Thursday, July 12, 2018

Time for a summer haircut

It is no secret that during the hot, rainy and humid South Florida summer months, plants grow like they are on steroids.  This week I spent the time cutting back many of the trees, bushes and any plants that were getting out of hand.  Seven full garbage containers later, I think I’m done for the next couple of months.

At times like this, I am regretting the number of trees I planted in my small back garden.  Last count I have six fruit trees, five flower trees and four palm trees.  Over the years my back garden has become a shade garden and it's one of the reasons I cannot grow vegetables anymore.  Don’t get me wrong I love my tree canopy, it is a green oasis in the middle of an urban desert, but the work it takes to keep it all under control is not easy, especially for my 65-year-old body.   There are other times when it is all worth it.  This week I was working outside when several Blue Jays hiding in my trees, started making noises like it was a three-alarm fire.  The subject of all that noise was a big hawk perch on top of my house, an alarm system to all the other birds and creatures in the garden.   

This week at the DragonFly garden

These bromeliad flowers look like they are part of a coral reef

This young Cardinal bird is spending the summer in the garden.

Friday, July 06, 2018

Mango season is over

As fast as mango season arrived two weeks ago, it left us today.  I picked the remaining mangoes on the tree today and pruned both trees.  It took two weeks for all the fruits to ripen, many mangoes were given to family, friends and neighbors, this last batch will be frozen for smoothies and cooking.  I love this time of the year in South Florida, I wish it would last longer.    

 Two weeks ago

I end my post today with Zebra butterfly, there are so many flying around the garden that I can't help but to take their picture when I am out with the camera.

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Retiring to the Garden

Today is the first official day of my retirement, after a 40-year career in the airline industry and the last 23 years with my last employer.  I decided to retire and make my garden my full-time job.  Is going to be strange waking up tomorrow not having to worry about traffic conditions for my morning commute and checking overnight emails from oversea offices.  
I turned 65 this year and it was always my intention to end my career at this age.  I could have continued working for a few more years, but as long as the finances work, is better to end our working life while we are young at heart and have enough fuel in the tank for a second career of leisure. 
Retirement for me will be an opportunity for a life, one with all the time to do all the things I could not do during the responsibility years.  Things like work on my nature photography, do volunteer work, travel with my wife, learn to play an instrument and much more.  Yesterday I printed my new business cards the title under my name is “Landscape Artist / Nature Photography”    

This week at the DragonFly Garden

There was a weed growing in the front of the house and when I tried to pull it out I discovered that it was full of caterpillars. The white caterpillars are Zebra longwings butterflies and the orange looking ones are Gulf Frits butterflies.  This summer we had more butterflies in the garden, I had no idea that it had something to do with this weed.  I don’t know what it is and how it got there, but I want to make sure it becomes a regular in my garden.

The garden is full of yellow buttercup flowers, they grow wild and the bees love them.

The first purple Allamanda flowers of the year

The summer rain is stressing the succulents out.