Tuesday, November 8, 2011

more fall notes


Well, I guess that little cold snap was enough to trigger some changes. The tallows are showing more color today and the pecan in the adjacent yard is turning yellow. The ones in my yard are still green though with a few clumps of yellow. The altheas are turning yellow and dropping their leaves. The gingkos are still green though perhaps not quite as green as yesterday.

It's overcast and humid today. Another cold front is supposed to move in later and bring us a 'measurable' amount of rain. So far we've only gotten an occasional minute or two of sprinkle or drizzle. This time of year it's a constant battle between the north and the south, the storm fronts being the field of battle between the warm gulf winds and the cold arctic air. Cold for a few days, warm for a few days. Eventually though the arctic fronts will come in closer together until they finally beat back the warm weather for good and it will be winter.


Here's another picture of the confederate rose which is not a rose at all but a mallow, cousin to the hibiscus. The day I took this it had bloomed with dark pink and light pink flowers which only last one day. I had never seen it do that and every day since it's just been the light pink flowers. I wonder if the change in temperatures had something to do with it. There is one confederate rose in town that blooms with pink, white, and pink and white striped flowers. Never seen that before either.


The two birdbaths have been doing a brisk business every morning since it warmed up from the last cold front that moved through. Lots of splashing around going on. This morning when I let the cat in I noticed some movement in a pile of leaves right next to the door up against the side of the house. The cat gave it a glance but she was hungry and came on in. Being the curious sort that I am, I got a stick and poked around in it and flushed out this coral snake that was easily 2' long. It moved along the side of the house to the inside corner where it slipped under the part of the house that is on pier and beam.


I've mentioned before about the wrens and their fascination with our garage-that's-not-a-garage-but-our-shop and their penchant for building nests in there. This morning, one of the wrens came in, screeching just about non-stop while it investigated everything. It poked around in and on the table, the shelving units, the kiln, the recycling, the window sill, the top of the open automatic door, it hopped around on the floor and checked out the old nest on top of the motor housing for the other automatic door, pretty much venting its spleen the whole time, totally unintimidated by my attempts to get a picture. For such little birds, they certainly make a lot of noise.





18 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

the coral snake is a beauty, but do be careful! and that wren is trying to drive you out! :)

Hilary said...

Love the flowers and the wren. That snake though.. you can keep it.

Joanne said...

You've got a veritable wild kingdom going on there ...

The Bug said...

Gorgeous flowers!

I'd love to know what the wren was saying - probably complaining about the snake :)

Friko said...

Is the wren looking for a nesting site this time of year? Surely not.
Wonderful looking snake, is it venomous?

Pearl said...

Worried about that snake -- it IS poisonous, isn't it?

Pearl

Fireblossom said...

Eww! Snakes give me the creeps.

She Writes said...

I miss the little birds that used to come to my garden and splash in the bath there. This reminds me of how feisty they can be :).

SueAnn said...

The mock rose is a real beauty!! And that coral snake is gorgeous!
Same kind of weather battles here too!! Right now the cold is winning out. Sigh! I was hoping warm would be stronger!!
Hugs
SueAnn

Joanne said...

Aren't wrens just amazing. The Irish song is right: "The wren, the wren, the king of all birds." Well, the rest is sad, but that's right. We have them nesting in the studio window wells and driving the cats nuts!

Snowbrush said...

Wow, a coral snake! Would you have killed it if you had had the chance?

ellen abbott said...

Snowbrush - no I would not have killed it. coral snakes are very unaggressive and it made no attempt to strike at me, wanting only to get away from the large human with the stick and camera. they have small heads, small mouths, small fangs and lack the venom injection system other vipers have. basically, they have to chew on you. live and let live around here. now if it had been a cottonmouth or a rattler I'd have been running for the shovel.

Snowbrush said...

I'm from Mississippi, so I know that coral snakes are non-aggressive and have small mouths, but they're also the most poisonous American snake, ounce for ounce of venom, and their mouths could fit around a finger while you're working in your flowers. So, I probably have killed it, but not without regret.

You didn't mention copperheads. I miss them, and they're not terribly poisonous, so I wouldn't have killed one of those.

ellen abbott said...

Snow - Well, you have a point there as they are active in the daytime and no one is making the anti-venom for coral snakes in this country and when the current supply runs out, there won't be any. Mexico has a manufacturer but you know the good ole US of A thinks everybody else is incompetent and won't allow it to be sold here unless they spend millions of dollars on testing and other hoop jumping and the Mexican company doesn't really have any incentive to do that.

I did kill the first one that I also found out here right outside my back door but felt really terrible about it afterwards so I let this one go. Now I hope my kindness doesn't come back to bite me in the butt or finger as the case may be. And then there is the cat. She's not above giving a swat or two. I thought she had a copperhead once but it turned out to be a rat snake.

Snowbrush said...

Ellen, I still feel guilty about killing a puff adder 30 years ago. I had never seen one, didn't what it was, and it sure acted dangerous, so I killed it. When I found out what I had killed, I just felt terrible.

Jayne said...

Snakes--Aaaah! I'd a been screaming! Or running. Or doing one thing or another to make a fool of myself. ;)

Kerry said...

Oh a coral snake! There's another snake that isn't poisonous, but has similar coloring...what the heck was that verse that I was taught in order to distinguish one from the other?

Oh yes: "If yellow touches red, then you're dead."

Snowbrush said...

"what the heck was that verse that I was taught in order to distinguish one from the other?"

Red and yellow, kill a fellow. Red and black, friend of Jack.