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Rainy Saturday

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For the first time in weeks we had a rainy day today–the rain was really needed. We have forest fires going in the southeast US, and though we’re not anywhere near the fires and are perfectly safe, we’re still getting smoke and ashes in the air sometimes. I hope the rain has helped. I went outside with the camera during a couple of breaks in the rain.

Tomatoes after the rain.

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Lantana flowers sprinkled with tiny raindrops.

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Raindrop on the tip of a leaf, catching the sun.

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Yesterday I transplanted some small basil plants into two large pots. I love having basil outside the back door. We use fresh basil a lot, and when the plants flower they attract honeybees and butterflies.

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Brown anole on the fence, trying to look impressive with a dewlap display.

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One more of the anole showing off.

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A Few for Friday

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First real crop from our tomato plant this year. I’ve picked and eaten a few little tomatoes now and then, but this was enough for a tomato, basil, feta cheese, and olive oil lunch.

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A little Ground-dove on a wire. I like the orange color in its eye.

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One more of the Ground-dove. These little doves are only about 6 inches long.

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Saturday in the Backyard

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Plenty of little tomatoes ripening on our tomato plant.

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And more little green tomatoes coming along.

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One of our two new parsley plants.

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A tree branch from a neighbor’s yard overhanging our back fence. The leaves really are as big as they look.

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The leaves from that kind of tree come in three different shapes, all growing on the same tree. Here’s an example of the three shapes on a single branch. There’s an ordinary plain leaf on the left, one with two lobes that’s sort of mitten-shaped in the middle, and a three-lobed leaf on the right.

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Max, faster than a speeding bullet! He loves to run really fast in big loops around the yard.

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Last for today is the moon next to a dying pine tree.

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Anoles on Saturday

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I found a dead branch that had fallen off a tree in the backyard today. It was a couple of feet long and about an inch in diameter, and it looked like a perfect branch for anoles to perch on. So I put the branch in the area where anoles like to hang out, leaning it against the fence at an angle. And sure enough, every time I checked there was at least one anole on the branch, and I saw several using it as a bridge from ground to the fence. This big fellow was showing off his dewlap as he sat there. I like the colorful blur in the background.

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The branch can be seen better here.

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I almost decided not to grow tomatoes this year, but then there was the volunteer plant that sprung up on its own in one of the tomato pots. After the little plant made it through the winter I had to give it a chance. It’s thriving now, full of little green tomatoes and tomato blossoms. And as always, I have a tomato pot anole. This big male brown anole stays close to the pot, darting into the pot when he wants to hide.

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A closer look at the tomato pot anole.

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An anole on the fence–lots of white on this one.

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And one more anole climbing on the branch I set against the fence.

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Thursday Photos

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Our volunteer tomato plant is covered with blossoms and quite a few tiny green tomatoes. This plant sprouted on its own in one of the tomato pots from last year, probably from a seed from a fallen tomato. I didn’t know if the plant would actually grow well enough to produce tomatoes, but it’s looking good right now!

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Leaves on the fence, from a tree branch in my neighbor’s yard. This tree has large leaves in three shapes: a three-lobed leaf like the two at the bottom, a two-lobed mitten-shaped leaf like the one on the upper left (the “thumb” of the mitten isn’t very distinct here), and a plain leaf with no lobes like the one on the upper right. It’s an invasive tree that spreads by roots running underground–it sprouts in our yard now and then, moving in from neighbors’ yards, and I pull out roots and sprouts any time I spot it. I’ve never been able to identify it.

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A dying pine tree, its dried up needles rusty orange.

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Lily on our table this evening.

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It was exactly one year ago today that we lost our sweet basset hound girl Lulu. Still think of her and miss her every day.

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Saturday Photos

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The green leaves are growing larger, and the branches that were bare all winter are rapidly filling in.

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And our volunteer tomato plant is still green and healthy looking, even with a couple of near freezing nights this past week. There are quite a few little green tomatoes growing.

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Over on the side fence I spotted a Yellow-rumped Warbler. The little warbler was apparently looking for insects, watching carefully before suddenly diving off the fence for a bite to eat.

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Checking the situation in the other direction.

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And on the back fence there was a male Cardinal. It looks like our local cardinal family is staying around for another year.

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Brown anole on the screen door casting a long shadow.

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Anoles and More on Tuesday

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A nice sunny day today with lots of anoles around. This big male was sunning himself on the fence, and didn’t seem to care at all about the camera.

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Over by the palm trees I saw a little head pop up from behind a frond base. It was a young brown anole that was shedding the skin on its head.

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Two anoles were competing this afternoon for the back screen door territory. This isn’t unusual since anoles seem to like the screen door and find it a nice place to hang out. However, these two anoles were on opposite sides of the screen–one on the outside, and one on the inside of the screen. (The screen door is outside the sliding glass door, so both anoles were outside the house.)

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The anole on the outside (on the left here) never did seem to grasp that there was a barrier between him and his opponent.

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He kept opening his mouth and trying to bite at the other guy through the screen.

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One more of the anoles attempting to battle.

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Little yellow oxalis flowers in the yard. The green oxalis leaves look like shamrocks.

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And a surprise–a tiny tomato growing on the new plant that sprouted on its own in the tomato pot. The tomato is not much bigger than a pea, but it’s growing and looking good. There are more flowers on the plant, so more little tomatoes will be coming along.

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