I didn't always like these plants and even went so far to chop this one all the way to the ground. When it grew back it came back as two plants. One produces pink blooms, the other blue. Kinda neat.
Summer unofficially begins this weekend and as if on cue, Mother Nature is delivering warm weather and clear skies. The sunflowers, which have been languishing all spring, seem to know this and are responding accordingly. It's almost as if this Kong sunflower is lifting its face and drinking the sunshine in today.
Years ago I got a seed packet of German Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) which I planted because my wife thought it'd be neat to have some for herbal tea. Since then it's nativized itself in section of the yard and so every spring I have a field of chamomile in which our ducks nest and plenty of critters hide. Even though it's kind of a pest, the flowers and sweet smell are kind of nice. There are worse weeds.
Found this little guy staring at me from an empty flower pot as I was walking up from the orchard. He did some scary lizard push-ups to show me who was boss, so I snapped his picture and moved on before he charged me.
Last winter during high winds and rain one of three enormous eucalyptus trees (about 60 feet) by the pond tipped over. Half the tree's roots remained in the ground, so the tree continues grow on the side facing the sky. I stood on the trunk, pointed my camera down and took this shot.
Fire is terrible, but it sure makes for a pretty sunset. This is a photo of the Las Pulgas fire taken around 7:45 PM last night.
We're used to wildfires in San Diego, but they generally occur in late September / early October, not mid-May. It's been so hot and dry lately that the entire county is a tinderbox. Currently, we're within a couple of miles of four fires to the north, east, southeast and southwest, so any direction I turn is smoke. Fortunately, we're safe. (Wouldn't want to load all the livestock in a trailer and have to go somewhere.) But wow.
The local pack of goldfinches chowing away on Nyjer seeds. One time we made the mistake of buying the general "finch mix" seed and the little monsters threw everything that wasn't Nyjer seed on the ground where the squirrels picked it up. We learned our lesson and now we never buy anything but pure Nyjer.
Mom gave me a couple of different types of Alstromeria (aka Peruvian Lilly) 15 years ago when she re-vamped her garden. Stuff re-seeded, spread throughout the upper yard and grows like a weed in half a dozen place now. I've seen uglier weeds.
This was another find on the clearance aisle of a nursery. Picked up two one gallon containers of these showy climbing roses for just $2. They bloom red and gradually fade to orange and finally yellow so when the bush is in full bloom it's a riot of color. Looks great as a backdrop for our herb garden.