Saturday, March 26, 2016

A Second Look: Saturday 3/26/16

One of the blogs I visit from time to time has a (weekly?) feature called "A Second Look" where the blogger takes pictures of fauna and flora she re-discovers, usually in her own backyard.  The blog is called "Live & Learn, Toss & Turn" and these are her second look posts.  She gets gorgeous feathered visitors, I'm so jealous :)

I like the idea of this because I'm someone who tends to not be very observant in the first place (too many thoughts, too many things to do, and lots of impatience!).

And today I needed this to center me. I've been feeling out of sorts the whole month and especially this week.  This morning the depression monster hit hard and I needed to do something right away to try to drag myself out of its claws.  So I grabbed my camera (not the one pictured up there, though, I used my Canon Powershot SD 4500 IS this morning) and headed to my backyard.

Spring is a truly wondrous time when so many things are growing and blooming and everything is pretty much teeming with life if we spot to notice it.  It was far too hot and humid for me to sit down and wait for birds to come to my feeder (well, and also too late in the day since it was already noon, come to think of it!), but I did stop to observe the flowers and growth in my garden.  It might sound corny, but it gives me hope, and hope is what I need right now.

So here are the beautiful happenings that I observed in my garden today.

The Promise of Good Things to Eat:

A sweet potato flower

All the rain from the past couple of days finally persuaded 3 peanuts to germinate. I guess the squirrels didn't get all of them after all...

The zucchini seedlings were entertaining visitors... Roma tomatoes from the next bin over had dropped by to ask if they
needed anything...

The collar green seedlings are starting to get their distinctive leaves and are leaving their babyhood behind...

I had 3 eggplant flowers this morning!

A new serrano pepper flower appeared, and with it a tiny spider

This strawberry flower was hiding under its foliage. The camera didn't focus on it but that's OK. I love how plump and hairy the strawberry leaves are...

The Supersweet 100 tomato plant is still flowering. So much promise in those tiny yellow flowers!

Basil blooms (the camera had trouble focusing in the sunlight!)

The tiny, delicate rosemary flowers have closed up now, I wonder if they will drop seeds?

Bibb lettuce flowers that will give me more lettuce seeds in a couple of months.

Weeds, you say?

This really is a second look: every year I start photographing the weed flowers from my backyard. They're always the same but I love looking at them, despite their promise of more weeds in the garden!  Greg is mowing them down as we speak so I'm
glad I took those pictures first. I don't know what any of their names are, I just like how delicate and colorful they can be.

I can never get the camera to pick up the proper color of those flowers but they're the most delicate mauve...

A few flowers that aren't weeds!

Red Canna

Still don't know what those are An anonymous commenter tells me they're Verbena. They've been blooming continuously for 2 years now!

Hibiscus bud


These appeared on the tiny begonias that I got for free from the library last Earth Day!

The promise of jasmine blooms, soon!

The only vinca flower in my garden, but what a beauty!

 Unexpected Brilliant Colors of Nature!

Can you see it?  Here, take another look...

This is a Euglossa Dilemma or Green Orchid Bee. I had never seen one before!  It was... disconcerting to see an emerald green bee on the flower, to say the least!

I always want to call those hostas but they're not... and now I forget what they're called! Bless was kind enough to remind me that they're called "crotons", but of course!  My youngest son and I planted them in front of the house several years ago.  They were yellow and green back then but now that they're larger, they've turned the most amazing deep orange and green. They're gorgeous!

And I think the Japanese boxwood that's planted right behind them got jealous because it developed
orange leaves too!
 Back Inside...

Wanna guess what those are?

They're the basil seeds that I collected from those dried up basil blooms that I had cut a couple of days ago.  Yep, free is even better than Dollar Tree seeds :)


  1. Thank you for a second look. You found much to see! The plant with the colorful orange and green leaves is a croton.

    1. Ah, THANK YOU! I always forget it's a croton. I should write it down somewhere! I'm going to amend my post that way if I search for "hosta", it'll bring up this post and I'll be able to see that it's actually called a croton. The things I need to do in order to find the information that I need...

  2. Appreciating the beauty around us is not corny at all. Hope it helped you feel better.

    1. You're right, of course. I need to do more of this, stopping to smell the roses and appreciate the small things, even the weeds! Thanks for your comment.

  3. The red flowers are verbena.

    1. Are they? I had verbena in another pot (it's died since) and it didn't look like that, although I suppose there are probably different versions of it. It's settled, then, I'll try to remember to call it "verbena"! Thanks!

  4. Nathalie, Thanks for mentioning my blog and Second Look posts. They started as one post and turned quickly into a weekly feature. When I started them, I had no idea how much I would enjoy them and doing them has made me smile on days when I really didn't feel like it. Besides seeing things I don't normally see, I also like watching the change of seasons and learning as I try to figure out what kind of bug or bird I am seeing.

    I really enjoyed your post today. It was fun for me to guess what plant I was seeing before I read the caption, as well as, enjoy the beauty of them all. I was especially excited to see your sprouting peanut because it reminded me of when we grew peanuts in Louisiana. For someone who grew up in colder climates, that was quite exotic and exciting for me. And as for your weeds, I like to call them wildflowers (although some of them can be really annoying.) :)

    I hope you continue to enjoy taking a second look and are feeling better.

    1. I've been enjoying your Second Look posts for a few months. You take the most gorgeous pictures of birds! I don't like the snow but I envy your feathered friends and your bird feeder, lol. Mine seems to attract mostly squirrels (gotta remember to grease that pole again!) and lizards.

      I love how you call weeds "wildflowers". Well, they are, aren't they?! I might start calling them that too. They really are pretty when you look at them closely and the white daisy-looking ones attract the bees, which always makes me feel guilty when I pull them.

      I'm glad you're as excited to see a peanut growing as I am, lol. I think that if I can protect that patch from the squirrels, I might end up with only 3 plants (while I planted a good 30-40 peanuts!), but it's 3 plants that I wasn't expected to get. I'm guessing they needed a lot more water than I'd been giving them since they finally germinated after 3 days of intense storms.

      Thanks for your kind comment. I look forward to keep on taking second looks, you've definitely inspired me!

  5. Absolutely breath-taking photos. Just gorgeous. I agree with anonymous. They do look like the verbena I buy as an annual. Check it out on line. The leaves are a give-away.

    1. I shall, thanks for the 2nd opinion!


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