Saturated sites / sights !!

When my electricity was restored*, Houston television has (had) non-stop coverage (“sights”) of the damage in their area. At my location, a frightening storm last night!! A brief tour of my “site” reveals three inches of  water in the gauge, blossoms destroyed on my plants, downed limbs and debris on the patio and sidewalk. About twenty gallons of water ponding on roof of the tarp shelter. Sixty-six degrees outdoors as I type this (8:00 AM) so a blissfully pleasant temperature to work in the yard. The sun is struggling to shine through the clouds.

Rain gauge

Water on top of tarp shelter


*No power from 7:55 PM until 12:20 AM.

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LATER, 12 noon, sixty-six degrees, raining: Below, images of time spent in the yard.


Mickey Mouse project


Close up of Mickey Mouse project

Another close up of Mickey Mouse projectI want to save rain water but needed to “Mickey Mouse” a defuser. 


Below, before and after pictures of Petunias. “Bedraggled” flowers in all my planters.


Petunias in "before" picture

Bedraggled Petunias

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EVEN LATER, almost 3:00 PM, a cold, wet sixty-five degrees outdoors.  I have warmth, indoors, with the heater!! I’m heartsick because my plants are getting “too much water”!!


Mats are floating

Water pouring off awning

A river

On the shore of Lake Lorraine

Water standing in the planters

Time and temperature at one-fifty


Four inchesExtremeTwo days ago I commented on “extremes.” Today is another example: The furnace is on!! Yesterday, I was using the air-conditioner!!

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LATE AFTERNOON, 4:00 PM: OK, OK, you think you’ve seen enough?! Just six more pictures!!

No water on top of tarp

Water standing on top of Lantana planter

On the shore of Lake Lorraine (2)

On the shore of Lake Lorraine (3)

Ankle deep

TV report on rain totals

Xtremes !!

ExtremeNo pictures because I was intent on my early morning garden activities. Indoors now (with A/C) because a miserable hot humid eighty-three degrees outdoors (at 10:20). First: I mixed liquid weed killer and sprayed around the planters on the south side of my trailer home. Few if any birds in that area. (I don’t spray under bird feeders although lots of vegetation grows from seed on the ground.) Second: I mixed water-soluble plant food in a gallon watering can and “fed” the flowering plants. Two extremes: Kill and nurture!! Third: Filled bird feeders (finished a fifty pound bag).

Mandevilla experiment update

Several months ago I published a blog message titled Mandevilla Experiment. Prior to that: Indoor Project. I’ve waited almost seven months to declare “success.” From time to time I refer to myself as “silly old senior.” Today, it makes this “silly old senior” very happy to see the open blossom!! Contrary to my earlier comment about “parent plant looking good on June first,” parent plant has been in neutral (didn’t grow and didn’t die). Fifty-three weeks since I purchased that plant and I think it is (belatedly) a colorful addition to my garden. Rereading details about Mandevilla care, I speculate the soil isn’t sandy enough. Gardening is such a worthwhile challenge!!

Mandevilla is blooming

Mandevilla close up

^^^   AFTER   ^^^ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ vvv   BEFORE   vvv

Mandevilla parent plant

In the beginning


It's beginning to root

Rooting Mandevilla

Another visitor !!

Elbert with the snake

Snake in the grass

Snake at Elbert's feetSnake in the grass. No joke!! The gardener saw it in my yard while he was mowing the field. He knocked on my door so I could get pictures. ~~ I welcome armadillos, birds, geckos, moles, Smiley face thumbs up thumbs down (best)& squirrels but reject snakes in my yard!!

Too much work

Angel Wing BegoniaA CARE resident walked by my yard mid-morning and said “Too much work.” My reply: “It’s such good exercise; it’s a great place to work.” She persisted: “Too much work.” ~~ Later, a lady stopped by to pick up the Angel Wing Begonia. (I was the “foster parent.”) She, on-the-other-hand, raved about how beautiful it looks. So I am delighted someone appreciates my hobby. 😉

Freeze-frame: A morning in the life of your blogger.

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Postscript, four o’clock PM: Thanks to a reader, I now have details about Wax Begonia. As I read about soil requirements, I marveled that my plants have thrived. Especially that root-bound old Begonia in worn-out soil in that planter!!

Unwelcome visitor !!

See the snake?

Unwelcome visitor

“A picture is worth a thousand words.”

Snake is goneA few days ago, a Copperhead was killed in the nearby Rainbow’s End RV Park. I’m researching in an effort to identify my visitor. I cropped my telephoto images to get a better look at the markings. I’ve read half-a-dozen web sites and (at 7:15 PM) do not have an answer.


Closeup of head

Closeup of head (2)

Closeup of tail

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Postscript, Tuesday, May 24th, 2016: Knowledgeable folks tell me the visitor is/was a harmless Texas  Rat Snake. ~~ A Texas native quoted this old saying: “Red next to yellow kills a fellow. Red next to black is a friend to Jack.” An Internet search produced this valuable information. (My visitor doesn’t appear to have red, yellow or black but the article is [imho] very interesting.)

Elephant Ear growing very fast !!

On April 15th, I published the following brief blog message.

Elephant Ear plantsIMHO, the recently acquired plants needed attention. Examination of the Elephant Ear revealed a loose bulb on top of the soil–and it was quickly planted. Good “how to” information. OMG, another (potentially) large plant!! Seriously, I don’t think I have space for this. Previously, I planted flowers to attract Hummingbirds and butterflies. I’m not interested in a “tropical garden.” This year, my focus is directed toward my veggie garden.

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Fast forward to May 22nd: At the rate they are growing, the two Elephant Ear plants will soon take over my patio!!

The bulb I planted is now twenty-eight inches tall; the original plant is fifty inches tall (measured from base of planters).

Fifty inches at tallest point

Small one is twenty-eight inches tall

Two planters with Elephant Ear

Color added with mark-down small plant

Color added, small plant


When I received the Elephant EarWhen I became the “foster parent” for a number of abandoned plants, I didn’t even have a name for the plant. I never imagined it would thrive and grow this tall in five-and-one-half weeks. ~~ Recently I read an Internet article about mixing plants to enhance the beauty of the garden. Following their suggestion, I’ve added the similar leaf (mark down) plants for color.