More October flowers

Well, it’s almost the end of October and I thought I would share a few more flowers. This first one isn’t a flower but as it doesn’t flower I thought I would include it anyway because it is so pretty and I have always loved ferns.This is Lophosoria quadripinnata or in spanish palmilla- of the Dicksoniaceae fern family-  it gets large – 4-5′ tall, and the fiddles unfurl this month for the new leaves. It is indigenous to Chile along with the Costilla de vaca fern which looks like cow ribs, hence the name.

Isn’t this just beautiful???????????

 

flowers & stuff 002

 

My friend’s lilac bush – I just love the colors. These wouldn’t grow in hot, muggy South Carolina but here they love the cooler weather.??????????

She also has these beautiful calla lilies.??????????

 

And an apple tree with bright blue forget-me-nots blooming underneath.??????????

 

This next shrub is in the Pea family- a legume. It is an invasive species introduced from Europe as fodder. It is known as Cytisus scoparius or Scotch Broom in the US. The fragrant yellow pea type blossoms produce a seed pod that is black and hairy and stays afixed to the plant for most of the season. I think it makes the plant look trashy and unattractive. These plants are found all over the countryside especially in vacant lots.

flowers & stuff 048

Below is the typical legume flower with  the banner on the top which is a single petal with 2 lobes, the wings in the middle, which are 2 more petals,  and the keel on the bottom which is 2 petals fused together.Like all members of the pea family these plants fix nitrogen on nodules on the roots. These plants can be poisonous if consumed as they contain an alkaloid which slows the heart.

??????????

 

This bush is in my neighbor’s yard and has the same flowers of the pea family but they are smaller than the broom and white. I found some honeybees on them.flowers & stuff 045

Advertisements

Bumblebees and October flowers

Spring is long and slow here. Remember the daffodils were blooming in August and now we have lilacs and lots of apples and cherries blooming.

??????????

Lilacs

 

lori pics 025

 

A small apple orchard

We also have a stand of Notro trees near the house which started blooming last month but are now in a heavy bloom of red tubular flowers that are covered with orange buzzing bumblebees.The stand of trees is just buzzing with bees. I did a little research and found out about the giant orange bumblebee which is the only native bumblebee to southern Chile. Isn’t she beautiful? These bees are supposedly being crowded out by the European Bumblebee brought into the country to help with crop pollination. But I have seen only a few of the european bumblebee while I have seen lots of the orange bumblebee.

??????????

 

These look just like the north american bumblebee except for his buff colored tail.

He is on an apple tree.

the buff bum bumblebee! 🙂

 

??????????

 

October flowers & bees 008

October brings click beetles

First I have to share this beautiful low rainbow hanging over my neighbor’s house. Rainbows are very common here especially this time of the year with its many rain showers, clouds, sun, and wind.  Today, October 1, was our first warm spring day. Last week had lots of rain and a cold wind keeping the temperature in the 40’s and 50’s. But today it cleared off and warmed up to 70 F which brought all the click beetles out.empanadas 002

 

 

Here are my ducks going for their first swim and you can see all the beetles floating in the water. Tasty snack for the ducklings!Ducks 008

 

 

I used to love playing with these beetles as a young girl. I would flip them on their backs and watch them click to flip over. Very entertaining! Though the clicking mechanism is mainly used to scare off predators, it does come in handy when you are stuck on your back! These are members of the family Elateridae with 9300 species worldwide. The wire worm is the larval stage. They spend 3-4 years living underground and can be a pest to some crops like potatoes which are a big crop here in southern Chile. The adults are harmless herbivores and can’t bite or sting.