I was intrigued by this old shed on the grounds of Swan Lake Iris Gardens when we visited in early February. The boards and vines made an interesting collage.
On last week’s visit I was delighted to see the shed covered in trumpet vine and looking somewhat like a Chia Pet, with an elephant trunk.
I’m not that familiar with Trumpet Vine and don’t know how the blooming process goes. There were just a few blooms fully trumpeting and I wonder if this shed will be covered with blossoms. Trumpet Vine is a favorite of humming birds but I didn’t see any.
If you aren’t familiar, “Chia Pets are American styled terracotta figurines used to sprout chia, where the chia sprouts grow within a couple of weeks to resemble the animal’s fur or hair.”
What seemed like a fad, these do-it-yourself kits have been around since the 1970s. Everything from cats and dogs to political figures have been represented. The jingle is now rattling around in my head.
It was a dull day and my images of the Japanese Iris border at Swan Lake and Iris Gardens didn’t amount to much. The insect activity on the iris flowers was much more interesting.
Here a bee is backing out of the flower center after adding to his pollen cache.
He buzzed around the back of the flower and if you zoom in you can see one tiny leg sticking out from the right side of the stem under the petal stem. I didn’t see the second insect on the petal until I was developing the images.
A small spider crawled all over the petals of this delacately colored bloom.
Meanwhile a Skipper was touching all the parts of the next flower over.
This is a section of the Iris border that is on a pond. There is a dragonfly perched on a frond just left and below center–another one I spotted after I got home. I expect there was more insect activity that wasn’t as obvious.
These three chicks really look like Anhingas now, with the classic black and white “piano key” feathers on their wings.
Like the wading bird chicks in nearby nests these older chicks are spending more time interacting with each other as they wait for the parents to bring food. These three were so busy they didn’t even notice when one of the parents was on its approach.
Just as well, because she kept right on going.
I don’t know what made her abort her landing, but she circled around the tree for a second try and successful touch down.
This colorful caterpillar stood out from the plain greenery which he was eating, which is how I happened to see him. A mob of Red-winged Black Birds was in the area and I was expecting him to get picked off as I watched.
He was methodically consuming the leaf, munching back and forth straight across the top.
A wider view shows there was some red foliage nearby, which may have helped camouflage him.
4/26/2018 On the dike at Magnolia Plantation & Gardens.
A Barred Owl pair with two fledged owlets has been seen regularly from the boardwalk at Beidler Forest. We spotted just this one youngster taking short flights in the limbs above us.
The owlet was curious about the humans passing on the boardwalk below him, not bothered by our presence. A school group of about twenty-five kids and chaperones had just passed and a few of their stragglers stopped with us to watch the chick.