Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Landscape Therapist...

hopes to return to normality and photography on January 1. Yes, that's next year. Until then, here's hoping the rest of 2010 doesn't leave any of us hanging upside down.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Lotsa Spots

I think this is an Asian import, the Harmonia axyridis. Yes, it's a ladybug. Yes it's cute but it's also nonnative and drives native ladybugs out.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Green Guard

Our resident mantis, if it's the same one, has gotten much bigger this summer. I'm a little concerned about the black spot on one of its legs. No eggplants have appeared but the plant should be pest free.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


The weather was pretty much perfect today. Light breeze, blue sky, and comforting sun. I want more.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Xylocopa virginica?

I saw these bees in the butterfly garden as well as all over any other flowers I happened upon. They seem hairier than a carpenter bee but I can't figure out what else they might be. So, until I learn otherwise, I'll think of them as Xylocopa virginica.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Stained Glass

The butterfly garden lived up to its name. Primarily, monarchs were taking advantage of the floral offerings. There were lots of big, fat bees too.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Eastern Cousin

Here's an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail that I snapped just before a thunder shower began. I wish I could have gotten some better pictures so I could compare it with its cousins in the West. Next trip, perhaps.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


As I peered down it was hard to find any spot on the ground that looked untouched by humans. That made me a bit sad. Great views helped cheer me up.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Harlequin bugs are infesting all of the mustard weeds along the river. It's interesting how different the patterns are on the juveniles as compared to the adults. Despite the bugs, the day was gorgeous, cooler and breezy and it was great to get out for a walk.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Blue Whale

Besides the blue whale (whose tail fluke was 20 feet wide!), we saw a couple of humpbacks. And then there were the Risso's Dolphins and the Dall's Porpoises (not to mention the black-footed albatross). What an awesome experience.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Fairy Tales

There's a small dragonfly in silhouette under one of the leaves (click the picture to make it bigger). Or maybe it's a fairy? Why not.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Mantis Egg Case

I wonder how long until the baby mantises hatch. They're above a window so they don't blend in particularly well. Makes it easier for me.

Friday, July 9, 2010


We saw what I think is a Muscovy duck while we were standing on the bridge gazing into the water below. It seemed to be caught in the current and made very little headway. The temperature is soaring once again.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

More Where that Came From

We picked our first ripe, non-cherry tomato on the 6th of July this year. Now that we're having consistently hot temperatures, we should have a lot more ripening. The joys of a warm, fresh-picked tomato cannot be overestimated.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

And then it caught a bee...

Not only does the flowering oregano attract bees, it also attracts bee predators. This two-inch long praying mantis was hanging out waiting for dinner. A honeybee was the meal.

Monday, July 5, 2010


As one might suspect, my garden has many pollinator-friendly flowers. The bees don't mind crawling around on the echinacea even though the centers are rather sharp. And, here's a gratuitous shot of green tomatoes in the background.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Please Release Me

After carefully spritzing all my plants with water after dark, I released the ladybugs. Some of them started marching up my legs (I guess I looked like a plant) and I didn't notice until they'd gotten quite far. Goodbye aphids.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bright Star

It would have been nice to have a lazy day. No such luck. Getting more comfortable, temperature-wise, outside.

Monday, June 28, 2010

There Might Be More

Still hot but there's a downward temperature trend. It didn't seem too bad, actually because we know a cool-down is coming soon. The orchids always look cool.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

It's Cooler in the Shade

Really hot again today so that air conditioning is almost mandatory. We got going early so we could soak the garden without melting. The tiny bees were happy to hang out on the agapanthus.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Good Day

It was well over 100 degrees today so we went for an early breakfast picnic followed by a walk. An extremely relaxing day doing just the type of things I like. Thanks to J.

Bonus (because it's soothing): Breakfast Picnic View, now with moving pictures if you click below.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Pink Eyes

There were no lupine along the river this year. The vetch is winding down. And, we have masses of these pink flowers that I've never seen before and can't identify though I have a feeling they're probably invasive.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Growing Fast

The garden is going to town. Lots of large green tomatoes. Echinacea blooms have made their appearance.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

And It Was Good

One of the deck tomato plants is doing very well. A carpenter bee swings by regularly to do the pollinating. An excellent arrangement even if I didn't have any part in the negotiation.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Wasp or Cuckoo?

This bug racket I have going is highly frustrating. If the picture isn't clear, I can't make an i.d. (and if it's clear, there's still no guarantee). Today was the warmest-feeling day of the year, so far.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer Hug

Here we see dahlia buds in a curious embrace. The foliage has blackish highlights. The plant is very striking with its yellow flowers.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Yes, Another Bee

And yet another species that I can't quite pin down. It was almost cool outside today. Very nice for the last day of spring.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

High and Cold

Our river is running high and cold. The sandbar is nearly submerged. It makes a great hangout for the egrets.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Which Bee?

This is a small bee and I'm not completely convinced that it's a bumble bee. I can't figure out what species it belongs to. It was very pleased with the lavender and the borage.

BONUS: Bee Movie! Brought to you by artichoke cam (click below).

Thursday, June 17, 2010

So Late

It seems to be skunk season. Although it's cooler outside, the windows are staying shut. Not pleasant.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sweet Green Sweat Bee

What a silly common name for a cool little bee--Agapostemon is better. This year they're drawn to the oregano blooms. Many other bee species are right there with them.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


The garden is coming into its own. A welcome breeze came to town last night and stuck around today. The windows are open.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Cute Cuke

Some of the cucumber seeds sprouted. Now they need to get going. I want to make pickles this summer.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Two in the Nest

A very poor picture due to the wind and the height of the nest (plus it's DARK under the redwoods). There are two baby hummingbirds sitting side by side. They look about ready to take flight.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Mine. All Mine

More wind from the north. The mercury was a little higher. The bees didn't care.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Old Fashioned

A nasty north wind blew all day. Very warm out. Grass fire season has begun.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Hummingbird Nest

There seems to be at least one baby in the nest. Mama hummingbird was not happy with my presence so I didn't stay long enough to get a good photo. She wouldn't go to the nest while I was around which I didn't think was good for the baby.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Lime Cluster

I might have a lot more limes this year. They're about 1/4 inch long. A long way to go.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Strawberry Fail

Mildew on the berries in the strawberry pot. Other berries are fine. Never had this happen before.

Monday, June 7, 2010


We let a fennel plant bolt. The flowers seem to drive the beneficial insect population wild. I guess the plant's staying until it stops blooming.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Spread Eagle

The first couple of hot weather days always take a bit of getting used to. We're getting there. Do wish the low humidity levels would return.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


It was finally hot today but not humid. Much better. Some gardening happened.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Bump and Grind

Extremely muggy out today. The hideously overpowering scent of star jasmine was hanging in the air. This is not normal.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Orange Delight

Cloudy and windy. So cloudy that it was almost dark at 7 p.m. I think the rain passed us by, however.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


My fuchsia is starting to bloom a few weeks later than it did last year. Warm and muggy this afternoon. Mostly cloudy too.