06 July 2008

Red, White and Blooms

Despite the lack of water, there are still some plants that are blooming, strutting their stuff during our most beastly days. Of course, that "beastly" bit is merely a matter of opinion. I happen to love the heat...the sitar-like hum of cicadas and katydids, the cleansing feel of a good sweat, the sultry Texas evenings with a warm breeze and margarita. Yum in every way.

It's the Yang.

Sunflowers. Ever happy on sunny days. I clipped a few of these to bring into the house. I paused for a moment and focused my attention on the flowers before I brought them into the house. I noticed the ecosystem that was living on these things: ants gathering nectar and pollen, bees and flies, and camouflaged spiders stalking the petals for a meal. I tried to shake them all off before bringing their home inward...it makes me think twice about cutting flowers just to let them live for a few days on my table given that they are supporting such a diverse life system...

This beastie is a beauty. It was hanging out on my grapevine and was nice enough to let me get close enough to snap a pic. Dragonflies are some of the most ancient insects. One of the things they can't do is fold their wings above their backs. Fascinating creatures and great predators. I'm happy to have them flitting around the yard, snatching flies and mosquitoes on the wing.

This is the time that flame acanthus shines. This is the second year for this plant and it's blooming a ton more than last summer. I've yet to see a hummingbird feeding from its long tubular flowers, but I'm sure they are snacking from time to time.

Winecups are also nice enough to grace the summer with a bloom from time to time. Look close enough and you can see ants feeding in the cup, perhaps drunk with pleasure on the nectar.

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