Monday, June 28, 2010

My trellis

I finished building the bamboo trellis for the front garden a couple weeks ago and now the passion flower vines are growing on it nicely.

It's constructed of 33 pieces of bamboo and measures 100 inches wide by 72 inches tall. I built it inside due to the heat and then moved it out for installation..... that was quite a job shifting it by myself! Only possible because it's not heavy. I drove 3 metal plant stakes deep into the ground and tied the trellis to them so hopefully it'll withstand any wind gusts. I anchored the west side a bit closer to the house to minimize the chance of wind catching it from that direction and flopping it over.

Where the flowers die a fruit begins to form. Last I looked, there were 4 fruits on the vines.
I've also spotted several variegated fritillary caterpillars roaming about, they appear to be big fans of the passion vines. Spiky little thing's eating the end off this leaf.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

It's My Birthday! and a garden update

Happy Birthday to me! I've been chillin most of the day aside from some Etsy listings, housework and gardening.
It's been about a month and a half since I posted the before/after of our front garden so I thought I'd give an after/after update, things have really grown!
Mouse over to see today's photo:
Click Me
We have mixed caladiums, elephant ears, creeping jenny, phlox, hostas, mondo grass, sage bush, and that vine growing up the window is passion flower (which planted itself, oddly enough).
I bought a ready made trellis for my bday for the vine to run on, but now I think I might prefer a larger, hand built bamboo one.
I also bought two pretty Illustris elephant ear plants, here's one of them:

Finally, here's the planter on the front porch, jammed with caladiums, coleus, and ivy. I think it's quite pretty but I'm envious of one at a local nursery, it's gorgeous and *huge* - I'll try to snag a photo of it.

Friday, June 11, 2010


This week we took our annual camping trip to see the synchronized fireflies. We decided to stay two consecutive nights. The campground was full, but I'd booked reservations weeks ago (you have to if you expect to get a site) and managed to get one of the last creek-side spots.
Our new favorite site:

Right next to the creek, but about 12 feet above it. Which is nice because the campground has experienced evacuation due to flooding in the recent past..... and also because it rained on us FOUR times. Not just a drizzle. Herds of dogs n cats wielding pitchforks. There wasn't any flooding though. And our tent stayed nice and dry inside. The screen house, not so much. In fact just about everything in there was soaked a couple times.
Somehow there's always somebody near us with a 7 billion candle power light and they like to stay up late. At least they weren't loud. In fact it was nice and quiet except for the restoration work on the cabin across the river. Surprised to hear a jackhammer out there when trying to have a nap!
The Canadian Geese and their 4 goslings are still hanging around the riverbank on the way to the campground. The babies are so fuzzy! Here's a photo of them from a May 25th:
That hungry little beak is killin me with cuteness!

The fireflies were simply amazing. We've been going for several years now and this was the best show, must be the peak days. First night was cool and dry. Second was cool and wet - in fact it began raining (again) as darkness fell and we'd hiked just over 2 miles out. At least that was more a drizzle, we weren't soaked through, and it stopped around 10pm just as the fireflies begin to get good. We heard what sounded like a bear breaking up a rotting tree as we headed back to the campground.
In the morning we packed up and headed out and we saw a bear cub in the campground just down the way from our site, sniffing around someone's travel trailer. The rangers had been notified and were presumably staging a capture as we saw rangers gathered around a park service vehicle towing a metal culvert trap/transport/cage thingy similar to this one a little further down the road.
Of course I couldn't dig my camera bag out from under all the wet gear in time to get photos of either the bear or the trap. Did manage to get one lousy photo of another bear we drove by a few minutes later just east of Laurel Falls parking lot - often see bears in that area:

About 10 minutes later we encountered a large bear along one of the quite walkways, a large adult in the brush about 20 feet away along Agana Branch. I looked at it, it looked at me, and it turned tail and lumbered off in the opposite direction as most bears will seem to do. So.... 3 separate bears within 1/2 hour, I think that's our record.
Other sightings of note - Mondo Snails:

Eating a mushroom

And finally, a white moth I thought was very pretty.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Look, up in the trees....

..... it's Turquita!

I was weeding in the yard when I heard her flapping around up there. She's been around a lot lately (on the ground) and it's always a treat to see her.