“What Are You Doing?”, He Asked…

Hello Folks! I was walking around taking photos and he just stood there perfectly still watching me. He asked me what I was doing and I told him that I was taking photos for the blog. He said, “OH. I thought so.” Then he asked, “Why are you getting so close.” I told him because I was taking a closer look. Then I asked him why he was spending more time around the chicken house lately instead of on the back porch and around the house like usual. Well, it is partly my fault, as he pointed out. Several days ago I offended him. He had lost his tail feathers and I also noticed a lot more photos in his coop. I asked if something grabbed him. He said, “NO, they just fell out.” I told him he looked like a hen without his sickle feathers and that offended him… I had already sensed that I had offended him a few days ago, and I did apologize. But he still seems a little embarrassed over loosing his sickle feathers. His brother also lost his, but the bigger roosters still have theirs. The hens are also starting to loose a lot of feathers. Of course, they will grow new ones, and so will he. I reassured him he would grow new ones and that he wasn’t going bald… I did decide on a name for him, though. I think his name will be Harvey (after the hurricane). I chose that name because a few days ago dad said, “I wonder what Harvey is doing?” I asked who Harvey was, not realizing he was talking about the hurricane. I thought he had named the rooster… SO, I decided that would be a good name for him.

Dad is getting along pretty good at 86.  I took this photo after I came back inside from taking photos. I turned around and looked toward him and thought that would be a good photo. He spends his day watching TV, napping and sitting on the porch smoking his Falcon pipe. He doesn’t usually get off the porch unless we go to Wal-Mart or he needs to go to the bank twice a month. His check-up with the doctors is every six months now, which he is very glad of. When I moved back here there was a nurse practitioner at the clinic he and mom liked. Well, she started working at their other clinic out of town so they had to see the other lady. After mom passed away, dad wanted to make an appointment with the other clinic so he could see the nurse practitioner he liked. SO, I did that. She started running all these tests, sending him to the heart doctor, taking X-Rays, doing blood work and so on. He got tired of all that so he wanted to come back to the local clinic… Now all is well again. The first lady knew dad smoked a pipe, and has since he was eight. She told dad that he was healthy and he could smoke away… I thought that was a little odd for a nurse practitioner to say.

I don’t think he gets enough exercise but I am not 100% sure how to go about getting him more. He walks slow and doesn’t pick his feet up like he used to. Him walking up and down steps bothers me because he sometimes catches his heal on them. He goes slow because he knows he could fall easily. I could take him down to the park and walk around which would be a lot safer than him walking around on the farm. There are a lot of holes and low places, weeds, etc. that could make him fall. He used to mow a little and work in the garden. He hasn’t been to the garden since 2014. He used to mow part of the big yard with the riding mower but I think it started bothering his back so he stopped than a couple of years ago. He usually helps when I get the cows in the corral to sell the calves, but he didn’t the last time. I know he used to do it by himself, so I guess he thinks I should be able to as well.

Ummm… I took close to 200 photos this afternoon but wound up with 86. I have to take two of everything in case one is not good. If I took just one and it was messed up, then there would be none of what I shot… Then there are always a few I have taken at a different angle or maybe was blurry. Anyway, I wound up with 86 after I was finished naming and numbering them. I started out taking photos of the Colocasia because I was going to write a post about the difference between Alocasia and Colocasia. Next thing I knew the idea changed somewhat.

The Colocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ has really grew since I transplanted it here toward the end of May. (I bought it on May 20 and the next photo of it was May 26). At that time the two Colocasia esculenta didn’t even have leaves yet. On August 20, the ‘Thailand Giant’ and the two Colocasia esculenta were 54″ tall, all three the same height. Today the Colocasia gigantea ‘Thailand Giant’ is 64″, the Colocasia esculenta (in the center) is 72″,  and the one on the right is 61″ tall. I don’t think I have had any get this tall since I was in Mississippi… It surprised me when the Colocasia esculenta in the center grew 18″ taller in just 9 days, and actually outgrew the Colocasia gigantea.

 

I put a quarter in the center of the leaf so you can kind of guess the size… I accidentally poked that hole in the leaf on August 20 with my pen when I was measuring it… It was 33″ wide x 42″ long then and it is still about that same size. The next one will be bigger… The largest Colocasia esculenta leaf is about that same size but it was complicated taking it’s photo without getting on a ladder because it was toward the back of the plant.

