This is number eleven in my series of following flowers from buds to wilt and beyond. I discovered that I had a different blue Agapanthus flower from all of the others I have in my garden. I also have white Agapanthus flowers and that may be the next life of….
I took this photo this afternoon, it was a bit hot. They are quite different aren’t they.
Let’s start with the buds. I have a number of bud photos. I should have really thought about presentation but oh well.
All the future flowers tightly wrapped waiting to burst forth.
A trio of the dark blue flower buds
Still snug in their safety wrap
Starting to push forward and into the sunlight
Finally casting the casing aside preparing for all the florets to open – photo in the shade
Finally casting the casing aside preparing for all the florets to open – photo in the afternoon sunshine
The paler blue flowers are falling out of the bud casing
Reaching to the sky to open into the sunlight
While other buds struggle to open and flower fully
What I like about Agapanthus is how their flower buds mature at different times so there always seems that there are Agapanthus flowers in the garden. Look how many are almost ready to open and how many are still uncoloured buds.
Almost fully open. The casing is still attached to a couple of florets.
Finally free to start to become the flowers that they are meant to be
The outside florets open first while the inner buds bathe in sunlight
Gradually the whole umbrel or flower head starts to become full of open florets becoming the flower everyone knows.
Soon the umbrel will be full of open florets
The ones I have (in this series) are so different to the ones I usually know. The petals are getting paler, I think, while the stripes are becoming stronger
I have a number of clumps of Agapanthus throughout the garden. Some are smaller than others. They never seem to flower all at once as I see around town. In one clump this year, probably the best flowering year I have seen in ages, not all of the plants flowered.
Getting in close
There are lots of insects who enjoy the shelter and food the Agapanthus can supply.
These next two photos come from my archives.
An Orchard Swallowtail Butterfly getting right into the flowers
A Blue-faced Honeyeater intently getting to the bottom of the flower
Like everything on this world, the demise is always on the horizon. The mingling of buds, open flowers and withered flowers
I love the various colours as the flowers slowly deteriorate
Some of the flowers just fall to the ground while others drop only their petals.
Some flower heads don’t have many seed pods developing
While others are laden with pods
The next stage is a brown dried spindly ball. I thought I may have had an old photo but can’t find it. So this is where you use your imagination
This is my warm up guitar playing song. The Stones with one of their county best
Now in the middle of Winter, here the weather is unseasonably warm, around 20 to 25C. I could go on about the conditions at my place but this is not about me. It is a short story of some of the action in my garden.
As it is quite warm for this time of year, I have lots of watering points around the garden for the birds and animals that enjoy coming around the garden and house in seek of water and perhaps a snack.
This is the tale of a Lewins Honeyeater. Lewins Honeyeaters are around here almost all year round so I guess they like my garden. The flowers are not as many as in previous winters but perhaps enough to keep some birds here.
This then is what happened earlier this month
Hmmm….that looks inviting
I guess I should just dive right in
In I go
Wow that water is bracing
I better get out quick
That was a lovely quick dip
I wonder should I go in again
What a month it has been. Over the month the lack of rain has started to bite again. There was 10mls of rain at the start of the month and since then it has been quite warm during the day. Some days have been in the low 20’s while the nights have been in single figures. The warm days are not that unusual for my winter but the constant sunny days are. There has been rain on the coast, yesterday (1 August) there was 20mls of rain while some sporadic rain clouds drifted overhead here. My dam I use to water the garden around the house is very low. I have to decide what part of the garden I’ll give water to to try and keep plants alive. I am loathe to use the dam’s water because it is so dry and I may need that water in case a bush fire springs up nearby. There has been a few fires but they have been a fair way from here. I am glad I don’t have any animals or crops to look after as it is depressing enough as it is.
July was Becky’s #JulySquares so all of those plus others I have used in other photo challenges aren’t in here but I thought I would use the photo that had the most comments and likes as the header.
Enough of that. This has been a bit of a cropper month for photos though so I do suggest that you get a drink, perhaps a snack, settle back and scroll along.
Hey ho let’s go……………
I spent a few days down the coast visiting my mate whose wife is quite unwell. It is a lovely place and the ferry that goes across the bay is so cute. The size of the other boats docked at the marina make the ferry look so small.
We found a secondhand shop on the way home. We didn’t buy as their prices were a bit over the top. The glassware was well displayed.
Don’t look at this too long as you will probably see it move.
In Lismore, a nearby town, they have a train in a park that the kids love, OK I have been on it once or twice. I was getting photos of the park and I really liked the tunnel photo.
My bestie found a Wanderer Butterfly caught in a spiders web in the garden. After removing the web, the butterfly sat on her hand for ages before flying off.
