my own much more ominous demons, sugar for one)

The jasmines are all blooming.  This Star jasmine is the one on the trellis out back.

And of course the Sambac Jasmine is in both the front yard and the back.  I didn't realize this is considered an invasive plant in Florida until last year.  It has grown like crazy, but I keep it contained to the garden beds and I have to admit - I really, really like it...I'd hate to have to take it out.

The Plumeria is still blooming and has more buds on other branches that are starting to form.  I'm glad it's finally leafed out, so it doesn't look so goofy and naked.  I tend to notice it's delicate and beautiful fragrance mostly at night.

And Oh, Happy Day - the Magnolia is budding up, getting ready to put on a big, glorious and fragrant show!  Can't wait!

It's the Grandiflora Magnolia and it has big, creamy white blooms like this.

The peach Hibiscus is a regular bloomer in the side yard.  It doesn't have any fragrance, but that's okay - she's a beauty!

This pretty hot pink Calibrachoa brightens up the backyard a bit.

The Sapphire Showers Skyflower is such a gorgeous blue!

It's great for attracting butterflies and bees to the garden.

Of course, I don't have a shot of a butterfly on the Skyflower, but I did manage to capture this Monarch on some Shepherds Needles in the preserve behind the house.

Here's another Monarch with the sun shining on the wings, I just thought he was pretty.

And this Zebra Longwing fluttering around the purple Bougainvillea.

I think the colors are so vibrant in this shot, even if the lighting was harsh.  

The lighting is better on this one - I'm just happy to capture these beauties at all.  The Zebras are the most prolific butterflies in my garden.

And of course, I can't help but take photos of the incredibly colorful Painted Bunting!  He let me get close to him for this shot, which is completely amazing as I find them quite skittish and flighty.

I'm just sticking in this shot of my out-of-control Bougainvillea that has the Indigo Bunting sitting so pretty in the middle.  Oh, and can't forget the dove - he is a welcome backyard resident as well, with his beautiful haunting calls.  He's on the left side of the photo.  I happen to love the Boug being all wild and jungle-like.  I'm not sure anyone else would agree, Ha!  

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Beautiful Indigo Buntings

Wow!  These brilliant blue birds have to be one of my favorite visitors here in Florida.

I've yet to get a truly decent shot of them.

Seems like I'm either shooting into the sun or into deep shade.

But, I won't complain too much.

It gives me a chance to keep on trying.

The Painted Buntings are still around too.  One day soon, they'll be heading off to where they spend the summer months and then we should see them again in October.

I've noticed that there's baby squirrels in the yard and they are most adorable!

This little guy was digging around right in front of the chair I was sitting in.

Then he climbed up the palm right next to me and was very curious as to what I was doing.  I love his cute little eyelashes and how pink the inside of his ears are.  He's even got some crud smudged on to the end of his nose from his antics in the dirt.

I can't believe I haven't been able to get a photo of a rabbit until now.  I see them every day and either I don't have a camera with me or they zoom away too fast.

So, I felt quite honored that this guy let me take his picture and he hung around for quite awhile.  He's so cute!

A tattered friend.  I'm glad he's still able to fly around the garden and get what he needs.  

Here's a shot of one of the Dwarf Gardenias from the front garden.  Sometimes, white is a hard color for me to photograph.  Just one of many things I need to work on, lol

I love the tropicalness (is that a word?) of the Begonias.  I do find them a bit messy, so I had to take these off the lanai as I end up sweeping blossoms every day.  

The Star Jasmine is blooming well and has climbed all the way up the trellis and then some to wind around the bars on the balcony railing.

And I've absolutely no complaints about that.  This little balcony off the bedroom faces the backyard/preserve and is where I go to meditate every evening.

Last night was beautiful with the heavy scent of jasmine and an incredibly gorgeous moon!