Friday, September 18, 2015

Where have the boys gone?

This vase was my biggest splurge so far. It was labeled as a plumeria but is really a tuberose which makes it worth a bit more. We can not grow plumeria or tuberoses here. Behind it is a frame that I am puzzled what to put in it

But we can grow petunias. I have this pot on the top of the stairs and the petunias cascade down
Succulent bunny is doing fine though it will need to be brought inside for the winter
Big ball of petunias. This planter used to have lobelia but that's all gone

Sparrows taking a bath in our dry heat yesterday

First woodpecker of fall. Downy woodpeckers are at 6 inches; hairy woodpeckers are at 9. This one seems to be in between. One has a beak 3x as long as the other. I am thinking this is a hairy woodpecker though I failed to get a sharp photo of the beak
I haven't seen a male hummingbird in a couple of weeks. They arrived about a month before the females. The females are still fighting over the 3 feeders and various flower beds. They need to save their energy for the long trip across the Gulf of Mexico. I assume they will be gone in a few weeks too. Sigh.
The cardinals are now indistinguishable from each other. Even the male goldfinches are dull yellow now. I assume we still have purple finches but as they are now all brown and sparrow sized, I really can't tell them apart. Breeding season is over. No reason to be pretty and attract undue attention.
What is stopping us from enjoying outside is a bumper crop of yellow jackets this year. Such pests! In the spring, they can be useful eating garden pests but in the fall, their attention turns to sugar and salty people. And they will sting for no reason. though it was a hornet that got me the other day. The first place Steve went for wasp traps had a huge empty shelf so I guess we are not alone.  He found some at another store. We will see if they work.
What insect has the worst sting? Something called a tarantula hawk wasp.  These lists are annoyingly incomplete. Some distinguish initial pain from lasting pain. Nothing about Chinese hornets that kill with a few stings and leave necrotic holes in the few survivors. Sweat bees have the mildest sting. Agreement there. Of the common pests around here, they say paper wasps are the most painful. Haven't been stung by one and I don't see them this year. Yellow jackets are worse than hornets they say. Nothing about those tiny wasps that attacked me a few years back. Honeybees worst than both. Don't agree there. Nothing about carpenter bees and bumble bees.
My friend had her stem cell transplant today. So far, so good but she is still recovering from the brutal killing of her bone marrow.
Out to the Art Museum tonight with the Moms.

1 comment:

Elephant's Child said...

Love that vase.
Ants have some of the most vicious bites I have come across. A bite from one can blow me up like a basketball.
Good luck to your friend.


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