Six on Saturday – W8/2021 – The joys of summer – well maybe that’s not always the case!

We are in for a scorcher today, with temperatures in the 30’s for us. This will be followed by cooler weather, thank goodness! The heat is of course accompanied by the almost deafening sounds of cicadas, as waves of sound move from back to the front garden.

Last week I showed photos of the empty cicada nymph exoskeletons that I had discovered on the citrus trees. Unbeknown to me, another blogger Carol, at ‘Letting Nature Back In’ also posted an article on cicadas last week! Now if you have ever wondered what the adult cicadas look like, then lovely clear and detailed photos provided by Carol will amaze you! View here Singing cicadas seen at last – letting nature back in and a previous post on the Cicada exoskeletons by Carol here Skeletons in the garden Pt 1: Terracotta cicadas – letting nature back in .

Cicada exoskeleton

A couple of weeks ago I showed a raggedy Specks going through a moult. She is just regaining her mojo. She might have suffered a further set back last Saturday night if I had been anywhere else but in front of the computer admiring other SoS’s gardens! I heard two very loud bangs outside, and on investigation discovered a small carpet snake (who’s eyes were way bigger than it’s stomach!) with a mouth full of feathers! I reached in and lifted Specks to safety, and we left the door to the cage open so that the snake could wander off. So much for a snake-proof cage! Mr S has since sealed up the air holes at the top where we assume this little snake got in. Specks has recovered from the shock of nearly being eaten, and is back to being her usual self.

One of the hazards of living near a National Park!

Our garden has suddenly come alive with purple colour thanks to the summer flowering Tibouchina trees that are along the northern boundary of our garden. Only two trees are flowering but the colour impact is enormous, especially in our small garden! The third tree is covered in buds and I’m looking forward to seeing these buds open as the flowers are a more intense colour.

Sunlight is shining on the uppermost part of the tree, giving the impression that the flowers are a lighter purple

During the past week butterflies have been stopping in our garden to sip water.

Female Common Eggfly Butterfly, Hypolimnas bolina
Male Orchard Swallowtail, Papilio aegeus

The Grevillea Formosa x Grevillea ‘Honey Gem’ ‘Golden Lyre’ has started flowering and is looking magnificent! I planted out this plant last year, and it has established nicely into a loosely spreading shrub of around 1.5 metres.

Buds opening from the stem end to the tip of the flower stalk

Don’t you love surprises? I had a very pleasant surprise when I spotted this Gladiolus flowering in the top border! I has just appeared out of nowhere. What a lovely salmon colour it is!

It is time to head on over to The Propagator blog to find out what is happening in the gardens around the globe. Hope you have a good gardening week, and a happy Valentine’s Day for tomorrow!

19 comments

  1. I enjoyed the flowers and the butterflies and can’t get over the pic of the snake with the mouth full of feathers! Brave of you to rescue Specks the chicken and I am glad she recovered from what must have been a shock!
    Thanks for the links to my two cicada posts 🙂

    • That snake looked so funny with a mouth full of feathers, especially when the snake was way too small to eat the chicken! The pythons are not very aggressive and it could not see much past the feathers in its mouth, so I thought I was safe to reach in and ‘airlift’ Specks to safety. Thank you for letting me include the links in my post. Your photos of the adult cicadas are so clear and detailed. My photography is no way near as good as yours!

      • It is a pleasure to share, thanks. I wonder if the snake was not as astonished as you were, especially when you reached in to rescue Specks!

        • Ha ha! We saw it a couple of nights later wrapped around the paw paw tree trunk, while checking on fruit sucking moths. We had a long portable light in hand. No doubt it thought it was time to escape these mad people, as we haven’t seen it since! ☺️

    • It was a bit of a shock finding the snake in her cage! That’s why I thought it was safe to reach in and remove her; the snakes mouth was so full of feathers he would not be able to bite me! The Tibouchina trees are looking spectacular!

  2. What a treat to view your exotic garden and to be treated to a wild life safari at the same time. Hope Specks recovers from the trauma.

    • This is an interesting time of year for us in terms of wildlife in the garden! It is so interesting to observe them. Specks does not seem too perturbed by the experience, luckily!

  3. The Tibouchina looks spectacular. I like the delicate salmon colour of the gladiolus too. Poor Specks indeed, good job you were SoSing at the time! We just have the fox to worry about here (chickens coming soon).

    • Foxes can be such cunning creatures, but I’m sure the cages you buy over there will be fox proof. I have always loved chickens, and I’m sure you will enjoy having some too! What breed of chicken will you get?

      • We had 3 ordinary brown hens last year but sadly lost them when we were away and there was an explosion of red mites in a heatwave. So I think we will get three more this spring. Do you just have the one chicken?

        • Oh sorry to hear you lost your three! We intended to get a small flock of layers, but ended up being given someone’s beloved 2 little Belgium D’Uccles, Teacup and Specks. We lost Teacup last year to a wasting disease after unsuccessfully treating her with antibiotics and special food high in nutrients. We still have no layers and Teacup lays eggs very erratically. We still want to travel around Australia before we get too old to do so, so won’t be adding to our existing menagerie (who are all geriatric) until we finish travelling. That’s our intention…. but you know what they say about the best plans….!

          • I understand, particularly after our experience, it’s not so easy to leave them and go off travelling! We learnt the hard way about the red mites and next time we’ll be much more careful, especially if left in the care of a neighbour. We really enjoyed having them around though, they are such good company…but yes if you have big adventures planned, best to wait!

    • Specks doesn’t seem too perturbed by the experience, despite losing some feathers! It is so lucky I heard the noise when I did. The same name was back last night, but did not manage to get into her cage. We saw it as we were outside looking at all the fruit sucking moths that had descended onto our Tamarillos!

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