Monday, May 16, 2011

Blooms and Critters

This time of year all through the South Magnolias are blooming.  The deciduous magnolias bloomed earlier this year, now it is Magnolia grandiflora's turn.  I have four M. grandiflora 'Little Gem' in my garden.  In  the evening when I am outside with the dogs I can smell the fragrance on the breeze. 
The blooms don't last too long, but the large white flowers stand out beautifully against the dark green foliage.  You can see the bloom is already starting to fall apart.

Don't you just want to crawl inside this beautiful white flower? 
 What I find so interesting with the blooms is how they turn almost leather-like in appearance as they fade, before the petals fall to the ground. 
 This fall the seed pods will have bright red seeds emerging from the center. 

In the backyard garden the Hydrangeas are starting to bloom.  I brought one from Virginia with me, 'Nikko Blue', and purchases two Endless Summer varieties after we got here.  Knock on wood, the deer haven't discovered these.

The area along the roadside in our housing area is pretty wild.  There are a lot of grasses sprouting up and putting forth their seed heads.  They are all very different and I do not know one from the other. I was trying to get some good photos of each so I could then start some research on which grass is which. 
As I moved off the road into the grasses I had company/help.  Newton wanted to see what I was looking at and with the added frustration of the wind, it was hard to take closeup photos of the seedheads.

 I did get one, though I am not certain what grass this is, but I will get some more photos and start my investigation.   The seedheads are all so different, they are really beautiful.

Needing some of my butterfly experts out there.  This picture is not upside down, the butterfly is.  He and about a dozen of his friends were hanging out on my mailbox post.  While in a resting state their wings were up, you would not believe how many photos I took to get ONE with its wings open.  

More wildlife--- as we were coming back from town last week, in the middle of the day, we spotted a mama deer nursing her fawn.  Camera in hand, I tried to get a photo of both of them.  Mama took off into the tree line, leaving this very close to newborn out in the open.  I quickly took a couple pictures----this is zoomed to the max and then cropped, we were a good distance away.  I have mixed emotions on seeing this baby.  The emotions range from --oh how cute!- to- oh no! deer!   As soon as we got home (just a couple lots down) I got the deer repellent out and protected my newly planted rose bushes.

Yesterday we were on our way out and saw one of the turtles we usually see in the water, up at the top of a neighbor's driveway.  Hope it found its way back to the water.  It was a pretty big turtle, kind of fun to see as they usually dive into the water as soon as we come near.

©Copyright 2011 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.


  1. Beautiful pix! I especially like the one of Newton studying the grasses! :)
    The deer is so sweet!!!

  2. Great pictures, especially the one of Newton. I can just hear him saying "What on earth does she find so fascinating here?"

    Beautiful pics of the magnolia flower, with the yellow ...umm...flower parts with a touch of pink on the bottom. Very magical.

    Hope the deer don't discover your Hydrangeas.

  3. Oh Janet I love Southern Magnolias. Those thick white blooms are just so gorgeous. Fawns are cute with their spots but it is a future munching machine. If that turtle was up here it would still be wet out of the water. No sun for it to lay in. LOL! Uncle already.

  4. Yes, I do want to crawl inside the magnolias. Those stately trees are even more beautiful to me since I can't grow them here! My mom's family lives in the Carolinas and magnolias remind me of them.

  5. I was just noticing the magnolias this morning and they look really good. I don't have any here but do enjoy them. Cool critters. I hate seeing turtles in the road. Your butterfly looks like some kind of frittilary or painted lady. I usually use this website to help me. Check it out. The problem for me is butterflies are so variable.

  6. There's nothing sweeter than the fragrance of magnolia! Both my Southern and my Sweet Bay have big buds ready to pop open.

    Now, for that sweet little fawn....well, I know the range of emotions too well. June is the time here when the does drop their fawns right behind our house and we often get to see them learn to stand up and nurse for the first time. They grow up unafraid of people. Guard your hydrangeas!

  7. Janet,
    Love the magnolia grandifolia, I can smell it right now.

    Your butterfly is a Question Mark. It might be hanging out with Eastern Commas too. I saw lots of them along the Eno River yesterday.

  8. Those Magnolias are magnificent!
    All your photos are breathtaking.
    The fawn is a great capture. How long do they keep their spots?

  9. KZK, deer are sweet until they eat your roses or loropetalum or or or....
    Alison, Newton loves to chase frogs, bunnies, bees, and anything else that moves.
    I love the magnolias too.

    Lona, I really like these magnolias too. We are having lots of water now today--hope my turtle got back to the lake.

