Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Welcome to Winter


The first day of winter can mean frigid temperatures,
biting winds and even snowstorms.
But this is Central Florida.
We rarely get anything resembling winter
this early in the season.
Here's what's growing in our garden on this fine winter day.



Overnight on Monday,
we were blessed with almost 5 inches of rain,
highly unusual for us at this time of year.
Winter is most commonly our dry season,
but we'll take any rain that Mother Nature wants to send our way.


 The veggie garden has been slow growing.
Most of what's here was planted at the end of September,
and there is not much to show for it.
I am glad that the new owners will at least have a head start
on a few winter veggies.


The sugar snap peas are just starting to come in.
What a wonderful treat when I go out to feed the birds each morning.
It's my reward for caring for our feathered friends.


The broccoli is coming along,
but we'll be long gone by the time it's ready for picking.


The oregano seems quite content
and has been steadily growing.


The carrots are sparse,
and have been sown at least twice.
With our move only a week away, 
there's no chance that we will get to sample these.


 We've had an abundance of gulf fritillary caterpillars 
munching away on the passionflower vine.
 I've never seen the plant so decimated.
No worries, it comes back each spring on its own.


What is concerning is finding so many of these dead or dying cats.
This is the first time there have been more than a couple.
We garden organically, so I'm not sure what happened.


Along with providing a host plant for the caterpillars,
the passionflower vine has been gracing us with gorgeous blossoms.


Another caterpillar species, the monarch,
feasts on this plant, the milkweed.
These are now blooming as well,
and seed pods are exploding and being carried by the wind
to other areas of the garden.

African Iris



Even though the day was drab and dreary,
we always have some kind of color going on in the garden.


I guess these beach sunflowers don't realize it's winter!




This will be our last winter solstice in Florida.
Our days of 80 degree temperatures in December 
are most likely over.
We are looking forward to the changing of seasons 
as we make our way a bit further north.
(Remind me of that when the thermometer starts plunging 
in the next few months!)

Hope this first winter day finds you well.
Stay toasty!