13 April 2007

Fauna

Purple is the only color I really dislike, so it's unfortunate that the previous owners were so PATHOLOGICALLY obsessed with it. This Bougainvillea is so massive and happy that I can't really get rid of it. And now that is trained on the south-facing wall, it flowers constantly and abundantly. God I wish it were red. Still I have to admire its floriferousness. The frost slowed it down for about a week. And the hummingbird will actually visit it periodically.

Speaking of Skippy (as we've named him), I've recently observed him sampling some flowers he'd been ignoring to punish me for destroying his favorite salvia, including Echevaria and "Sacred flower of the Incas," my current favorite common name (= Cantua buxifolia). I'm still on the fence about this plant, but it was quite amusing to watch him trying to figure out the flower. It's definitely designed for hummingbird pollination, but Skippy's southern cousins appear to be... better endowed (cf. Ensifera ensifera and Calypte anna).

It seems odd to see hummingbirds in the nondescript white flowers of the bougainvillea (the hideous purple showy parts are bracts not flowers), but I saw one the other day checking out Pittosporum tobira, which is obviously designed for moths.

I was hanging up some coats in the hallway the other night when I was suddenly surrounded by an almost-too-sweet hyacinthish scent. "But there aren't even any plants in here," I thought before seeing the lowly Sansevieria. Pretty amazing (obvs. moth-pollinated) flowers, which I'd never seen before. Not bad for a houseplant. They only lasted a day or two.

Anyone know what possum shit looks like? Pardon the abrupt transition, but it appears the evidence for my war on cats may not in fact have been a "slam dunk." I was out killing slugs by flashlight a few nights ago when I observed said marsupial rustling around behind the compost. What do possums eat? Worse, said slugs were observed munching some poppies and ratibia (of all things) in a pattern suspiciously similar to what befell the tulip.

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7 Comments:

Blogger chuck b. said...

Sanseviera trifasciata? Mother-in-law's tongue? I had no idea. What an astounding flower!

4/13/2007 10:51 PM  
Blogger chuck b. said...

Lesbian purple...lol.

4/13/2007 10:52 PM  
Blogger Ayse said...

Possum shit is almost indistinguishable from cat shit, though perhaps a bit larger. As for what the little assoles eat, they seem to be mostly vegetarian with some small animals, eggs, insects, and so forth. The one who lives in our neighbor's trumpet vine appears to eat snails: he sits on the fence and eats them, then throws the shells down into my garden. Despite that, I cannot like him. Creepy fellow, our possum.

4/13/2007 11:22 PM  
Blogger mmw said...

1. I know, it's crazy: haven't confirmed the sp., but it's just the reg. ole "snake plant," Mother-in-law's tongue, what have you, provenance Longs Drugs or something.
2. I thought you'd like that one Chuck. I have nothing against lesbians, of course, unless they happen to like purple.
3. The first time I ever saw a possum I almost shit myself (I was probably [i.e. definitely] wasted -- but they are incontovertibly creepy). Eating snails does sound good, except insofar as my low snail incidence made me cocky about the slugs that appear to have violated my tulip &c. I think I'd rather have anteaters.

Of course, the evidence that the cat was trying to buy yellowcake in Prague with Mohammed Atta remains incontrovertible.

4/14/2007 1:21 AM  
Blogger Ladyseashells said...

You're so lucky u have that big Bougainvillea. I wanted to plant one in my patio and so far no luck yet for the hunt of red. I heard it's a big challenge to grow one in my area but I sure would like to try. Does the hummingbird like Bougainvillea? Have a good day!

4/22/2007 1:10 PM  
Anonymous Pam/Digging said...

What does one do with plants that perform beautifully but whose colors you no longer care for? You've kept your offensively purple bougainvillaea. I'm trying to decide what to do about all the pink in my garden. Yes, I planted it all, and it does look great. But in recent years I've been gravitating to reds, hence the new pomegranate tree, and the pinks just look awful with it.

Well, I got myself into this mess. At least you can blame the previous owners.

5/02/2007 12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My car was parked accidentally under a large tree in the back yard recently and was covered with large dense black spots which I guess was possum shit. Very very hard to remove!

Basil G.

5/22/2007 4:25 PM  

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