Chronicaling the lunacy of taming three acres in Tidewater Virginia, one square foot at a time!

"Gardens... should be like lovely, well-shaped girls: all curves, secret corners, unexpected deviations, seductive surprises and then still more curves. ~H.E. Bates, A Love of Flowers

Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday Night Garden Walk

One thing my husband and I really like doing is walking the perimeter of our three acres to see what we can find. We often take the camera with the macro lens.

Here are some things we snapped after dinner this evening...

I am an absolute freak for this plant....Plumbago auriculata
Common Names: leadwort, plumbago, skyflower. It's one of the true joys of southern gardening. The blue is clear and crisp and very attractive to butterflies. It looks great next to most any color you put near, orange or pink. It grew like crazy at the beach, loving sandy soil and full sun. We'll see how it does in my not so sandy soil...even if it doesn't survive the's worth the cost for a season in my opinion!

Every evening, as soon as the bugs come out near the porch lights, I can be sure to see...the Squirrel Treefrog (Hyla squirella.) These are the cutest little green frogs that are native to The coastal plain from southeastern Virginia (where I live!) to Florida and the Keys west along the Gulf coast to coastal Texas. They have large toes (three) and chameleon like ability to change color.It's nocturnal except for rainy days when it might be out and about aggressively foraging for insects. It's name comes from the fact that it's call is chatter like, just like (annoying) squirrels.

I first saw this bird in our yard over the weekend. Tonight it happened to be in a tree we were close to. The Brown Thrasher (Toxostoma rufum), is in the same family as Mockingbirds and Catbirds. It likes thicket...we have that! This bird is omnivorous, eating insects, berries, nuts and seeds, as well as earthworms, snails and sometimes lizards. I have seen it foraging on the ground, tossing my mulch to the side with some force. The Brown Thrasher is the official state bird of Georgia, and the inspiration for the name of Atlanta's National Hockey League team, the Atlanta Thrashers. Who knew!

Then we are walking under a large Mimosa, and Mr. B spots this odd group of bugs...after some searching, he identifies them as "Tree Cattle!" (Cerastipsocus venosus) Now there is some odd imagery for you. Named because of their herding habit, no joke, Tree Cattle are beneficial insects that feed on fungus and are considered bark cleaners. They do NO harm to the trees. I have read that if you run your finger along side them...they will move like a herd...we will be trying that tomorrow if they are still there!

Hoping to get some gardening time in tomorrow...after 2 daughters in Horse Show (one for the first time!!), son's baseball game, and daughter's softball practice...I may just be an armchair gardener when all is said and done....

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