    VW, Don't you just love that sculptural shape of the bloom? Where in the Carolinas does your mom live?

    Tina, I like the smaller magnolias, Little Gem or Teddy Bear or some others. Seeing the turtle in the road isn't too bad in this neighborhood-- there isn't anyone out here. thanks for the butterfly link.

    Cameron, I love how the fragrance is delicate on the breeze. I like fragrant blooms. Yes, I figured you would know the deer emotion range. augghh!!

    Randy, thanks! Thanks for the ID on the butterfly. I knew you would know. appreciate it!

    Rosey, thanks! you are most kind. as for the fawn and its will keep its spots until it gets its winter coat, so sometime in the fall it will lose the spots.

  10. I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds it hard to take a photograph of a butterfly with its wings open. Great close-ups of the grass heads - despite canine helpfulness! That close-up of the magnolia flower centre would make a wonderful greeting card.

  11. The fawn is adorable. Maybe there's a chance he won't eat your garden when he grows up... (yeah right). The twins from last year are still hanging out with mom. We see them every day. They love the pasture grass.

  12. oooh, the white magnolia is outstanding. I saw a yellow magnolia I would love the other day but I'm too chicken to try it. Always afraid our climate is too harsh for them (even tho 'Jane' does pretty well)
    I would have been tempted to steer the turtle back toward the water! I hate to see them run over on the road. Hopefully that won't happen to this one.
    You sure have abundant wildlife. Hopefully the deer will leave your hydrangeas alone. I just bought two of the Endless Summer ones myself.

  13. Those Magnolias are so pretty! The flowers are huge. I've seen a very few evergreen Magnolias around here. I used to see that type when I lived in California.
    I haven't seen butterflies around here yet, still too cold. Very cute baby deer, but hope it leaves your garden alone.

  14. Oh, the Magnolias and the hydrangeas. They just make summer perfect and gardenias are the icing on the cake.

    I'm glad Randy ID'd your butterfly so I didn't have to go look it up. I've rarely seen one here. I think it was looking for sap on a may haw, the last one. The open/closed wings thing -- Sulphurs are the worst. They nectar with wings tightly closed.

    I'm glad you have Sammy Russell. Oldies are goodies in the garden.

  15. That Magnolia bloom is absolutely gorgeous, great shot. I love the pic with your dog hogging the spotlight, lol. Spaz does that to me all the time. ;)

  16. Those magnolia petals remind me of dried fruit as they dry out. Still fascinating to look at even when the bloom has faded.

  17. Janet, It felt like I was taking a ton of photos trying to get one with the wings open and in focus. My canine helper loves hunting for frogs, bugs, and bunnies in the grasses....he is always on the lookout. My husband said the same about the magnolia photo...notecard worthy.

    Sweetbay, yes it is someone else's yard. Guess they are weaned the second year?

    Kathleen, My yellow magnolia didn't make it. Glad your 'Jane' is still going strong. We were out today and thought we saw a turtle, stopped and backed up to get it off the road. -----it was a pinecone. hahahaa

    Catherine, thanks, these aren't the biggest blooms on grandiflora. The full size magnolia's flowers are really big. I am surprised it is still too cold there for butterflies. You have so many flowers opening.

    NellJean, yes, they are a necessary part of a garden aren't they? I can't wait for Sammy Russell to bloom.

    Racquel, thanks. Magnolias are calling to be photographed. Newton loves to see what I am doing....and Skyler just wants the ball tossed.

    Marguerite, yes, they are fascinatiing. I love each and every stage of the bloom.

  18. The magnolia close-up is stunning! I know deer can be a terrible pest in the garden, but it's hard not to love these beautiful creatures, especially such an adorable fawn. I just hope he finds another area for his snacks instead of your garden, Janet.

  19. The Magnolias have started to bloom here as well, a little early than I remember though. They always remind me of white birds in the tree when they bloom.

  20. I saw our first Spotty (Fawn) of the year yesterday in our yard. I love the deer and try my best to live in harmony with them. We feed them corn on the East side of the house. I only have one small planter around the chimney on this side of the house. After they nibble a bit of corn, they seem to wonder back into the back or front woods. I see them occasionally near the gardens so I spray the Liquid Fence and it seems to work. I must remember to spray monthly though...

  21. Rose, thanks. Yes, the baby deer is very sweet. And again, yes, I hope he finds another place to eat!

    Les, I haven't had this kind of magnolias before, so not sure if it is early or not. It does look like white doves are all over the tree.

    Skeeter, I would spray a lot of Liquid Fence if they are eating in your yard....hope they continue to know the difference between corn and coneflowers!


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