 

Now, my attempt in taking photos was to show some differences between Alocasia and Colocasia and why Colocasia leaves droop and Alocasia leaves point upward… But, the Colocasia gigantea leaves don’t droop like the Colocasia esculenta. In the above photo you can see the angle of the petiole where it is connected to the leaf… That shows why the Colocasia leaves droop downward.

 

This photo shows how the petiole of the Colocasia gigantea attaches to the leaf. Then I got sidetracked and my mind began to wonder…

According to my iMac’s dictionary, the definition of wonder: a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable. The thesaurus added: “She was speechless with wonder.” 1) surprise, astonishment, stupefaction, amazement. 2) the wonders of nature: MARVEL, miracle…. etc.

You get the picture… Then I started paying closer attention and started taking more photos which completely threw me off track.

 

The Conoclinum coelestinum (Floss Flower, etc., etc., and so on) next to the steps is starting to strut it’s stuff now. Flowering up a storm! Every flower is a masterpiece of nature.

 

Just take a look at the Coleus ‘Spiced Curry’. Maybe I am supposed to say Plectranthus scutellarioides ‘Spiced Curry’. Well, there is STILL some controversy about that name and Coleus is so much easier. Chartreuse leaves with maroon veining. What a combination!

 

Then the leaves of the Coleus ‘Songbird’, so dark and mysterious. Take a closer look and notice the edges of the leaves… So precisely made. I would like to know why they named this dark leaved cultivar ‘Songbird’ anyway?

 

The Phlomis ‘Edward Bowles’ leaves are of a completely different texture, kind of fuzzy feeling.

 

The Salvia coccinea (Scarlet Sage) are really flowering this week… Such an awesome bright red!

 

The Marigold ‘Brocade’ (Tagetes patula) flowers, each petal delicately laced with gold. I had previously thought that the redder flowers and lighter colored flowers were on different plants. However, with a closer look, most all of the plants have both shades and none of the plants have just the lighter shade.

 

The Salvia nemorosa ‘New Dimensions Blue’ has managed to survive despite the aggressive takeover by the Marigolds.

 

Even when you take a closer look at the Talinum paniculatum (Jewels of Opar) you see a miracle of nature. Just look at those tiny flowers and seed pods!!! Now, I am thinking I have flipped, calling this a miracle of nature! It will be no miracle when they come up by the thousands next spring… I really need to cut those stems off (how many posts have I said that in?).

Then I walked over to the other yard to take a few more photos for the “next post”. I already got sidetracked with this one… Just as well finish and just take a bunch more photos.

 

OK, OK! I will call it by it right name this time. The “CRAPE MYRTLE” is now flowering. I managed to keep the two on the south side of the house completely cut down this summer. They were just to much and I couldn’t do much of anything with that bed with them there. This Crap Myrtle, I mean Crape Myrtle, has been here since my grandmother planted it in the early 1960’s (maybe sooner). When I lived here in the early 1980’s there had been several along the house. They all died, or so I thought. SO, I planted a row of Red Barberry. Well after I moved away in 1987, dad didn’t like the Barberry because of the thorns and the Crape Myrtle started coming up AGAIN. SO, he removed the Barberry.  The two “MYRTLES” in the south bed came from this spot… GEEZ!!!

 

I don’t know how many of you have seen an Leptinella squalida ‘Platt’s Black’ in real life, but they are really weird (in a good way). Their ferny leaves are smaller than this photo shows. Apparently it liked this location because it is still alive and actually spreading out a little. The interesting thing is that the leaves unfurl green then turn this dark color.

 

The older Hosta are doing very well this year but the newer ones are kind of sorta just sitting there. Well, considering none of the new ones are going to be HUGE plants anyway, except for ‘Empress Wu’, I guess they are doing pretty good. The miniature Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ is doing the best. Just look at those little round leaves!

 

Normally I show the flowers of the Achillea millefolium, but if we take a closer look, the leaves are truly unique. Intricate, lacy, ferny… The new leaves emerge similar to a fern, in a way, and have this strange fuzzy feeling. You have to use more than your sense of sight, or small, to enjoy the AWESOMENESS of nature. Touch your plants and you can almost feel the energy and them wanting to be one with you. GEEZ! I know I have lost it now. Being one with a weed!?!?!?

