it’s june day bloom day, and the heat of day has finally subsided from its high of 98 degrees and index of 104… i couldn’t think of a better image to capture the heat of summer than the newly blooming Helianthus annuus ‘Autumn Beauty’… perhaps the name indicates that i’m already pining for cooler temperatures?
this sunflower in particular has proved to be quite popular with the critters… while i admire the sun rays passing through the petals, i feel a slight shower of projectile sugar water dance on my face… courtesy of these little buggers:
the glassy-winged sharpshooter pierces stems of many plant types, and sucks the water from the xylem, excreting sugar water. when this water falls on leaves below, bacteria can grow on the surface. cross contamination of this bacteria from one plant to another via sharpshooters can cause pierces disease, which can be lethal to grapevines. check out this filmstrip video for more (it’s long, but informative):
now i know why one of our new raspberry canes doesn’t look so good…
back to the sunflowers…
the orangey-yellow color of this sunflower is especially cheerful in the raised vegetable bed. growing on the trellis in the background is Dolichos lablab (purple hyacinth bean vine), a lovely combination against the young summer sky, especially with mr. flamingo nearby:
this guy was made by my great-grandfather everett (when mom, in the 20’s?) and eventually landed safely in my mom’s care. she gave him a new feathered paint job (when mom, in the 80’s?) so he could make an appropriate garden appearance. he must’ve felt the need to return to warmer climes, because he showed up on my doorstep as part of my thirty gifts for my birthday this year. i love him… while he hasn’t acquired a taste for sharpshooters, he has acclimated to the texas heat quite well.
happy bloom day!