Unexpected day with Mother Nature

Sunday morning, about 9:00, I was on YouTube, listening to Andrea Bocelli singing the Lord’s Prayer at the Pope’s mass in Washington. His voice is so beautiful. Luciano Pavarotti is my favorite tenor ever, but Bocelli is a very close second.

And I heard someone else singing in my backyard! It was Khalid, my handyman. When I went out to the back garden, he said he had noticed that my sabal palm (which is about 30′ high, happy, and growing) had a very large skirt of dead fronds, so he had come ’round back to trim them.

He pointed out the incredible dates on the Alexander palm behind the back fence, the picture above. Weston has loads of these palms along street medians, and this time of year they fruit with abandon. The city does trim these heavy fruit peduncles, so I was happy to get a pic before that happened.

He also cut about 200 pounds of peduncles off the Chinese fan palms in my front garden. The birds and squirrels love these fruits – they turn purple and soft. Good stuff. Last year, for the first time, I let those palms fruit without any trimming. And I (and probably my neighbors) ended up with hundreds of sprouted palms in the front beds. Hundreds! This year I left just a couple bunches, because I do like to feed the fauna.

I get very itchy when anyone is working around the house, so I wandered around and took some pics. There’s always something going on…

This little orchid finally bloomed! It was part of a very large specimen that has bloomed like crazy for years, all year long. But last summer I separated it into two baskets. It’s sister has bloomed ever since, this is the first time that this piece has bloomed since separation. I feel so much better now.

My other ever-blooming orchid put out 2 blooms a couple days ago, and they are both open now. This orchid is getting very large, but its basket is still intact. Eventually these orchid baskets rot out, and the orchids demand repotting…

Ok, here’s a newbie for me. We are in the middle of our rainy season, and I mean rain. Everyday downpour. And I always get mushrooms this time of year. But this year, I have a new mushroom! Crazy!

Mushrooms are one-day wonders, so I was really lucky to get this pic. These were about 3″ across, just beautiful. I did some research: they’re not poisonous, but are considered inedible, firbrous and stringy. But they were used by native Americans to treat various complaints, and there’s even some folklore around their meaning and significance. So, meet Geastrum saccatum, aka the rounded earthstar.

Interesting day, to be topped off by the harvest moon lunar eclipse. I gave some thought to whether I would go outside and take photos. I admit to being really intimidated by our mosquito population this rainy season. But what the hay – I put a citronella bracelet (really, they’re made by OFF) on each arm and went outside. The forecast was for clouds. What luck.

To stand outside and watch this happen is incredible. I took about 50 photos, but was distracted the whole time by just being there and experiencing the really obvious track of the eclipse.

I did go back out to see if the moon turned red – but no. And I tucked myself into a shower and bed.

The end of a very nice day – Coco

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