Wednesday, July 23, 2008

California Poppies, Eschscholzia californica and Big Beige Beetle

Of all the flowering seeds I planted this year, the California Poppies are my favorite. The colorful and numerous flowers are just what we need during the hot months of summer. I thought I bought "Thai Silk" but surprisingly I was able to dig up my old order and found I actually bought "Mission Bells".

Only the normal single petaled common orange ones were the first to bloom so I was quite disappointed and thought the seed company sent me just the plain old regular ones but several weeks later the first of the other colors started to appear. This turned out to be a great selection because the texture of the flowers differ as well as size. The largest ones are almost 2" across and the smallest about an inch.

I get the feeling of deja vu as if I've written this before...oh well, the flowers are new and the plants are blooming well now.

These are photos of the Grapevine Beetle, Pelidnota punctata also known as Spotted June Beetle. This large beetle about an inch long was in the house crawling on the curtains. It is probably a female. The males tend to have a darker orangish color and are smaller.


Blogger sixty-five said...

Charming (the poppies, not so much the beetle). Have just been rereading Celia Thaxter (An Island Garden) and making a mental note to try some poppies and sweet peas next year. I've never grown either one.

10:59 AM  
Blogger Entangled said...

Cool beetle! It almost looks like an artist's creation, not quite real. But I'm not sure I'd want one in the house.

1:24 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Sixty-five,

The California poppies are very easy to grow. I just dug a very shallow depression and sowed the seeds directly in the ground. I just made sure I watered them regularly for a couple of weeks and up they came. No need for pots and potting mixture. We had similar luck with other kinds of poppies too.

Your mention of sweet peas brings back memories of my youth which was a very long time ago. We planted some sweet peas in half of an eggshell for Easter. I believe that was in the 4th grade or it could have been 2nd grade which would seem more likely. That was the first seed I can ever remember planting. Then again maybe not as I can remember helping my granddad plants some spinach seeds when I was a tot. Thanks for bringing up some pleasant memories.

Hi Entangled,
I was entranced by the look of the carapace that mimicked the scumbling technique painters use or vice versa -essentially painting a dark background and overlaying a lighter top layer with hints of the darker background visible in unpainted (top layer) areas or where it was thinly applied.

It seems as if there is a dark brown underlayer beneath the beige color of the shell. It was quite a large beetle but not creepy looking so I didn't mind having it in the house. After I took a few photos I set it on the deck railing and took more. I guess it just scampered off after it got tired just lying there.

Not as neat as your metallic Dogbane beetle but a pretty cool find anyway.

6:26 PM  
Blogger joey said...

Lovely photos, Ki. It's been fun catching up :)

3:22 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Joey,

Thanks. I need to do a whole lot of catching up too...soon I hope. I thought I would have more free time to read blogs but too many other things still require the bulk of my time. Thanks for visiting.

8:24 AM  
Blogger Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

Pretty poppies and a cool beetle.

1:58 PM  
Blogger Ki said...

Aunt Debbi/Kurts mom,
Thanks for your very nice comment.

6:46 PM  
Anonymous birdy said...

Lovely flowers, great shots.By the way which camera did you use?

10:51 AM  
Blogger Connie said...

CA. poppies are a real favorite of mine! I have a bi-color one that showed up in the garden several years ago, that I have saved seed from. It is orange with a yellow center.

7:21 PM  

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