;/'Blooming milkweed - a plant Monarchs lay their eggs on and their caterpillars eat until they beome Monarch butterflies. AND - for a bonus - a thirsty Giant (or great, I can't remember) Whiptail at our tiny "spa"
Next, orange and red lantana - my favorite colors for lantana - and some sort of hummingbird/butterfly plant according to a local nursery.
By the way, all of this is in my butterfly slash bird seed slash volunteer plant garden.
Below is Jatropha and a baby iguana who was posing in my Clerodendrum.
We had never had a hummingbird in our yard before no matter how hard we tried. We put out nectar feeders, orange slices - you name it. One day this past March, I was laying in the back yard reading and I heard a funny ticking sound. I looked up and there was a hovering hummingbird in my cape honeysuckle. I had been very careful to keep the cape honeysuckle watered all winter so that it would produce maximum orange blooms and it had been working. I was so astonished to see the hummingbird that it took me a few seconds before I could get my camera set up. Here are a few not so good pictures I took - but it's proof the little guy was here!
About a month ago I took a morning bike ride along a new wetlands. This had been part of a development that never was completed due to the economy. At least they did the wetlands first, so the wildlife loves it. First is a - I think - hornet on my bike handle. Next is a possum who lives in the ex-development. Last is a view of the never completed fence and the birds that have taken up residence there. Also, some ducks that were coming in for a landing. I saw what my husband and I call "wheelybirds" - and since we've called them by that name, I can't remember their REAL name.
Next - we're back to my back yard. First is a red hibiscus and then my favorite flower of all - a heliotrope. I love purple!!
This fella was in our back yard looking for dove treats. He was a smallish hawk and I saw him more than once, but this is the only picture I could get of him. He has gone back North now.
Next - a glory bush, another purple butterfly flower and a big, fat fly
Here is a weird volunteer plant. A few months ago I bought some squirrel food, which was mostly all kinds of seed, including pumpkin and gourd seeds. Evidently, devil's claw must have been one of the types of seed, because this started growing on it's own. It is now about 3 feet tall and more than 6 feet across. I plan on having a lot of devil's claw seeds to display in dried arrangements and to give away.
Next, a butterfly plant that the Monarchs love to suck the nectar from - and it's called a purple butterfly plant.
Three views of my beautiful bougainvillea when it was fully in bloom in March:
Some more pretty flowers I planted, although the blue ones are long gone - they didn't last long. The purple and black ones are growing like gangbusters!
In April, we went up to Clewiston and took these photos. Clewiston is on Lake Okeechobee and there are some old beat up, but lovely buildings there at the entrance to the lake:
This Bluett was in our back yard - couldn't resist taking his picture:
Here is a beautiful volunteer sunflower that grew taller than either my husband or myself - it's HUGE:
A strawflower - these last forever and, if you pick them when they're still fresh, they retain their color and texture for dried arrangement.
This Thorn Bug was on my pink powerpuff bush a.k.a., silk floss tree. I killed it AND it's eggs. It's a pest, but it was pretty enough to photograph.
A squirrel, one of four who are daily visitors to our garden. They know we will give them peanuts.
In April, this fellow showed up. He was stuck between some flower border material and my screened in porch. I heard the scraping and went to see what it was. Imagine my shock at finding a turtle trapped there. I promptly picked him up and put him in our small pool of water with it's fountain and let him swim around. That was when I noticed his tail and realized he was a snapping turtle. When I took him out of the pool, he headed east into our bougainvillea bushes and under the fence to the next house's yard - and I've never seen him again.
Here are some purple penta, a view of a section of our garden, some plumbago and some orangey red flowers I don't know the name of, but I liked them, so they're here:
My husband is a Florida native and remembers mulberry trees/bushes, so we now have one of those also. Here are some unripe mulberries:
This palm warbler visits every winter. He was gone by April, but we appreciated his lively chatter while he was here:
In mid-May our Poinciana began to bloom - here is a view from the back yard looking over the roof to the top of the blooming tree that is in the front yard:
Here's what a butterfly garden is all about:
Last - a pink-purple dragonfly that was at a nearby pond - I caught this picture in flight so it's not that great, and a year round visitor for peanuts - a male common grackle: