Flower Photos

Miniature Rose
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Miniature Rose

By request, a beautiful rose for a wonderful person!


Lotus Blossoms
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Lotus Blossoms

Ahh it's a beautiful flower. Makes me wish I had enough room for a Koi pond. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to keep visiting the ponds at Lotusland and Seaside gardens.


Variegated Cosmos
Friday, October 10, 2008
Variegated Cosmos

Today we spent some time in San Luis Obispo. I was looking forward to taking some shots around the Mission San Luis Obispo, but when we got there I was a little disappointed. Half of the tiles were off the roof and it was surrounded by scafolding. But that's ok. We wandered around and enjoyed the beautiful day (it's finally cool!). And we took the opportunity to take in the little details of the mission grounds. This was in the garden in the back.


Passion Flower
Friday, September 26, 2008
Passion Flower

I was looking back through some older photos to get the botanic name for this beauty and I noticed something interesting. The first flower from this vine on the site is a lot more purple. I can only assume that is from the shady cool conditions we try to keep in the back yard. I'm sure he was in bright sunlight in the nursery and probably got just the right nutrients to bring out those beautiful colors. But I think I like the variegated look even more! And since I regularly have to untangle this guy from all of the other plants in the back yard I think he is pretty happy with the arrangement too.


Canna in the Afternoon Light
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Canna in the Afternoon Light

This is one of my friends in the back yard. If you've been around the site for a while you have seen him before. My Mom sent me a bag of about three rhizomes over ten years ago and they (or their descendants) are still going strong. I've seen a lot of other Cannas, but this one is not so common. It's always been my favorite. When the sun is low in the afternoon it has to get through the rest of our jungle, so the lighting gets mottled and really interesting. The only problem is it moves fast and what is a great shot when we are out watering the plants, is gone once I get back out with my camera. Which, of course, leads to the dangerous practice of watering the plants while I'm holding the camera. This, like chasing bees, has worked out well for me so far but may come too an abrupt end one day.


Sun Star Water Drops
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Sun Star Water Drops

Well it's officially fall. Can't believe it, but it's time to start to look for some good bulbs for the garden. This is one of my favorites, the Sun Star. It is a fairly new hybrid and I have not been able to find it as a bulb. But I'm going to keep looking!


Milkweed Honey
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Milkweed Honey

She really looked like she was concentrating on her work. She paid no attention to me. I guess those smaller flowers are kind of tough. You've got to hover or find a place to stand while you work. Don't have time to deal with pesky photographers.

So the milkweed is what the Monarch caterpillars eat which makes the Monarch Butterflies poisonous to most predators. It contains Glycosides, like Foxglove which is used to make Digitalis, a heart medication. So I'm not sure I would want to try that honey. Hopefully it is just the leaves and stem that have the Glycosides in them.


Shadowy Bougainvillea
Friday, September 19, 2008
Shadowy Bougainvillea

Most of the time the best lighting is not the direct lighting. At the same time I took this there was quite a bit of sun on the other side of the bush. Those shots were great, but this was my favorite.

It's probably a good thing I can entertain myself in the back yard so easily. When the banks all go out of business I can probably still afford my hobby. 'Course I'm going to need to look at some old Gilligan's Island episodes to design my bike generator to keep the web server on.


Mallow in the Rain
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Mallow in the Rain

Another shot from the back yard. This is our Sea Tree Mallow. Zoe pointed these flowers out to me on an early morning vacation walk in monterey. (She was a good dog!) Once we got home from the trip we found this Mallow, a small tree at the time, at a local nursery and brought a little piece of our vacation home.


Epi Blossoms
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Epi Blossoms

I love my plants, as evidenced by the huge number of them on the site. This is an example of one in particular that makes us want a bigger back yard. The flower is about eight inches across. We have somewhere in the neighborhood of a hundred Epis. They're not all as big as this one, most are still small starts at this point. But if we want them to grow up to be big strong cacti we are going to need a lot more space! Once they grow up they are probably going to need their own site too... "The Epi of the Day"


Honey Bee on the Horizon
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Honey Bee on the Horizon

We are always looking for more butterfly food. Our passion flowers are their favorites. After I was already working on framing this shot the bee buzzed in. I love it when that happens. She did not stay around long but it was a really nice addition to the photo!


Cone Flower Bee
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Cone Flower Bee

Don't you just hate it when you're working and someone keeps looking over your shoulder. Don't they know you have a lot of pollen and nectar to collect!? Lucky for me, she did not feel that way.

I spent some time hanging out at one of my favorite photo spots. A little nursery near Gelson's on state street. They are always very friendly when I'm wandering around with my camera. They seem to attract a lot of butterfly and bee activity there, I can only assume since they are out in the middle of a parking lot without much other greenery around.

I really like the cone flowers there. This is not my first bee on a purple cone flower shot from there.


