Tag Archives: bees

Thank you, bees and hummingbirds

I live in my own little world

I thought I would share some pictures from my gardens this past week to cheer us up in these dystopian times we seem to be living in.

Of course, cactus are my specialty, and this is cactus-blooming season. I have included the name of the plant if I know it. The ones that are unnamed probably are species of Mammillaria, Rebutia, Sulcorebutia, and Notocactus since I know I have some of those in my gardens.

One
Ferocactus wislizeni

Two

Three
Notocactus uebelmannianus

Four

Five

Six

Seven

Eight

Nine

White flowers never have been my favorite colored flowers, so it’s obvious that I did not know the color of the flowers on this plant when I bought it. However, the flowers are gigantic and beautiful nonetheless.

Trichocereus grandiflorus (Thai hybrid)
Trichocereus grandiflorus

There is a microclimate on my property in the corner where the garage attaches to the house. Temperatures are about 10-20°F lower than elsewhere. It’s so cool and shaded from our hot East San Diego County boondocks sun that I can grow geraniums, begonias, fuchsias, and ferns in that corner. Here are a couple of my geraniums that are starting to bloom.

Geranium

Geranium

I love mass plantings of flowering plants but at this stage of my life, I have decided to live without the room required for mass plantings. However, I do have fifteen Aloe striata planted in a row in front of a fence. They are awesome when they bloom with a billion orange flowers on top of tall stalks (inflorescences).

Succulent garden

My Aloe striatas  started throwing up inflorescences in early March. It takes a couple of weeks for them to reach height and start blooming. Then it takes three or four weeks for all the flowers to bloom and green dohickeys (fruit) to show up, providing that the bees and hummingbirds have been doing their jobs.

Aloe striata Thank you, bees and hummingbirds.

Friday Flower Fiesta (4-3-15)—Most popular

Friday Flower Fiesta

I am a member of several groups at Facebook but my two favorites are Flowers Exchange and World Is Our Garden.

Both groups allow members to post one picture per day. Once that’s done, members stop by and leave LIKEs and comments.

My most popular post got 36 LIKEs and comments.

Interestingly, the Photographic Art that I thought would be most popular, wasn’t. That might not be the full story, though, because I don’t know where people are as far as time zone, what else they might be doing on any specific day, how much time they spend on Facebook, etc. Which days get more views, weekdays or weekends? However, I have noticed a distinct liking for certain effects, so that is helpful to me in my Photographic Art endeavors.

Following are eleven of my most popular posts from both groups. All of them without the stamp framing and text are available for purchase at my Photographic Art galleries at Fine Art America.

African Tulip Tree

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Aloe Flower Buds

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Anemone

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Anthurium

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Azalea

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Banksia

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Bearded Iris

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Hibiscus

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Bees and California Tree Poppy

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Bird of Paradise

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Geranium

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift? Birthday? Graduation? Marriage? Anniversary? Choose Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

Photographic Art logo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Friday Flower Fiesta (3-14-14)

Friday Flower fiesta

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I have been so busy that I almost forgot that it was Friday!

Today’s Tonight’s Friday Flower Fiesta features my Photographic Art creations of flowers that are now available at my store on Fine Art America.

Various versions of these flowers have appeared in my blog before, but the versions here are the versions that are for sale at my store on Fine Art America. Fine Art America offers many different types of prints, such as standard matted and framed prints, prints rolled in a tube so you can do your own matting and framing, metal prints, canvas prints, and acrylic prints, as well as greeting cards and cell phone cases.

If you would like to buy any of my work, use the discount code
FTNSTD

to get a 20% discount through April 14, 2014.

I upload many pictures each day, so follow me here at my WordPress blog or at my store on Fine Art America.

Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia)Bird of Paradise

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

CliviaClivia

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Sunflower and CloudsSunflower and Clouds

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Red Hot PokerRed Hot Poker

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Cactus Flowers and Fruits
(of a barrel cactus)Cactus Flowers and Fruits

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

ThunbergiaThunbergia

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pink HibiscusPink Hibiscus Flower

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

African Tulip TreeAfrican Tulip Tree Flowers

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Purple GeraniumPurple Geranium

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

White DaffodilsWhite Daffodil Flowers

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pink GeraniumPink Geranium

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Flower & BeeFlower & Bee

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Orange PoppyCalifornia Poppy

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

California Tree Poppy & Visitors California Tree Poppy and Visitors

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Raindrops on Gerbera DaisiesRaindrops on Gerbera Daisy Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift?
Consider Photographic Art!photograhic art taking pictures making art

Visit Russel Ray Photos.

Visit Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

►►►►◄◄◄◄

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend James Frimmer, Realtor, CDPE
CA BRE #0145857201 HomeSmartDiamondSmall copy 2

02 HomeSmartRWnameOnly2 copy

►►►►◄◄◄◄

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!

Real Estate Solutions by Russel Ray

Mother of thousands

Russel Ray Photos logo

When I was a young lad growing up in Kingsville, Texas, my wise old grandmother gave me a little plot of land in a bad location where I could have my own little garden. Since it was such a bad location (no rain and very hot), I determined that the best things to grow in my little garden were cactus and succulents.

Cactus didn’t appeal to my wise old grandmother because of the thorns. However, she told me I could grow what I wanted.

I went with a friend and his parents down to McAllen, in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, one weekend to pick some cactus and succulents from a cactus farm there. That was in 1967. I came home that day with an interesting plant that has now been in my gardens for 45 years. It was a Kalanchoe daigremontiana, and what attracted me to it were the little plantlets growing along the edges of all its leaves (see Wikipedia). One of its common names is mother of thousands. Each little plantlet that falls off the leaves grows into its own plant, so after a couple of years, you could indeed have many thousands of plants.

Many plants that reproduce by vegetative propagation don’t bloom since they don’t need seeds. I had never seen the mother of thousands bloom until a couple of days ago when I was exploring my own neighborhood here, a neighborhood where I have lived for five years. The mother of thousands also has thousands of blossoms on a stalk with a huge inflorescence, and I found several of them blooming. I wondered what it took to get them to bloom, but Wikipedia says that flowering occurs sporadically if at all.

Following are four pictures of the many blossoms on the inflorescence — side, top, bottom, and dead flowers covered with raindrops.

Mother of thousands flower head from the side

Mother of thousands flower stalk from the top

 

Mother of thousands flower stalk from below

 

Mother of thousands dead flowers covered with raindrops

 

The mother of thousands is native to Madagascar, and all parts of the plant are poisonous. Pets generally know this, but inquisitve youth who are still in the put-anything-in-their-mouths stage might find the little leaf plantlets tasty.

Courtesy of Margaret Rome, a real estate agent in Baltimore, Maryland, I was reminded by a phone call while I was writing this post that today would have been my wise old grandmother’s 101st birthday; she died in 2003. If you want to buy or sell a home in the Baltimore area, do it with Margaret Rome!

 

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Synchronized bees

Russel Ray Photos logo

As I was wandering around the neighborhood yesterday after the rains, I found a beautiful yard of yellow oxalis, a plant that many people (including me!) consider a weed. However, when you get a whole yard of it in bloom, it can look quite beautiful.

Unfortunately, the bees also happen to like it when it blooms. Taking pictures of bees is the one time when I don’t bother composing the picture. I shoot and run, just in case the sound of the shutter happens to irritate them.

Here is yesterday’s synchronized bees:

Synchronized bees

 

That picture, as out of focus as it is, was taken with a Sigma 50mm macro lens, which meant I had to get close to them, too close for comfort since my fingers, eyes, nose…. were closer to them than I wanted to be. Even though they were pretty busy gathering pollen, I didn’t want them to think that I was invading their food source.

I’m thinking about going back tomorrow with my 300mm lens so I don’t have to get so close to them!

 

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat