Thursday, October 30, 2014

Blooms Around The House

 Cattleya bowringiana variety coerulea 'Blue Angel' HCC/AOS.  This is a "blue" variety of the normally lavender species (see below), caused by a rare genetic mutation.


 Cattleya guttata variety coerulea


 Cattleya bowringiana (tipo)


 Hoya australis.  This one is super fragrant at night!


 Laelia pumila (sib cross)


Paphiopedilum henryanum 


 Paphiopedilum sukhakulii variety album.  The is an albino variety of this normally black spotted species!


Phalaenopsis Ox Happy Girl 'Sweetheart'

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Hummingbird Wars!

Allen's and Anna's Hummingbirds fighting over a prime perch.  The Allen's hummingbirds are a little smaller than the Anna's Hummingbirds but make up for it by being extra feisty!

 Allen's hummingbird rushing off to chase another hummingbird, while defending it's perch.


 Allen's hummingbird chasing an Anna's hummingbird.


Anna's hummingbird defending itself from the little Allen's hummingbird (see the talons up above).

Monday, October 06, 2014

The Blue Angels MCAS Miramar Airshow

There's something about military aircraft thundering by that never fails to impress me.  These are F/A-18 Hornets.  Perhaps it is the sheer speed and power of these planes or perhaps it is their ability to do amazing maneuvers in mid-air (including flying straight up and flying upside down!). Whatever the reason, these guys are pretty doggone amazing!





American Orchid Society Award at the San Diego International Orchid Fair

Zygopetalum New Era 'Windflower' HCC/AOS

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Hummer of the Day!

Male Anna's Hummingbird, Calypte anna, in flight.

The Tobacco Hornworm - Manduca sexta

Tobacco Hornworm, Manduca sexta, feeding on tomato leaves.  The tobacco hornworm feeds on plants in the family Solanaceae, including tobacco, tomatoes and plants in the morning glory genus, Datura.  The tobacco hornworm is apparently able to isolate and store Nicotine ingested from its tobacco host (note that tomatoes also contain a nicotine alkaloid called tomatine) and excretes Nicotine, which is toxic to most animals, as a deterrent to predation.  The Tobacco hornworn may be distinguished from the Tomato Hornworn via the white diagonal stripes and red horn on the Tobacco hornworm versus the V-Shaped white markings and black horn on the Tomato hornworm.  This particular worm stripped a 3 foot tall tomato plant nearly bare of leaves in about a weeks time, before I finally found him holding tightly to a stem.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Turkey vulture - Cathartes aura meridionalis

Turkey vulture, Cathartes aura meridionalis, flying low at the San Diego Safari Park.  While they are occasionally seen in San Diego proper and all down the Baja, there seem to be a inordinately large number of them hanging out at the Safari Park.  I suspect that they are opportunistically feeding on left overs from the official zoo denizens.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Photo Safari

It was a bright sunny day and the baby animals were out in full force at the Safari Park...so what better time for a photo safari!

 Moi and one of the safer tigers

 Baby Giraffes

 Some wild black ibis hanging out in the pond

 Black rhino and calf

 Bongos in the water hole

 Baby Cheetah

 Leucistic Ellipsen Waterbuck Calf  and Mother

 Lion cub at play

 Pierre and the golden tiger

Snarly Sumatran Tiger

Friday, September 26, 2014

Coelogyne massangeana

Coelogyne massangeana, also known as Coelogyne tomentosa and Coelogyne dayana, is from the mountains of Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo, and Java.  This one is blooming outdoors in San Diego.

Laelia pumila

Laelia pumila, a first bloom from a sib cross from Brazil.

Cattleya Chocolate Drop 'Kodama' AM AOS

Cattleya Chocolate Drop 'Kodama' AM AOS, a cross of C. aurantiaca X C guttata.  An old cross that still brightens up the room.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Stanhopea panamensis

This just opened today.  It was labled as Stanhopea panamensis.  This species is native to Panama where it frequents hot, wet, lowland forests.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Silver garden spider, Argiope argentata: a Beauty with a Bit of a Bite

Silver garden spider, Argiope argentata.  I spotted this beautiful, silvery spider sparkling in the bright Summer sun.  As it turns out, they pack a bit of a bite.  For most people, the painful bite will sting and itch for about an hour.  However, the bite can be more serious for kids and the elderly.  Their range extends from the Southern U.S. down to Argentina, with a preference for hot, dry climates.

Harrison McIntosh

Clay Sphere on Wood Block by Harrison McIntosh at the American Museum of Ceramic Art's opening celebrating Harrison McIntosh's 100th birthday!

Hummingbird in Flight

Male Anna's Hummingbird in flight, making a beeline for the feeder.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Ctsm Bella Vista's Sangria X Ctsm denticulatum 'SVO'

Ctsm Bella Vista's Sangria X Ctsm denticulatum 'SVO' at Fred Clarke's greenhouse.  It's always a lot of fun seeing what's in bloom at Fred's.

Anna's Hummingbird Waiting for a Berth at the Feeder

Male Anna's Hummingbird, Calypte anna, waiting for a berth at the feeder.  It's been a dry, dry year (i.e., no food in the sage scrub/wild) and the hummingbirds are at the feeder in record numbers.  I just put up a second feeder to handle some of overflow.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Anna's Hummingbird

Anna's Hummingbird, Calypte anna.  These lovely little birds are amazing acrobats, flying every which way at amazing speeds.  This one is darting backwards in reaction to the sound of my camera shutter opening.  They apparently have good hearing as well...

Cattleya Chloe X C Mrs Mahler 'Mem Fred Tompkins'

Cattleya Chloe X C Mrs Mahler 'Mem Fred Tompkins' is a cross I bought way back in the 80's.  It blooms on tall spikes with large heads of flowers (perhaps 8-10 flowers or so) with raspberry veining and raspberry spots.  Quite the charmer if you have the space.