Gulf Fritillary in the Back Yard
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Gulf Fritillary in the Back Yard

Our babies are growing up! A couple of years ago we got a couple of vines, (a Passion Flower and a Mandevilla) to try to coax the beautiful butterflies to stay in our back yard. They almost wiped out the Passion Flower completely the first year. This year the original vines are each about four times the original size, and we have two additional Passion Flowers about the same size. That was finally enough to support the caterpillar crop this year. This is one of four butterflies that we suspect were recently caterpillars in the Passion Flowers and now spend most of the days fluttering and playing in the back yard.


Cleared for Landing
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Cleared for Landing

Sometimes I have to chase them forever to get the shot I want. But this one was very cooperative. I got quite a few nice shots It's always nice to work with good models.


Salmon Blossom
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Salmon Blossom

If you are not familiar with Epis, think christmas cactus' big brother. REALLY big! This one was only around six inches across. But some of them can get blossoms up to nine inches. One of ours has a single pad that is over two feet long. They are beautiful and we need a bigger back yard because we have collected so many.


Red Gold
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Red Gold

We often try to get these guys to grow all around our property but with the exception of one pretty hearty yellow one that came up this year from seeds planted last year they seem to have a mind of their own. Even the first poppy that was the inspiration to start this site was a volunteer that popped up in one of our potted plants. This is one that we purchased from the Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens. The red color was really striking and I couldn't pass it up. Which is probably not a bad thing considering we were there for a Bonsai show so there were much more expensive and delectate things I could have fallen in love with.


Alice's Hibiscus
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Alice's Hibiscus

It has been a good summer for Hibiscus. So good in fact I could not be sure where I took this. One day I shot some pink Hibiscus at Alice Keck's garden and a day or two later I shot some very similar Hibiscus near Butterfly beach at the same time of day. Good thing I was using my digital camera, I could check the date.


Solar Pathway Lantern
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Solar Pathway Lantern

One of the things we learned from the recent fire is how truly dark it can be outside when the power goes off. My dad who was far ahead of his time taught me the virtues of solar energy when he was able to power our whole house with solar panels twenty years ago. Unfortunately there are less options for renters although we keep trying. When we tried these small solar path lights a few years ago they did not last very long. But these days they have small LEDs in them so they last all night this time of year. So we replaced all of our landscape lighting with these and some nice spotlights on the plants. Next time the power goes out we'll at least be able to get around without falling over all our plants.

I'm sure it's wonderful for the environment too, but personally I'm not convinced that buying a bunch of stuff just to save energy is a terribly responsible thing to do unless the things you are replacing have outlived their usefulness and need to be replaced anyway. I'd rater telecommute and keep my old jeep that I drive about 10 miles a month, than buy an overpriced hybrid that had to be manufactured somewhere. Personally I think a large part of the current save-the-world movement is an excuse to make you feel good about buying things... eco-consumerism! Save the world with your credit card!


Passion Tower
Monday, August 25, 2008
Passion Tower

This was right down the aisle from my bee friend from yesterday. I took more pictures at the Nursery than anywhere the rest of the trip. My wife says this one looks like a cell phone tower, and I have to agree. Only a little prettier.


Nursery Worker
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Nursery Worker

Whenever we go to the Monterey area we like to stop at the nurseries in Carmel Valley. We've found some really different plants there. And of course there are always plenty of bees and hummers to chase.


Evening Epi
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Evening Epi

It's a great time of year, time for our Epis to really start blooming. This one lasts a little longer than one evening so I'm pretty sure it is a hybrid of some sort. In the wild they only bloom for a single night. The blossom is about nine inches at the widest. The cup of petals in the middle is about four across. It is quite an amazing sight and makes for some nice night-time photography.


Mexican Tulip poppy
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Mexican Tulip poppy

This is a new friend that followed us home from a nice little nursury in Montecito. Nursuries are a dangerous place really, we only have a small backyard and it is getting pretty full.

Last week a similar thing happend with a Passion Flower vine and a dwarf Fingered Citron tree. Both of which will be featured on the Photo of the Day in the near future. Just as soon as their blossoms get a little further along.


Sun Star Bloom
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Sun Star Bloom

Well it's that time of year the Sun Stars are in bloom! This is a beautiful Orange hybrid related to a Star-of-Bethlehem. This particular flower was my first one. It took a rest last year, but it is back strong.

If you landed here looking for care and feeding of your new plant take a look at the Sun Star page. And my earlier shot from the first time this one bloomed. Most importantly, it's a perennial bulb, so No!... you did not kill it! It dies back every year down to the bulb. And pretty fast after it's done blooming! If you're looking for one, they are available as live plants now. Or you can get bulbs in the fall. I've had a few requests for sources of bulbs so I'll try to get some links online soon.


Tulip Feather
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Tulip Feather

More plants followed us home from the grocery store the other day. One of them was this beautiful Tulip. The bellows was still out from the recent Ladybug fest so this shot was inevitable really.