Saturday, October 4, 2008

A bit Click Cuckoo ...

The other day I came home and had a serious urge to take my camera outside. The day was really overcast; I didn't on getting the best shots, but sometimes you just have to go for it just the same. Imagine my pleasant surprise when I discovered most showed up in great "technicolor". These photo's were all taken in our yard. As much as I'd love to take credit for what's growing, I can't. Uber-Spouse is the one truly green thumb ... and the planner/planter, too. If you have a little time, I'd be happy to give you a close up (you can click on any image for a larger version).

This first photo is a close-up of the pistal and stamins of a hibiscus that lives in our front yard (there are three hibiscus bushes in all - all three in front):

There's something pretty amazing about them, don't you think? Here's an even closer view:

I'm pretty sure there's an alien species that looks just like that. Wild.

This next little bloom is from our mysterious Jamaica Cherry tree (also known as Strawberry Tree). We bought it at ECHO two years ago (at the same time we bought the mango and avacado trees) and didn't know very much about it. It seems to regularly bloom and fruit throughout the year. Last year all the fruits were infested by tiny critters, so I couldn't be convinced to try any ... it's said to be something of an aquired taste, too, so I'm hesitant anyway. This year we haven't seen any of the critters ... don't know how, but seems they've moved on. The small blooms are fairly delicate - sort of like tissue paper:

When the blooms die, they dry out before dropping:

I don't understand why some call it a strawberry tree as the tiny fruits look way more like cherries than any strawberry I have ever seen. They start out like little green pods, elongate and then round before turning from gree to red:

Here's another bloom:

Can you guess what this next image is?

It's a decaying Rubber Tree Plant leaf. The rubber tree use to live on our lanai, but was getting really pot bound & we'd been talking about moving it to the yard for some time. The day after it was moved, we got some crazy windy/rainy weather which didn't make for a super smooth transition from sheltered to exposed. I was so facinated by the decaying process - I'm sure I took more than a dozen shots from different angles.
(Don't worry, this rubber tree plant is a fighter ... you'll see ...)

Here's one of Uber-Spouces newest ... a PAPAYA tree! We've only had it a few months and it is already bearing fruit. This little tree isn't more than 4 ft high right now. It's really quite cool. I had no idea what papaya trees looked like ... let alone the fruit (with the exception of the pieces found in tropical dried fruit mixes ... I know, pretty pathetic). The tree has a really neat way of growing. The trunk (at least this one) is fairly straight and sturdy with branches coming out parallel to the ground and evenly spaced/spread. The leaves and fruit are huge:

Here's a look under the leaf canopy and above the largest fruits (you can see a newer smaller one poking it's little nose above the third branch from the bottom on the right). The leaves are an incredibly bright green:

Here's a close-up of the big papayas:

OH! ... I was so into snapping pics of the tree that I NEVER even noticed this little guy - he just happened to be in one of the photographs ... isn't he a doll?!?

see ... big leaves:

and they have really cool yellow/white veins:

and gnarly monster toe roots:

here's a close-up of the little papaya:

Remember that decaying rubber tree plant leaf? This is the plant it's from:

A few of the leaves closer to the ground didn't make it (and yes, I did remove the dead/dying leaves from the plant after snapping the pictures). Most of the other leaves look really healthy and are getting their shine back ... plus, check out the new shoot ...if you aren't familiar with the rubber tree plant, that long skinny red thing is a new leaf. Plants seriously amaze me. I hope you enjoyed the little exploration through the yard.

Be well, breathe well. ~M~


Maggie R said...

I was totally amazed at all your trees and plants.... You are so lucky to be able to grow all these wonderful species. I thought the first of the pictures looked like a good subject for my next fibre embellished postcard ;-}
I live in Southern Ontario, Canada, and am lucky to see the plain tomato plants mature and give off it's fruit!!! VBG.. Here it is the 1st of Oct. and we had snow the other night@!!
Oh dear I used that 4 letter word.....VBG small attempt at humor!!
Anyway thanks for the lovely pictures and the explanations...

Robyn said...

That hibiscus close up is pretty amazing and that darling little frog....what a gift that shot was. I love the decaying rubber tree leaf too. Great photographs!

Doe Grozs Art said...

