It's been a long hot, dry summer in Houston. In fact it was one of the hottest summers on record. I just read that we had seventeen days with a temperature of 100 degrees or warmer! It was so hot that no one wanted to walk out of the air conditioned house, including the dogs! But fall seems to be here and the rains have started to fall again. Today is expected to get up to 83 degrees and it is cloudy. Saturday was lovely....cloudy, but no rain and a high of only 75 degrees. We were happy with that because Randy and I sponsored a table at our neighborhood's first wine walk and the weather was perfect, as was the setting in a fantastic neighborhood backyard, set on about 1 acre of land and sporting a huge water-feature with waterfall, a bridge, koi-filled pond that was outlined with luscious plants. The entire yard was filled with luscious, green and blooming plants as well as meandering rock and brick walks. We had a lovely time and were glad to help raise money through our sponsorship.
Along with the cooler weather, the orchids in my garden are beginning to bloom. The hummingbirds have returned from their summer vacation homes in the north. I love watching the hummingbird wars from my computer. Hummingbirds are very territorial and they are terribly protective of our feeders. One will swoop down on another while she feeds and before you know it they are doing this death spiral kind of dance, facing each other, bodies held vertically, as they dance around each other to the ground. Once they touch the ground, both will zoom off in different directions. Sorry I have no photos of the hummers, but the little guys are so fast that I can't seem to catch them.
The Monarch butterflies are back and stripping our Mexican Butterfly Weed of all leaves. We found a new Monarch stretching and drying out its wings after breaking out of its chrysalis just the other day. The Gulf Fritillaries have, likewise, stripped the passion flower vine (which is a huge vine) and I'm finding their chrysalis hanging from the top of our wooden fence. The Fritillary chrysalis looks like a dried leaf, so they are perfectly camouflaged against the aged wood of the fence.
Round Top Antiques week has come and gone. This year, I must say that it was a beautiful show with lots of good Americana sprinkled in with the decorative stuff that has basically taken over so much of the shows. I understand that a lot of the dealers had very good shows, which is certainly a good thing for all of us who love antiques. Some Eastern dealers came down for the show....which is definitely a plus for us Texans who love good antiques. We all need to continue to patronize antique shows if we want to continue to find good antiques on the market. No Americana sales means no Americana sellers....and some dealers make their livings traveling to these shows. I'm thankful for the success of this website and the fact that I can make a living without show biz....exhibiting at a show is like moving a 3 bedroom apartment four times! Also, thanks to those of you who patronized my business while you were in the area for the Round Top shows! I do miss doing the shows (but not set up and load out) and am always thrilled to be able to visit with you face-to-face!
Last week was the annual Houston Garden Club Bulb & Plant Mart....which was even better than usual. I came home with Louisiana, and Dutch Iris, yellow lycoris, yellow rain lillies, daffodils and narcissus, a huge Australian tree fern, another exciting orchid (in flower spike but not yet open).
I'm leaving you will photos of my favorite backyard orchids. Enjoy!