Thursday, May 06, 2010
The Joy of Gardening
2010 so far has been an outstanding year for blooming perennials here in southern CA. Since the beginning of the year we've had intermittent periods of helpful rain and cool weather, spliced into periods of abundant sunshine so the dormant perennials got lots of water and not too much heat to hurry them into premature summer senescence. So.
This young greybird grasshopper (Schistocerca nitens) is hanging out on a tickseed flower, Coreopsis lanceolata, one of a whole bouquet of them on this particular plant. For now this nymph (oddly the first one I've noticed this spring) will chomp on a few leaves or petals. Later the ripened seeds will attract finches and other seed-eaters, especially when I forget to fill the Niger feeder.
In the background you can also see erigeron karvinskianus and cistus (I think this is 'Sunset'), just a small sample of the abbondanza of bloom in our parkway. A neighbor boy asked me, as I was puttering around out front, "why do you have so many plants?" I thought a half a sec and answered, "I like 'em." So do the buggies and the birds and together under the sun and rain we make a joyful noise of gardening where once there was only half-assed turfgrass.