Sunday, August 28, 2016

Cymbidium atropurpureum

Cymbidium atropurpureum, is a native of Southeast Asia, where it grows in forests up to 5000 ft.  The flowers are nearly black and cascade downwards in pendant inflorescenses, making a both striking and graceful display.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Dragon Fruit Blossom

Dragon Fruit blossom on the epiphytic jungle cactus Hylocereus costaricensis.  This plant originates in Central America where it was cultivated for food.  It is also called Pitaya roja or red-fleshed pitaya.  Hylocereus polyrhizus is a synonym.  The fruits are sweet but slightly tart, have red, shiny exteriors covered with green bracts.  The flesh of the fruits is a dark pink with tiny black seeds.  In nature, these beautiful, noctunal flowers are pollinated by bats and, if they open early enough, also by bees.  The flowers open in the evening, being fully open by around nine or ten at night, and are typically wilted by the next afternoon.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Electric Blue Acara

Electric Blue Acara.  Newest fish in the tank.  Do you think it'll eat the java ferns?

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Wow, Crazy Bee-Eating Spider!

Spider and hapless bee, enmeshed alive in spider silk, all in a blink of an eye, as she spun the bee round and round, coating it in the toughest netting to return tonight for a living feast.  She set a huge, strong web right next to a patch of blooming ice plant and was reeling in bee after bee in a steady wagon train of future meals.  You would think she'd get tired of wrapping bees after a while but she never tired and never wavered.  As for those mounds on her back?  I'm not sure but perhaps they're eggs for future generation of spiders?  Yikes.