Welcome to my zone 9 garden. My roots are deeply planted in the sandy soil of sub-tropical central Florida, where the summers are long and hot, but the rest of the year is paradise!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Early Morning Discoveries

I headed out into the garden early this weekend in an effort to control some weeds with a weed killer spray. I wish I could garden 100% organically, but my new garden is large (a couple of acres) and without the help of an unnamed weed killer, I wouldn't be able to keep up with the steady onslaught of weeds.

When you walk slowly and look down, it's amazing what you'll discover. As I briefly lifted my head, and looked out over my wildlife area the unusual flower of the Dutchman's Pipevine caught my eye. I can't really say it's beautiful but it is indeed, eye-catching.

I planted this vine along a fence in the hopes of attracting pipevine swallowtails to my garden. Here's a photo of both the open flower and a couple of other buds that will soon open. The flowerbuds look like small pipes, and I'm going out on a limb here to say that's probably where its name comes from. Definitely, very strange and other-worldly looking. I'm definitely glad I didn't miss these blooms. Next, was an unusual looking bee. Instead of a yellow and black bumble bee, this bee is black with white sides. It's kind of hard to see the white because she's sipping nectar from a white wildflower.
Then there was this GIANT of a strange fiery-orange bug scurrying across the ground. I made sure to stay out of his way since I defnitely didn't want him crawling up my leg.
And, then another gargantuan bug. He was kind of freaky and I think I was interrupting his mating ritual, so I moved on quickly. The back of our property is woods and you can see that we get a lot of strange and unusual looking critters.
And, lastly I made a grim and sad discovery. At first, I thought it was 4 butterflies sitting on the ground together and I was eager to see what they were doing. But it turned out this butterfly who had met the end of his lifespan. Three of his wings were separated from his body. I hope he enjoyed sipping nectar from my butterfly plants.
I have no idea what kind of bugs these are, but I'm sure they all serve a unique purpose in the wild and I'm glad to have them around to discover.


Rusty in Miami said...

The Dutchman Pipe vine, is in my list of must have but I don’t have a place in the garden for it.

Susan said...

Hi Rusty...It is or can become quite a large vine but the butterflies really do love it and that flower...well what can you say about that giant of a flower - definitely unusual.

Nell Jean said...

Your garden is lovely, enjoyed the sound effects.

Susan said...

Hi Nell Jean...Thank you. I hope those nature sounds make you feel like you're in the garden.

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