Thursday, November 15, 2007

Around My November Garden

A common honeybee (Apis mellifera) takes advantage of the pollen on the numerous stamen tips of a Baja Fairy Duster shrub (Calliandra californica), which is currently in full bloom. When spent, the flowers won't reappear again until early summer. This shrub also attracts hummingbirds, which have been a rare sight this year.

I am not well versed on dragonflies, but I believe this to be a Black Setwing (Dythemis nigrescens). Its flight period is April to early November, so this is probably the last of them to visit my garden this year. For some reason, most dragonflies like to rest on the tips of Agave leaves.

As the temperature cools, the Desert Spiny Lizards (Sceloporus magisteris) will soon go into hibernation. In the meantime, on warm days, lizards will rest on rocks to absorb the heat. Last winter when we experienced record-setting cold weather, many lizards died from the prolonged cold, so it was nice to see a few new babies in early summer. The population is still sparse compared to previous years but barring any record cold, their numbers should increase rapidly next spring. Although these lizards don't change color to match their environment, their natural color blends in with the desert rocks and soil.


barbara said...

I've never even heard of a Fairy Duster, but sure is beautiful, and so aptly named.

Julie said...

WOW...great photos of bee, and dragonfly! Did you set up a tripod? The dragonfly is very sharp!
I, too, like the Fairy Duster!

kate said...

The Desert Spiny lizards are adorable. I'd love having some in my garden. They'd never survive here!

The Fairy Duster shrub has beautiful flowers. I can see why it would be a magnet for bees ... and it is a treat to see a Dragonfly on this freezing morning!

No Rain said...

Julie, no tripod, just some lucky shots. Well, not exactly lucky, these were the best of probably 50 tries total for all three photos!
Kate, you are right about the Desert Spiny Lizards not lasting long. Anything below 50 degrees F. will do them in. Since they burrow, the ground stays at a temperature higher than that here. Last winter, it got so cold that their burrows were too shallow and it killed them.

Anonymous said...

You did a great job of capturing that dragonfly with your lens. A couple of springs ago I stumbled upon hundreds of dragonflies lunching on a row of tall weeds near a pond. I stayed out there until my memory card ran out of
oomph. Fun.