Black Point Historic Gardens (9/29/2022)

Today I returned to Black Point. And, as usual, so much has changed while I was away.

The overgrown chaos of Summer has been all cut down or gone to seed. It’s all empty-feeling. It’s cleaned up. And very much ready for Fall plantings.

My California Flannelbush is still doing well! No flowers, currently. But still so tall!

Before I even headed up the main staircase, I spotted a Common Checkered-Skipper. Doing its best to find the few flowers on random Cheeseweed Mallow plants. For some reason, it didn’t look like a CCS to me. Even looking at my photos doesn’t convince me. Or that both Seek and iNat believe it to be that. Is it the change in the light? I can’t explain it.

Up at the gardens, some new plants were out! Natalie had new succulents planted at the wall level. She had given up on some other plants there. Couldn’t handle being overtaken by others. Hopefully the succulents will fare better.

And, Red Bush Monkeyflower! Plus a white version of it I’d never seen before! The Naked Buckwheat is still going bonkers. And a handful of Bumble Bees and an American Lady butterfly were happy to have all that was there at the top.

We spent today doing something new! Scattering compost in all the places that plants weren’t. At the end of the day, Natalie watered it all. What a difference rich soil makes. The gardens looked like they got a much-needed refreshment.

Great Blue Herons were reigning in the North end. And some photos I took of one particular Heron turned out quite nicely, I think. Maybe it’s looking at them on my phone, but they look like watercolors to me. Can’t decide which I like more, the landscape shot or the portrait. Think I’ll have to like both equally.

Good ole Laetiporus fungi were out, too. In their usual spots of late, on eucs. A Northern Flicker wailed a bit. A Black Phoebe was busy eating over the grass near us. And, some Pygmy Nuthatches were making upgrades near the top of the palm tree.

Other noteworthies were a Damselfly of some kind and some gorgeous Bunchleaf Penstemon. I failed at getting a photo of the Damselfly in focus. I have to get better at that. So tough when they’re SO SLIM and are barely attached to a tiny twig!

In the end, it was great to be back. Not sure how often I’ll be going, going forward. I’d like to go every other week, like I was doing in the first half of the year. Might be tough with the need to finally start looking for the new job. We shall see. I do love being out there in our gardens.

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