Saturday, August 22, 2015

What's Jade Green and Smooth?

Mang Mountain Pit Viper, Zhaoermia mangshanensis, is the largest of the Asian pit vipers, growing to over 11 feet in length, making it the largest of the Asian pit vipers.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Red Phalaenopsis!

Dtps. I-Hsin Red Rose
Red Phalaenopsis have been somewhat elusive.  While there are some, few have large numbers of flowers and the long arching sprays that most of us associate with Phalaenopsis.  Here's a pretty one that's well along the way towards that goal.

The View From Idyllwild

Went for a short hike to the end of the road in one of the subdivisions in Idyllwild, California.  Here's the view!  Very peaceful with wild asters and lupine.  Worth the drive.

Huge Carpenter Ants!

Carpenter Ant, Campo, California. Carpenter ant swarms usually occur in the spring and are a sign that a colony is nesting somewhere inside the structure. They usually get into a house through holes, where trees branches contact the house or from wooden structures attached to the house like a porch or deck.

While large carpenter ant colonies can cause structural damage, it is not as serious as that from termites. The degree of any potential damage can only be determined by locating the nest area.

Looking for Perseids

Went up to Campo, California to see the Persieds.  We were two days off peak and there was nary a meteor.  Perhaps a few and a few helicopters and jets to boot.  Still, it was awesome to see all those stars!

Monday, August 10, 2015

A New Look at the Naked Lady Amarallis, Amarillis belladonna

Amarillis belladonna, commonly called the Naked Lady Amarillis, due to it's bare stems that rise out of the ground in late Summer and Fall, is typically a light pink color.  However, I happened upon a batch of 50 mixed bulbs that had been hybridized some time ago, by a now deceased hybridizer.  The bulbs were being sold on EBay fairly inexpensively and had apparently been growing wild in the desert.  Most were still moderately small so I've been waiting for about 2 years for these to start to bloom.  I think it was worth the wait.  Of course, I'm a plant lover, so...  Note that these need very little if any water during the Summer and like well drained soil.

This clone is just a hair darker than the typical variety but has the most wonderful striping.

An albino clone that is quite delicate and elegant.

Here is a particularly bright colored clone, one of my favorites.

This is the typically colored Amarillis belladonna, a wonderfully robust and hardy grower.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus

Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus, hanging out on a wire.  These little guys stash acorns from Oak trees into holes they peck into the bark of neighboring pine trees.  Idyllwild, California.

Late-blooming Wildflowers at Idyllwild, California

Evening Primrose Oenothera elata ssp hookeri

Late Purple Aster Symphyotrichum patens

Lupinus excubitus Grape soda lupine

Wild Sweet Pea Lathyrus latifolia

The Bishop's Lotus, Lotus strigosus, a furry leaved, yellow wildflower in the pea family, Idyllwild, California. These generally grow in sandy sage scrub.