Monday, August 31, 2009

Praying Mantis on a Celosia bloom

When you are a dirty hands gardener you begin to "see' many incredible
live plants and flowers and creatures. The mantis is a self
camouflaged flying insect of the family Mantidae. Although
they have a prayer-like stance they are notorious predators,
hence their other name - preying mantis. They are ambush
predators grasping their prey with raptorial forelegs. The
articulation of their head allows for turning movement of nearly
300 degrees allowing for favorable field of vision without
having to move their body. This one checked me out by
turning its head toward me before re-assuming its position.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Praying Mantis

As I moved in to take a close-up
this huge praying mantis turned
its head to check me out.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Rattle Snake Master

This is an interesting perennial
from the wildflower garden. Its roots are boiled and used
on those pesky rattle snake bites.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Monarch Caterpillar

I shouldn't have been surprised to see this caterpillar on
my newly planted milkweed after seeing a monarch flying
around it. It is gorging itself on the fresh leaves.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Yellow Coneflower

Ratibida pinnata - This is a very delicate little
flower. Note that it is a small cone flower
and a ratibida.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Morning Glory

Morning Glory - Jan's morning glory vine is now over ten feet
tall. Attached to the swing in the front porch it is reaching for the sky.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Gnome Garden

Gnome Garden in bloom. The flowers are beginning
to fade. The coyotes have disappeared and the rabbits
and deer have returned.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Evening Primrose

(Oenethera biennis - It is a strong colonizer
on poor soil. Its oil (primarily linoleic and gamma-linoleic acid)
is used to treat pre-menstrual stress syndrome).

Monday, August 17, 2009


This is my wildflower garden winner so far this
year. It is over 7 feet tall.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Milk Weed

Asclepias - A main source of food for
Monarch butterfly larva. I bought this 6 inch plant this
spring and it is now over my head. It is drawing
Monarchs even though they are not plentiful around here.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Black Eyed Susan

Rudbeckia hirta - This perennial grows in the gnome
garden. It is strikingly tall and lasts more than a month.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Bull Thistle

Also Field Thistle - Cirsium vulgare - In
the Asteraceae family. The thistle is an ancient Celtic
symbol of noble character as provocation or wounding
produces punishment. This thistle is from Rocky Mountain
National Park (RMNP) where it has become invasive. Yesterday
I saw its relative near a boathouse at Lake Lucerne in Innsbrook

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Day Lily

These lilies have been in our front garden
since the house was built almost 40 years ago. They
bloom in mid July and last for 3-4 weeks.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


This perennial grows in the circle with the
butterfly bush.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Also Larkspur, Lark's claw,Knight's spur. From the Latin
dolphin alluding to the shape of the opening flower. Buttercup
family (Ranunculaceae). All parts of the plant contain
the alkaloid delphinine which is very poisonous.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Day Lily

This is one of my older flowers, blooming for over
35 years.