Iris afficionados will know right away that this is a beardless iris; a Siberian iris, to be exact. I didn't know either of those botanical tidbits until I researched my photo today.
I found the iris plant at a plant sale last fall. It had no blooms, no tag, nothing to tell the interested plant buyer what it was, and it was marked down to - free. Little did I know how lucky I was until it bloomed yesterday. During my research I came across this. I'm fairly sure it is the same as mine. An award-winner no less.
Rhododendron macrophyllum, Pacific rhododendron, California rhododendron, California Rose Bay. They are all names for this spectacular native rhodie that grows wild along the northern California coast. Encountered while on a recent walk in the woods.
All dressed up in her bonnet of soft blues and greens, this sweet columbine grows in the shade of a Japanese Maple on the west side of the garden. The photos are a bit harder to take, but worth the trouble. She is the sweetest of all my columbines.
Happy Mothers Day!
To all mothers, mothers-to-be, mothers-in-law, aunts, sisters, girlfriends, nieces, grandmothers, ...
Lily, one of the grey sisters, was keeping a watchful eye on something in the grass. Knowing that it would be some kind of critter, I quickly grabbed my camera and went to investigate.
This is a Shrew Mole, Neurotrichus gibbsii, and although I've seen them laying about the yard, quite dead in the winter, I've never seen one alive and up close until now.
You might have to click on this photo to see the eyes as they are not very pronounced, and judging from the meanderings of this little guy, they don't seem to rely on their eyesight very much. I got the feeling that smell and touch were the more acute senses going on here.
Did Lily hurt it? Of course not. She just likes to play. Claws sheathed. I made sure it got safely to the blackberry brambles, where even the intrepid cats do not go.