Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dark Skies, Small Rain

We got about 10 minutes of rain today.  Almost enough to give those plants with shallow roots a little drink of water.  The big trees need much more water.  The rain was greeted with a happiness that surpassed what might be considered reasonable.  Nevertheless...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Small Rain, Grateful Hearts

It rained for about ten minutes today.  Not enough, but indeed better than no rain.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Drought Takes Its Toll

Texas is experiencing the worst drought on record.  We are in a 30 inch precipitation deficit and the expected land-fall of tropical storm/hurricane Don is not going to bring us the much needed rain we had hoped.

The dead leaves on the Redbud tree that should be green at this time of year is testimony to the drought and heat, despite lots of watering.  The grass in the background is green at great expense of water, now known as liquid gold in Texas.
An evergreen hedge has curled up and died.  Can it make a come-back?  Who knows?
Lots of spots of entirely dead grass, with not even one green blade peeking through.
More dead plants, unable to withstand the horrible heat and lack of water.
 Dead Nandina leaves.
And more...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Rainy Day - A Big Celebration

 Water droplets are visible on the pinnate leaves of the sago palms.

Yes!  It rained today!  The first rain since January, just when I thought that I would lose all my plants to the terrible drought.  

 A real puddle ... something so welcomed today.
A lone pink crepe myrtle blossom floats in the rain puddle.

 More raindrops on the Sago palms.
 I planted this mum last year when I thought it was all but dead.  It is making a slow come-back.
 My beloved variegated ginger, the one plant that survived last year's harsh winter and this summer's brutal heat (so far.) 

The life-giving water finally came down today.  It didn't last long but it was enough to really wet the soil.  I hope my trees got a decent drink.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Calla Lily Emerges

 One day I noticed the shoots coming up. 
 The lovely spotted leaves of the chocolate calla lilies gave me hope for a bloom...
But no luck this year.  Now the temps are close to 100 and I had to bring them inside.  Nevertheless, I am so glad they made it through the brutal winter.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Trumpet Flowers Bloom Again

This year's trumpet flowers have more pink color than their usual orange hue.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Good Bees

Bees are disappearing from America.  This is not a well-known fact but it is true, nonetheless.  Last year when bees invaded a crawl space between the exterior bricks of my house, I panicked when they arrived in my bathroom and bedroom and hallway.  I could hear the droning of their wings beating faster than the human eye can comprehend, as if I were in an old Alfred Hitchcock movie.  In my ignorance, I called the exterminator and he killed them all, much to my relief.  Their near seven pounds of honey was ruined in the process.  Exterior bricks had to be removed and after it was over, I had to hire a mason to get the house back together. 
In the meantime, I learned how all of our good honey bees are disappearing.  It isn't just the human error causing the problem.  But we humans can be part of the solution.
That's why this year, when the bees invaded a space just outside my bedroom window, I called a beekeeeper instead of an exterminator.  He removed them all with a safe vacuum cleaner-type of tube and took them to his multi-million bee farm.  I felt a lot better about this approach.  These are the flowers around my house that the bees favor, sweet and full of nectar.  I see many bees again and wonder if they have returned.  The mason has already repaired the area where bricks were removed.  Hmmm, I wonder if I will have to do this all over again?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sago Palm With New Shoots

I have been away from my blog much too long, mostly due to caring for my husband who has had multiple strokes.  Slowly, I am coming back to photography... I hope to get out more.  The other day, I noticed new shoots on the sago palm that I had trimmed back so drastically last year that I wondered if I had killed it.  The sign of the new shoots was more than a bit of a relief.