Sunday, June 28, 2015


Weather: Afternoon temperatures above 90 wall week; last real rain 6/13.

What’s blooming in the area: Hybrid tea roses, silver lace vine, honeysuckle, trumpet creeper, lilies, daylily, datura, Spanish broom, sweet pea, alfalfa, Russian sage, hollyhock, bouncing Bess, coreopsis, blanket flower, yellow yarrow, brome grass.

Crew was picking peas by hand in large field. Others were selling them in the grocery store parking lot.

Beyond the walls and fences: Apache plume, tamarix, cholla, tumble mustard, buffalo gourd, yellow mullein, silver leaf nightshade, goat’s head, white sweet clover, bindweed, green-leaf five-eyes, Queen Anne’s lace, Hopi tea, goat’s beard, plains paper flower, flea bane, strap leaf aster, rice grass.

In my yard facing north: Potentilla, Saint John’s wort, golden spur columbine, coral beard tongue, Mexican hat, black-eyed Susan, chocolate flower, anthemis.

Facing east: Snow-in-summer, coral bells, winecup mallow, Maltese cross, pink salvia, pink evening primrose, Jupiter’s beard,

Facing south: Dutch clover.

Facing west: Purple and Husker’s beard tongues, lady bells, veronica, purple and blue salvias, catmints, blue flax, Shasta daisy.

In the open: Rugosa roses, buddleia, California poppy, larkspur, bachelor button, white yarrow.

Bedding plants: Sweet alyssum, pansy, snapdragon, moss roses, marigold, gazania.

What’s blooming inside: Zonal geraniums.

Animal sightings: House finch and other small birds, geckos, cabbage and sulphur butterflies, bumble bees, hornets, ants.

Found a bird’s nest in the apple tree, relatively exposed at the end of a branch. It’s the first I’ve found on my land since I moved here in 1991.

Weekly update: Spring didn’t bode well. We'd had a normal amount of snow and rain in the winter. The winds were delayed, and no rain. Then, some hurricanes formed early off the southwest coast of México, Andreas and Blanca the end of May, Carlos in mid-June.

Plants in the right growth cycle when the rains came down have flourished. Those whose flowering was determined in the previous late summer and fall could only expand what they had.

Daffodils and tulips had few flowers, but the stems were longer. Later, the iris stems were tall, and then the Oriental poppies, columbine and daylilies have produced longer stems than usual.

Other plants whose flowering is usually blighted by the dry spring, have been able to open all their flowers. Cottonwoods produced more cotton. It was possible to walk to the bolls on one tree that had had a branch crash down years ago.

Roses that fail to bloom much early, and then finish their buds in late summer, produced masses of flowers in June.

Plants that had all but disappeared, reappeared. I planted some Siberian iris years ago. They never bloomed, and I though they died out in 2005. When I was weeding in 2012 I started to pull out a grass and realized it was iris leaves. The leaves reappeared this year.

Similarly, the Goodness Grows blue veronica last bloomed in 2012. I found no evidence of it last year, but this year, I found its flowering spikes.

Annuals, of course, have a better chance of exploiting chance moisture than do the shrubs and perennials. Larkspur reseeds itself. It usually gets bout six to ten inches high with a few flowers.

This year, the stems are longer and covered with flowers. It remains to be seen, if they will keep blooming, or if the number of flowers is finite and only the opening dates vary.

More important are the natives that have been able to respond. Cholla cacti have suffered in the dry years and their roots have been attacked, probably by ground squirrels. I thought mine were dying. They aren’t putting out many flowers yet, but they have put out new growth all along their stems.

The most interesting are the plains prairie flowers. Usually, a few grow along the south bank of a road going over a local bridge of Arroyo Seco. This year the bank is covered with yellow flowers.

They’re blooming on the north bank and across the arroyo. The composite Psilostrophe villosa are blooming in a wash by the arroyo in the Arroyo Seco valley.

They’re blooming on the south side of the Pojoaque ridge, and other places along the road to Albuquerque.

They’re a biennial that may become perennial. It’s behaving this year like an annual who’s seeds were germinated in late winter, and have survived to cover the slopes of hills today.

1. Daylilies, 27 June 2015.
2. Bird’s nest in apple tree, 27 June 2015.
3. Oriental poppy with Apache plume, 6 June 2015.
4. Cottonwood, near village farm land, 21 June 2015.
5. Dr. Huey roses, 14 June 2015.
6. Veronica Goodness Grows, 21 June 2015.
7. Larkspur, 22 June 2014.
8. Larkspur a year later, 27 June 2015.
9. Cholla new growth, 14 June 2015.
10. Plains paper flower, Arroyo Seco bank near village, 21 June 2015.
11. Plains paper flower, wash in Arroyo Seco valley, 21 June 2015.
12. Plains paper flower, south side of Pojoaque ridge, 21 June 2015.

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