Saturday, December 31, 2011

Kangaroo paw

    Kangaroo paw is a common name for a number of species, in two genera of the family Haemodoraceae also known as the Bloodwort Family, that are native to the south-west of Western Australia. These perennial plants are noted for their unique bird attracting flowers. The tubular flowers are coated with dense hairs and open at the apex with six claw-like structures: from this paw formation the common name "Kangaroo Paw" is derived.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Florida Tree Frog

    This little green guy lives in the man made pond in the Caston's backyard and the photos were taken in April 2011.

    The light may appear really bright and the frog is squinting, but rest assured no frogs where blinded taking these photos.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Two Bees

Bees... the pollinators of the world. It is sad that bees are dying off, and not just one or two but entire colonies and entire bee keepers farms. The are a few reasons give for the deaths of the bees, one them blames pesticides, and others are blaming the mono-cropping of farmers, causing bees to have to go further and further to get everything they need to make their honey.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Night Blooming Cereus Night Shot

    Nightblooming Cereus is the common name referring to a large number of flowering cereus cacti that bloom at night. Because of the short life of the flowers, the nightblooming cereus has a romanticized reputation and has given rise to erroneous beliefs, such as that the plants bloom only once a year, or only on nights when the moon is full The nightblooming cereus is also referred to as Princess of the NightHonolulu Queen (for Hylocereus undatus, commonly grown in Hawaii), Queen of the Night, or Reina de la Noche.


    Regardless of genus or species, night blooming cereus flowers are almost always white, often large, and frequently fragrant. Most of the flowers open after nightfall, and by dawn, most are in the process of wilting. The plants that bear such flowers can be tall, columnar, and sometimes extremely large and tree-like, but more frequently are thin-stemmed climbers. While some night blooming cereus are grown indoors in homes or greenhouses in colder climates, most of these plants are too large or ungainly for this treatment, and are only found outdoors in tropical areas.

Cultivation and uses

    Some night blooming cereus plants produce fruits which are large enough for people to consume. These include some of the members of the genus Cereus, but most commonly the fruit of the Hylocereus. The Hylocereus fruit have the advantage of lacking exterior spines, in contrast to the fruit of cacti such as the Selenicereus fruit, being brightly colored, and having a pleasant taste. Since the late 1990s, Hylocereus fruit have been commercially grown and sold in tropical locations like Australia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Hawaii.
    Around 2000, the name "Dragonfruit" was created for promotional purposes in English-speaking countries, undoubtedly influenced by the very successful renaming of "hairy gooseberries" as "Kiwifruit" earlier in the 20th century. The unusual exterior of a Hylocereus fruit, with its protruding growths, inspired the reference to dragons. Hylocereus fruits are also called pitaya. Increasing commercial cultivation, and the hybridizing of new varieties, is occurring for this fairly new crop. However, dragonfruit are usually somewhat expensive during their season (summer) and are still a specialty for most consumers.
Information VIA

Praying Mantis

   This little guy had been living with us for quite awhile.  Sad to say he has moved on, but left us some eggs before doing so.

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