It has been a tough few months. I finally hit my breaking point, and hermited myself away to calm down and regroup. I absolutely hate writing when I’m in a bad state of mind, so I took to reading voraciously instead. The time has come, however, to unhermit myself. So last weekend I grabbed my camera and documented the better aspects of my reclusive little world to share.
It is definitely summer here. We have been in the 90s (30s C) for a good couple of weeks now. I staked a claim for myself in the shade of our big redwood tree in the backyard to get away from our oven of a house.
It is theeee best place to sit and read. It’s also a nice place for a nap, which is unfortunate for the neighbors because I snore like a freight train.
Once the yard is completely in shade, which is at around 4pm, I might turn on a sprinkler and water something nearby to feel the spray carried on the wind.
If it’s particularly hot, I’ll sit directly under the water, which is kind of boring really because I can’t read or tippity-tap on my laptop, and no one ever wants to join me. I need to suffer mightily to go that route, but go it I do.
The grass is dead in the majority of the yard. Even the usual weeds such as clover, couch grass, and dandelions, have all but disappeared. There is still some color to be found, though,
and interesting things abound.
These are near the four o’clock colony. I think they were silk floss trees. My step-dad, Rob, propagated them from seeds he liberated from a tree at a golf course,
and then apparently forgot about. They took root where they stood, wimpy plastic pots be damned. During a bad windstorm in 2011, Rob worried that they would fall onto the neighbor’s property and cause damage.
So now they’re firewood.
Have you ever seen one of these?
It’s known as ribbonbush, ribbon plant, tapeworm plant, or centipede plant. It is native to the Solomon Islands. This one is at the edge of Shelly’s garden.
It has long, flat, segmented “leaves” that are actually flower stems. Tiny flowers pop out along the edges.
Here’s the color I promised:
I have no idea what this little orange flower is,
but its vine is gigantic. This picture doesn’t do it justice. By my best estimate it’s 15-20 ft tall, 60 ft long, and 30 ft wide. It is tended by at least three different property owners. It was here when my parents bought the house over 30 years ago. Come to think of it, so was that passion vine, and the lemon tree. Of course the redwood tree. Oh! And the black walnut tree!
When we moved here this tree had a huge hole decayed into the trunk, like a child’s drawing minus the owl inside. Rob said the tree was rotten and told us not to eat the nuts, and said it would likely die within the year. Obviously it didn’t, and a couple of summers ago we discovered that the hole has completely healed over. We’re still scared to eat the walnuts, though, so the squirrels and wild parrots get their pick.
At the base of this tree is another border garden of exotic plants.
Nestled into the tree itself are some amusing knickknacks:
Other curious things are scattered around the yard, too.
Today is overcast and the heat isn’t quite so bad. Cross your fingers that it holds!