 

YES, folks, I will have to admit I think the Equisetum hyemale (Horsetail) is a miracle of nature. Despite is ever increasing determination to take over as much land as possible, this plant is made to survive. This plant’s ancestors were here with the dinosaurs roamed the earth, went through the ice age, flooding, intense heat from when the meteor hit the earth and killed the dinosaurs, and so on. They are still here. The Native Americans used their rough stems to wash their cooking utensils and found other uses for them. I guess they figured they must be here for something… I wonder if they also used the hollow stems as a straw?

Now lets go to the plant tables…

 

I like the dark leaves of the Begonia ‘Brazilian Lady’… But what do the undersides look like?

The leaves of this Begonia have this kind of fuzz growing out of them. What do you know? Begonias have whiskers! The underside of the Begonia ‘Brazilian Lady’ leaves are a deep maroon. Isn’t it neat how the petiole attaches to the leaves and then the veins go out from it? Kind of like blood veins but they also add support.

 

These are the leaves of the very beautiful Begonia ‘Fannie Moser’. Dark maroony green leaves with silver spots! My iMac is learning all kinds of new words!

“WHOA!”, she said! I almost got slapped as I flipped over her leaf! I just wanted to see what the underside looked like… And WHAT IS THAT?!?! Dimples? ‘Fannie Moser’ has DIMPLES! Just look at the strong petiole!!! AMAZING! Now she is blushing….

 

Begonia ‘Frosty’ is a really nice looking plant for sure. Just look at those AWESOME silvery leaves with the dark green veins… Seems to be a thin maroon margin around each leaf, too. Then I asked, “Can I see your underside?”

WOW!!!! Would you look at that! Nice legs, nice petiole, dark veins running through the leaves. Looks like a true wonder of nature with the sun shining through the leaf. Notice how the end of the veins merge with the edge of the leaf to form the maroon margin? But wait a minute! The veins on top were dark green and they are maroon underneath!  Like a friend of mine always said, “How cool is that?”

 

Begonia ‘Sophia’ is smiling at me, kind of blushing, waiting to see what I will do with her. GEEZ!!! I was almost afraid to ask to see her underside.. Nice dark green leaves with silver splotches… I think she needs to learn how to apply her make up from ‘Fannie”.

OH MY GOODNESS!!! I didn’t even have to ask because ‘Sophia’ isn’t shy at all! Would you just look at that! A photo is worth 1,000 words and I am speechless! Time to move on from the Begonia girls…

 

Oxalis triangularis subsp. papilionacea (Wood Sorrel, False Shamrock)… I was really fortunate to have this plant come along when I bought my Amorphophallus a few weeks ago. I had one in Mississippi, actually more than one, but the leaves were smaller. Back then, in 2012, it was Oxalis regnellii var. triangularis… When The Plant List was updated in 2013, Oxalis regnellii became a synonym of Oxalis triangularis… Probably, when I do research for this plants own page, I will discover that was a name it had long before 2013.

Hmmm… The underside is much different than the top side. The top side is darker purple with a lighter purple in the middle. The underside is more of a maroon or maybe the same color as the center on the top side. The petiole is a completely different color!

The flowers close for the evening! I never realized that until this afternoon when I took a closer look at this amazing Wood Sorrel! Believe it or not, these plants have bulbs and this plant is also edible…

 

Now, this is interesting… The stems and leaves of the Buddleja davidii ‘Pugster Blue’ seem pretty simple. But, this plant knows it’s heritage, you can just see it when you really get to know the Buddleja. Although the ‘Pugster Blue’ will only (hopefully) only grow to 24″ tall and wide, he knows he has relatives that are trees growing to over 30′ tall. He has lots of relatives with family members on all four continents. There are over 200 species and naturally occurring hybrids in the genus Buddleja!

 

WHAT IS THIS? Is Callisia fragrans is going MAD?!?! I didn’t realize this was happening until I took a closer look. She isn’t going mad, she is happy! Happy to be alive, free and feeling one with her surroundings. This Bromeliad is truly something else!

HA!!! Just imagine what this plant would do if it were in the ground or in sphagnum moss in the fork of a tree! A few weeks ago I turned the pot around and this plantlet (is that the right word) on the end had roots growing under a brick. It’s like where the joints touch something it signals to grow roots. Talk about a survivor!

 

The Cotyledon ‘Silver Storm’ has done very well and has even grown a few sprouts. Lets take a closer look?

It is also growing branches… I haven’t done any research on the Cotyledon yet, but I am sure I may find out these aren’t stems, branches and sprouts. There will be some technical botanical language… But for now, I will just redneck it and call them sprouts and branches.

