Rosa 'Mutabilis', the Butterfly Rose, her fragile silken blooms hover over the well-branched specimen is a rule breaker. A true rose, she is in no way staid or formal. Instead of her blossoms fading in the sun, each petal dances through the color wheel, deepening in tone from yellow to tangerine to pink and finally- crimson.
The plant tag promised she would grow 6-8' fall. Mine billows in the wind in complete ignorance of any restrictions of when she should stop performing. She's at least 12 ' tall and knows no season she doesn't wish to be in bloom.
Her long abundant branches wave in the birds from the chaparral filled finger canyon that we are locked in permanent battle for supremacy of the land with. Rested, it is a short flight for visiting birds from the protection of her arms to the main bird feeders.
The bird feeders were placed so that I can watch from both my study and the kitchen. This Victorian was one of my husband's first woodworking projects using a scroll saw. Well-worn, particularly now that wood peckers have found our yard, this is probably the last season before it is replaced by a newer model.
What makes this feeder a popular hang-out with our feathered friends?
Abundance and diversity.
This feeder was built to protect the silo feeder, which we have filled with parfait like layers of nuts, seeds and dried fruit- this week-cranberries.
Nearby- the bougainvillea has been trimmed and trimmed and trimmed again this year to produce a thick canopy over the thorny branches. If you look closely at the top you should spot 2 birdies waiting in line for their turn at the feeder.
A family of 3 dove walked the grass in the opening in search of dropped safflower seeds. Skittish birds, the thicket of the bougainvillea on the edge of the lawn made then less nervous about the lens aimed at them.
Even a bench is a welcome perch.
Tahoe is 6 now. A Chihuahua - Miniature Pinscher mutt- she thinks like a hunting dog. Open the sliding door to the backyard and there is nothing she loves more than flushing the birds.
Most of the year the hummingbirds ignore the feeders- winter is a different story.
Our chilly nighttime temperatures settled in the mid 30's last week- turning the tangerines that color which signals the salivation glands. Time to pick and peel.
The Angel's trumpet flowers aren't that beautiful peachy color of summer- but the fact that she isn't one dead stick is proof we didn't drop below freezing temperatures for any extended length of time.
All this abundance- this very fat hawk isn't looking to diet. He's looking to make a decision on if lunch will be wearing feathers of fur.
Narcissus. They are planted around the perimeter, wherever a few extra bulbs can be tucked in to. Their scent is heavenly. Except to gophers.
Last year I was on travel when the heat wave hit. My beautiful fuchsia died. I thought. I was wrong.
At the feet of the pot are the blessings of a quick run to Roger's Garden in Corona del Mar.
Herbed goat cheese in oil- tossed with organic edible flowers and croutons from Bristol Farms: a perfect salad and perfect place to end this visit.