On my birthday, I spent the early part of the day and the late evening investigating all of the nooks and crannies in the garden.
It always surprises and delights me when I discover the changes in everything that grows and lives there beneath the leafy cover.
I was delighted when I discovered that Mr. Anole had quietly returned.
I almost brushed by him sitting in the shadows on a Staghorn Fern leaf.
Again this year, he waited patiently for his portrait!
Thank you, Mr. Anole
It is the magic light that draws me into the garden from my chair on the porch.
With the change of light, comes drama or mystery or the simple quiet of morning haze.
There are shadows and darkness too.
Lucy’s Amaryllis produced her blossoms once again
as she has done for many years.
This innocuous green plant grows tall under the palms and the oak tree in the back corner of the garden.
She dies in the winter.
The warm spring days encourage new growth, but the cold windy nights batter her.
I forget that she is there until I see a flash of yellow among the palms in the spring.
She has returned and I smile.
I am smitten by the fascinating Giant Elephant Ear.
It has been cultivated in Asia for ten-thousand years for the edible bulbous root.
Her leaves can reach nearly sixty inches in length.
There is something primordial about the ancient survivor.
And it draws me into the misty past.
The Elephant Ears produce bracts that are smooth and green with pointed tips. They grow in the depths of the plant.
There in the shade under the giant leaves, they open and close with the light
to reveal the banana-like center covered in tiny “seeds” that open into microscopic flowers. The inflorescence.
There are something like twenty-five species of the Colocasia.
The ones in my garden are of the giant-leaf species.
This plant is over six feet tall and at least as wide and growing.
It is considered to be a dangerously invasive species on the Texas Gulf Coast.
She has huge leaves. So commonly seen that one might not notice the intricate leaf structure.
These images are of the undersides of leaves.
Often, I climb under the leaf cover to find her center. There, a different world exists.
In the shadowy interior, a sudden shaft of light through a leaf reveals the structure in startling detail.
In this secret world, I find magic light and shadow, colors and textures.
The first time I climbed inside the leaves, I understood.
So this is the secret place where she lives!
Walking past the cardboard palm with it’s worm-riddled leaves, I wondered what manner of worm lives there.
When I bent down for a closer look, I was surprised to find that the damaged leaves framed the florets of a spring blossom.
Life in the garden is often hard.
And always beautiful.
In the spring, Rita often joins me in the garden.
She investigates the plants and blossoms with her tongue.
Parrots have no olfactory system and rely on their gustatory system to tell them about their world.
She does not eat the blossoms.
Miss Lily’s blossom is just outside the porch screen.
I could almost touch her from my chair.
So I leave you with my view of a festive Miss Lily
Through the late evening screen.
Thank you for joining me.
NOTE: Click on Rita’s picture to view the Amazon parrot head in detail.