Hmmm… There is a voice inside me that is asking what a redneck is. Seriously, I have no clue what to say. Actually, what I think a redneck is doesn’t even apply to me. I just checked out my iMac’s definition of a redneck. NO, well, maybe sometimes in a way, partly correct… It says that a redneck is a working-class white person, especially a politically reactionary one from a rural area… As an example, it says “rednecks in the high, cheap seats stomped their feet and hooted…” I am scratching my head at that one and my inner voice has a big question mark…

MOVING RIGHT ALONG!

 

I know I haven’t shared many photos of the cactus and succulents lately (OH CRAP, I have been forgetting about the Sedum kamtschaticum). I have taken a few photos for the pages to the right, which I have been working on. Anyway, since I was taking a closer look at some of the plants today, I thought I would take a few photos of the cactus. The above photo is one of the Echinocactus grusonii (Golden Barrel Cactus). I have two which I didn’t realize until I got home with them. Well, I had bought several cactus that day because they were cheap and when I came home and was taking photos and measurements there were two of two different cactus. I will admit, though, my cactus probably get the least amount of attention of all my plants. They just sit there and SLOWLY grow. SO slow that I have to measure them once a year to see if they are actually growing at all. That is pretty sad they get ignored when they are some of the most amazing plants on earth.

 

Parodia leninghausii (Golden Ball Cactus)(Syn. Notocactus leninghausii) is unusual because of it’s golden hair-like appearance. Kind of reminds me of pig hair. OH, I have hairier cactus than this but I didn’t take their photos today.

 

Umm… This is the Faucaria tigrina-Tiger Jaws. Still one of the most interesting succulents I have grown, although this one is not as nice as the one I had before. I think it will get there slowly but surely. The correct spelling, guys, is fow-KAR-ee-uh tig-REE-nuh not what you were thinking. Look at those teeth! OUCH!!!

Talk about teeth…

 

This Agave is STILL unnamed… Where did I get it anyway? I know I bought it last year, maybe from Wagler’s since it is unnamed. I know it needs more sun, though, and all this rain we have had lately is not good for it.

Well, folks, that is finally the end of this post. I took more photos of the Alocasia, Caladiums and Amorphophallus, but they are for the next post… SO, until next time, take care, be happy, healthy, prosperous and GET DIRTY!!!

8 comments on ““What Are You Doing?”, He Asked…

  1. katechiconi says:

    This really is three posts in one, and I think my favourite is the Begonia Girls. I find them hard to grow here because of the humidity, so I always enjoy looking at happy, healthy specimens.

    Like

  2. Jim R says:

    Well…that was a learning experience. Nice closeups of their backsides etc. 🙂

    I especially like your Alocasia and Colocasia. They’re huge. I also like your varieties of Coleus. They are very showy.

    Take good care of your dad. He seems to be doing well.

    Like

    • Jim, I always like a post where I learn something as I take photos and then as I do some research as I write it. That happened with this one… I didn’t realize that some Begonia’s have whiskers and some don’t. GEEZ!, I feel a subject for a new post! Plant gender…LOL!!! I have really gotten a kick out of the Colocasia this year, it is like they are racing. The Colocasia gigantea is trying to live up to it’s ancestors reputation and the C. esculenta is trying not to be outdone my a kid… Well, the Colocasia esculenta bulb is several years old and the E. gigantea born this spring… I am waiting to see what will happen by “F”. That’s for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. hairytoegardener says:

    Harvey, the rooster, is beautiful–tail feathers or no tail feathers. Like your succulents/cacti and am thinking of adding a few to my garden as squirrel guards.

    Like

  4. bittster says:

    There’s a lot in this post, I almost felt out of breath trying to keep up lol!
    Great to see everything doing so well and coming into its own this season, I love all the different leaves and stems and colors.
    It’s cool here in Pa this weekend. I scared myself by thinking ahead to where everything will go… it’s not going to be pretty.

    Like

    • LOL! I know the feeling. One evening when I was in Mississippi, I was sitting in the den with the screen door open. A cool wind blew in and I immediately got up and started moving plants inside. It was past 1 AM. I dread October because you never know when the “F” will hit. In Mississippi we didn’t have a “F” until December and last year here it didn’t happen until October 25. Like you said, it won’t be pretty when all the plants are inside… Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

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