OH Yes! I did enjoy that tour. I'd love to have a garden like that to grow my own fruit. We use my mom's yard and we do have figs (yum!) but we have to wrap them up good before the NY winter.
The frog was a nice surprize :-)
Taking close-ups of nature is the BEST! thanks for sharing and thank your husband too

daydreamstudios said...

How lucky you are to live in a climate that allows such wonderful fruiting plants all year long.

My best guess at why they call it a strawberry plant is because the flowers look similar to the strawberry bloom. I live in Northern Michigan. It also looks like a cherry bloom too for that matter. :-)

Beautiful pictures...thanks for sharing.

3rdEyeMuse said...

maggie - and to think that initially I was hesitant about moving here. I do feel pretty lucky ... thanks for the visit.

robyn - thank goodness for macros! The colors always impress me. thank you. I really was pleasantly surprised by them. :)

doreen - I try to remember to thank him at least once a day. :)

k - would you believe that the bloom explanation never crossed my mind.

Cat said...

I enjoyed the botany lesson and exploration! I am amazed at all the wonders you can grow in the coastal regions!

Your photographs are fantastic! That takes a good eye and steady hand!

Hugs, Cat

Sabii Wabii said...

First Thank you for participaing in the RED project! It is for such a great cause and wonderful artists like yourself have been siging up! How cool is that! cool was the charm swap! I am now addicited and signed up for another! I put mine on a necklace...what did you do with yours?

KathrynAntyr said...

What a cool backyard you have. Those pistel/stamens are too funky. I can see them making a great costume accessory. Amazing colors! The texture on the rubber tree plant would make a good background texture.

I'm so excited that you can make it to the SJ Halloween blog party. This is my first time hosting a blog party. I'm so happy that so many of my friends will make it.

It looks so tropical down your way. Here it is getting so crisp and the colors are starting to change. We went to an Apple Festival in a charming village and stopped by one of my favorite apple farms. The gigantic scare crow will make an appearance at the Artsy Mama blog party. Oh there is so much frolicking spooky times to be had this month.

xoxo k

Anonymous said...

ooh! You have a girl papaya tree... they need the boy tree round to bear fruit, so you must have her boyfriend near by. The shots are so clear, you can see their little flower faces.

Kandes Lee said...

You don't find vegetation that beautiful in the Phoenix area. It makes me long to be somewhere greener. Or green at all. That would be nice. Your photos are wonderful. Thanks for sharing them.

3rdEyeMuse said...

I'm so glad that everyone has been enjoying the trip around the house. It's fun to share (and even more fun when the company is enjoying themselves, too).

big smiles, ~M~

dkuroiwa said...

These are absolutely amazing!! And my boys and I do love the little tree frog...we have three in our garden here and we love them!!
There is something to be said about growing plants and flowers in the kind of climate that you and I seem to have....the lushness of everything is what I love....and the colors!!!
Thanks for sharing your "corner of the world"!!

Sandy Michelle said...

Thanks for the birthday wishes! Those plants are gorgeous! Your pictures are so crisp!

Sand :O)

girl_gone_thread_wild said...

What BRILLIANT texture you found...

love that you took out your camera and CLICKED away.

Thanks also for reminding me that NOT everybody does flickr. ;)

Whew. Blogger is TESTING me today, but so glad the slide kept you smiling! :)

In turn.. you made me smile BIG.

terra said...

awesome pictures! they are beautiful.

Marilyn said...

A tropical paradise in your own yard! How lucky are you! All of your photos are gorgeous--the hibiscus center is incredible and I'm glad to get a peek at that cute little frog:)
Thanks for the tour...hugs, Marilyn

Melinda Cornish said...

that second photo is fantabulous!!!! melinda

Kel said...

That little tree frog is sooo sweet.

Kate said...

Very cool plants... and photos! Thanks for sharing bits of your world with us.


As Seen Through My Eyes.... said...

Your photographs are really wonderful.
And your papayas are so different from ours, here in Hawaii....they are long and thin....
and your up close of the stamins is ...a Wow!
I so enjoyed reading your blog.
Thank you.

MJ said...

Phenomenal photos! I've never seen many of the plants you've shown, at least not in recent memory! Are the papayas eventually edible? My parents used to have a pear tree but the pears never matured properly and were just things to pick up from the backyard as they fell off the tree. Your dh has quite the green thumb!!

Maggie R said...

Hi Michelle...
Be on the look-out for a "surprise" ;-}