Saturday, July 25, 2015

Hunting for butterflies

This week I photographed a green anole lizard in my firebush tree, hunting for Zebra butterflies.  The sneaky lizard blends well into the green plant.  The fire bush attracts many butterflies, especially longwind zebras and hundreds of bees. So I figured the ads were in his favorite, that a meal soon would come his way.

I noticed that he was not interested in the bees (He is no dummy, bees fight back), but tried several times to get a butterfly, they were too fast for the hungry lizard.  After several unsuccessful attempts, he noticed something hanging from a branch, and just as tasty.  If he could not get a butterfly, a caterpillar will do. (Probably a monarch)     

I get much satisfaction seating in my garden, seeing the circle of life happening in a place I created. It is a very small part, in the scheme things, but can you imagine how much better things would be, if we all took responsibility for the small piece planet earth around us.  I know, I’m getting excited about a lizard eating a caterpillar, but who knows maybe later that day that lizard became lunch for a woodpecker and on and on.  

Saturday, July 18, 2015

This relationship is not working out, time to part ways

Relax, I'm not breaking up with anyone in particular, only with my yellow Cassia tree.  This week I had to make the difficult decision, and cut my Cassia tree.  I planted this young tree several years ago, and over the years it became my favorite flowering tree.  The bright yellow flowers were stunning, especially during the Christmas season.  
Like human relationships, the tree grew up and it became a pain in the neck. It grows aggressively during the summer, pushing my mango tree to the side.  The shallow roots were no match for our summer thunderstorms, I would have to right up the tree several times during the rainy season.    So this week after one of those storms passed thought town, I decided it was time to part ways.  I will miss you yellow tree, we had a good run.


Now I have more room for containers 

Flowers in the garden this week

My first harvest of limes from a plant I purchased at Home Depot last spring.  This lime tree is in a small container, so the harvest is never going to be plentiful.  

Friday, July 03, 2015

Gardening from the land of weeds and mosquitoes

This time of the year I wish I was living north of the Mason Dixon line.  Gardening during these humid and hot summer months is not fun.  I don’t know if it is my age, global warming or what, but every new summer it gets harder for me.
There is something about having the winters off, while your garden is in deep sleep.  Don’t get me wrong gardening in South Florida during our winter months is heavenly, but then summer comes.  Summer means a garden on steroids, and it demands all my attention.  Taking a couple of weeks off is out of the question, not unless I want to return to jungle full of weeds. 

Excuse my complaining I know that this is becoming my yearly chronic rant, but this week’s heat was unusually high. I ‘m trying to keep my outdoor activities to an hour at sunset when the temperatures drops from the high nineties to the low nineties, but then I have to deal with the squadrons of mosquitoes coming out for their nightly feeding.    

This week at the DragonFly garden.

I got a new chair and table set for my meditation corner.  (To be use during the winter months)

This is the bird feeding area; I put a concrete floor under the bricks to keep the weeds out.



I hope all of you have happy and safe Independence Day. 
Sunday night let’s all root for the US woman’s soccer team, good luck on their third world cup championship game.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Busy Bees from the DragonFly garden.

Mornings are spent gathering pollen from all the flowers.

Afternoon shores consist of transporting water from the garden’s fountains to cool off the hive. 

Welcome to the month of July.  This time of the year our eyes in South Florida turn to the tropics, and we all pray for a quite hurricane season.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Here today, gone in the morning.

This week two of my succulent plants bloomed overnight.    The Echinopsis, (I looked up the name on Google) one of my regular summer bloomer and my favorite.  The other is my Dragon Fruit plant; I counted seven flowers, two in trellis next to the house and the others up high in the Plumeria tree.
These flowers are stunning, but they are short lived.  Fully open by midnight and gone by ten AM the next morning.  This is one of the reasons why is so hard to get Dragon fruits, the flowers must get pollinated overnight by night flying moths.  

 Dragon-fruit flowers

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Mowing the lawn the old fashion way

Today I took out my push lawn mower and cut the grass.  My lawn gardener has been missing over three weeks, and he is not answering his phone. 
The grass was so tall, that I could not wait any longer.  There is no job that I despise more than mowing the lawn.  This hate goes back to my teenage years.  My first job in this country, was cutting other people's lawns, for three years, I cut grass in the hot summer months of Connecticut.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Paddling my way through Key Largo

Last week I had a birthday, and according to our family tradition, the birthday person gets to pick an activity for the day.  My birthday wish was kayaking in the Florida Keys.  We set up camp at John Pennekamp state park in Key Largo.  My daughters and I rented kayaks, while my wife stayed on the beach reading and keeping an eye on our camp.

The Florida Keys is made up of hundreds of small islands, a perfect location for kayaking.  The weather was cloudy and breeze, ideal for a day out on the water.  I was disappointed that there were not many birds on the mangroves, but this Florida in the middle of the summer.  Many of the birds have moved on to cooler climates.     

 This week at the DragonFly Garden

My birthday present was a Nikon D5300 camera; this camera comes equipped with Wi-Fi. Now I can take a picture with my Nikon, send it to my phone and share it with everyone on the spot. This camera is similar to my old D3100, except for a few new different features.

I spotted a couple of Knight Anoles in my palm tree today.  These lizards are not native of Florida, they come from the Caribbean and as non-native species they cause trouble for the native lizard population.  These guys are very territorial; I have noticed a decrease in my army of smaller Florida lizards, they will disturb bird’s nest and will eat fruits on the trees.  My neighbor’s mangos have been attacked by something; I would not be surprised if the Anoles are the culprit.

                                 And soon there will be more.

 (Personal Editorial: This country should pass a law prohibiting the importation of exotic animals to be kept as pets.  This is how these guys, the Burmese Python and many others got here)