Fennel Flower

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I got a three-inch pot of fennel last year because I wanted more butterfly food. I haven’t had any swallowtails yet, but the plant has gone from three inches to three feet with tons of umbrels. I’m hoping for tons of seeds to go with the many flowers. I’ll spread the seed all over and hope enough comes up to lure in a few swallowtails. They’ll be welcome to eat it all. I’ve never eaten fennel. I had a dreadful experience with anisette and since then I avoid all things licorice-like.

Jacaranda Season

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It’s jacaranda season in Southern California right now. I saw this street in morning sun a few days ago, thought “I should take a picture” and drove on by. Kicking myself now. I have always loved jacaranda trees, although I understand why some people don’t. I especially love it when the trees are covered in delirious purple blossoms. They were widely used in landscapes for a while, until people figured out that all those purple blossoms fall off. I still love seeing them, The big purple crowns of the trees dotted across the landscape. Let’s me know it’s spring.

The Difference a Little Rain Makes

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It is amazing the difference between this year and the previous years of drought. The whole garden is just putting on more growth than I’ve seen in a long time. I’d practically forgotten what it’s like. I spent half of the weekend dividing and planting and potting. The other half I sat and looked at the flowers and listened to the birds. There was a huge monarch flitting about and I’ve already seen evidence of her progeny, holes nibbled in the leaves of the milkweed.

The hummingbird was doing his courting dance, doing a big, swooping dive in front of his girlfriend. I can only see them every once in a while, but I sure do hear him, the hummingbird Doppler effect. Zooooom, swoop to the right, zooooom, swoop to the left. I don’t know if his ladyfriend is impressed, but I am.

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The tree on the right in this photo is much less full than the one on the left. Last year I thought that it might be some condition of placement or nutrients available. This year I think it’s the squirrel. A couple of weeks as the tree was just starting to leaf out, the squirrel spent hours grazing on the new growth. I have no problem thinking that one determined squirrel can remove most of the new leaves on a tree that size. I haven’t seen the squirrel in the last week or so. Wonder if there are baby squirrels?