too red

It was hard to get going today, after being totally grossed out on our morning walk. The coyotes found something to eat. This is to be expected when you live on the western edge of a city, but still, I wish I hadn’t seen it. Chess startled a coyote near the same place a couple of mornings ago, and he was so certain he would see one again that I was pretty much dragged along at top speed for the entire walk. When we first started walking, this year (I had a bunch of issues to get past before I could take a dog on a walk again), he raced along, nose down, until he realized that he could see things if he held his head up, so now it’s head up, ears pricked, looking all around, for coyotes and other dogs.

When the apples ripen in the neighbor’s yards, he’ll have something much more interesting to look at, and a lot scarier: a herd of elk.

Anyway…the back yard has been filled with orioles for the past two days. Fat chance of me getting a picture of them; they’re so skittish they hear me thinking about taking their picture, and fly off.

Saw a teeny tiny female calliope hummingbird at one of the feeders, too. Changing the sugar syrup for the feeders, and refilling the oriole feeder with grape jelly is about all I do, aside from being dragged through fields of smooth brome by the dog.

I’ve been having a terrible time trying to get a picture of the little forest of Ipomopsis rubra, too. Probably pushing the wrong button or something. Or maybe the things are too red, I don’t know. I disturbed an ecstatic hummingbird in my latest attempt at ipomopsis photography.

Several years ago I counted 102 blooming plants in this little garden, just in case someone called the fire department. This being a biennial, I planned to have more every year, by carefully collecting seed so that there would be an equal or greater number of first-year rosettes compared to flowering plants. It didn’t work., probably because I planned it. But every other year there is a pretty good display, depending on rainfall.

If a drought lasts too long in the second year, the plants, or the stalks, are affected by a fungus, maybe powdery mildew, from which they recover if it rains, but then you have a green feathery stalk with an interruption, or band, of ugly gray mildew. This year the rains have come at just the right time, apparently, because there’s no mildew, and the plants are obviously happy. I figure about three and a half inches of rain since the first of May, which is enough.

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3 Responses to too red

  1. Lucie says:

    Good God you grow gorgeous things!

    • paridevita says:

      These pretty much grow themselves. You can get seed from The Fragrant Path, among other places. They say you can start the seed indoors, early, for flowers the same year. I’ve never tried that.
      It likes more water than it gets here, because it can get six feet tall. So the hummingbirds can really see it, I guess.


  2. You lucky so and so: I have only one miserable Gilia rubra right now: although come to think of it it is not so miserable after all: quite a spectacular tower: I do envy your forest. And your elk! I must join you on a walk sometime soon…I do enjoy your blogs so!

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