I wonder if this is the same Wanderer Butterfly?
While away down the coast, we did a bit of exploring the surrounding area. I found these flowers on a most unusual plant in the sand dunes.
Isn’t this flower and it’s hairy plant lovely? I think it is called Herb Robert.
My Billbergia Nutans are flowering
I found this flowering native shrub while out on my place cutting firewood.
The Magpies found a warm place in the sun. They were warbling away as we walked down the street to where we were staying.
Pied Currawongs are a sign of Winter as they come down from the mountains when the weather get cold up there. This one seems to be taken with the house and the verandah.
The Willie Wagtails at my besties like riding around on the cows next door. I think they may be collecting nesting materials from the cows.
The Cattle Egrets love riding around on the cows too.
Back at home, the King Parrots are still hanging around despite the dry conditions.
The females are quite different compared to the males.
Among the garden bushes, a little Striated Thornbill was hunting for insects.
The Scarlet Honeyeaters are always around the garden. It is lucky I have some Eucalypts flowering so there is a food source for these wonderful little birds.
There seems to be lots of small birds around at the moment. The Double-barred Finches were happy to hop around the grass eating grass seeds.
A new bird for me, a Black-faced Woodswallow at my besties place
Some of my grevilleas are bravely trying to flower despite the lack of water. The wonderful bird attracting Honey Gem which usually has an abundance of flowers has a few straggly flowers that the Lewins Honeyeaters have found.
Yes, I am looking at you Satin Bower Bird. Taken while sitting in my office through the door. The camera is always on the desk.
The female Satin Bower Bird was also curious to see what I was going.
While down in the lower part of my place there is a wide grassed gully which I drive along to find suitable fallen timber for firewood. Often when I arrive there is a flurry of activity from White-winged Choughs or these birds, Grey-crowned Babblers. A small group walk along the gully flicking over leaves, bark and small rocks to find insects to eat. They have a constant chatter as they do and there is one bird who is the lookout who will let everyone know that danger lurks. As I approached, they flew into the trees so I just sat and waited until they resumed normal business.
Here you can see their grey crown
If the piece of wood is too hard to kick over, you have to get down and get your beak in to get your snack.
Back at home, the White-throated Honeyeaters love this little hanging pot which I fill with water for the birds. If I am outside and the pot is empty, one of these birds will sit near me and let me know.
I love the olive colour on their back and wings.
The Yellow-faced Honeyeaters also come to drink and bathe here.
After a bust day at the grevilleas, a Lewins Honeyeater enjoys a drink and a dunk.
“Hello….is anyone using this bird bath?”
A White-throated Treecreeper looks over the edge of the bowl. This is a replacement for my wonderful terracotta bird bath which doesn’t attract as many visitors as the terracotta one.
The Welcome Swallows are starting to nest at my besties under the verandah as they have for years.
Busy collecting nesting material, it’s time to line the mud nest with feathers, probably from the Cattle Egrets on the farm next door.
The Willie Wagtails are nesting too. Unfortunately the next day after I took this photo the whole nest was gone. We looked around the garden, under and nearby, but there wasn’t even a sign of the nest. The Wagtails were distraught in the morning.
Time to look up and see who has been flying over head. This is a collection of the Raptors. A White-bellied Sea Eagle was cruising around Harbour Beach at Port Stephens.
The Black Kite is a regular at the Lismore Waste Facility. We go there usually on a Saturday as their Revolve Shop has some great bargains from items recovered from the waste collections.
A very brave Magpie was making sure the Wedged-tailed Eagle wasn’t hanging around near their nests. It harassed the Eagle until it flew higher than the magpie could.
I love seeing the Wedged-tailed Eagles soar overhead.
No I wasn’t in the Sahara. At Harbour Beach the sand dunes are enormous and there is a Camel ride operator. We were there late in the afternoon and this was the last tour of the day coming back in.
Well the sun is on the way down so I better say see ya.
On the road from my place to the river the setting sun gave the road a redder hue than the normal red gravel on the roads surface.
I had to get a close up as the sun started to disappear behind the mountains
Well that’s all from me for July. I hate to end on a sad note but Chicken, the last of my chooks, died last month. Chicken came to me from my friend who lived down the road, the same one who gave my the beautiful Iris. When he had to go into care, he asked me to look after his chooks and Chicken is the last one. She was quite old and had been ill for a while and I used to take her with me when I went to my besties and also to my daughters. Since the start of the cold weather at night, I would pop her into her travelling crate and she would sit inside with me near the fire.
4TheRecord is dedicated primarily to Ausmusic from all eras and most genres, we will explore the dynamics of the creative process, and reveal the great drama, lyricism, musicality, and emotion behind each classic song.