Closer

Cooler temperatures have arrived this week, which means that I actually want to be out in the garden. The perfect time for a closer look at everything, right?


All macro shots in this post, including quite a few insects. I'm starting with the spherical blooms of rattlesnake master, Eryngium yuccafolium.


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This mantis was the first thing I saw though as I walked out the front door and was looking at the Leonotis leonurus, checking for evidence of blooms:


I saw the legs first and was surprised that it actually was a mantis and not my imagination.

As you may have noticed in my recent tour of the front yard it's almost impossible to avoid Agastache foeniculum (and Agastache rugosa), which means bees!



It also means twice-stabbed stink bugs, which were mating all over the agastaches:



I love these little bugs, with a name that's impossible to forget.

More stink bugs:


If these are mating, I think they're doing it wrong.

I noticed that my new ribbon bush (Homalocladium platycladum, a botanical name I'll never remember) is blooming:


Nothing to get excited about, as these are some of the smallest flowers that I've ever seen.

How about some easier-to-see blooms?



I have a single Cleome in the front yard, a volunteer. These really are best when multiple plants are grouped -- almost anything is though!

An assassin bug I believe, not quite mature so difficult to ID:


Here's another, a bit younger but probably of the same species:


It's interesting to compare the features of the two nymphs to see how features evolve.

The Dioscorea batatas vine produces small (raisin-sized) "potatoes" at every leaf joint:


Interesting but I'm not sure that I'll want this to grow here again next year. Too bad it produces a huge edible tuber -- it will be difficult to remove if I decide to do so.


I like the zig-zag flower structures though!

I also like the papyrus (Cyperus papyrus) inflorescences:



Canna seed pods forming are so interesting...


...I have a hard time removing the spent blooms. I did get viable seed a couple of years ago. I suspect I will have some again this year.

Some danger spotted:


These wasps will get their own post soon. It seems to be their year in my garden.


The evening sun was lighting up a few things on the driveway:


Including the voodoo lily (Amorphophallus konjac)...


...which I've just discovered was edible (the tuber). I have several of these, but I don't think I'll eat them.


And I'll finish this post the way I started, with rattlesnake master:


There's so much more to see out there -- I didn't even venture into the backyard on this outing.


Have you been seeing anything interesting in your garden? Have you been looking closely?

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Maywyn Studio  – (August 12, 2015 at 10:02 AM)  

Great photos
I've seen a shiny chartreuse beetle type bug. The color is like the six-spotted tiger beetle. I'll try to get a photo if I see one again.

outlawgardener  – (August 12, 2015 at 9:59 PM)  

So much life going on! You've encouraged me to look closer!

Amy Campion  – (August 13, 2015 at 11:07 AM)  

I saw your ribbon bush at a plant sale earlier this year being sold as "tapeworm plant." "Ribbon bush" has a slightly better ring to it! Very cool photos.

Alan  – (August 13, 2015 at 11:46 AM)  

Amy: I'm not fond of the tapeworm name either, so "ribbon bush" it is! (I also see "centipede plant" which is only slightly better than "tapeworm".)

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