Tag Archives: flowers

Nature’s Sun Protection

Red Roses - Leaves 1

Red Roses – Leaves 1

Have you ever wondered why new rose leaves first appear a bright red?

Red Roses - Leaves 2

Red Roses – Leaves 2

It is nature’s sun protection! Instead of slapping on SPF 50, as you need to do here in Cape Town in summer, clever roses simply sprout red leaves. This protects the delicate new growth until it is robust enough to withstand the searing sun, turn green and produce chlorophyll.

 

post script: The red colour in the leaves and stems is caused by the presence of anthocyanins, which protect the delicate new growth from harmful UV rays. As the plant matures the anthocyanins disperse leaving the leaves green.

 

Reverse Engineering

Bloom 1

Bloom 1

I found this gorgeous bulb blooming outside someone’s house on one of my dog walks. There was such a sharp contrast between the petals in full sunlight and those in shade that it added a great deal of colour to the flower.

Bloom 1

Bloom 2

It also reminded me of being taught in art class at school that no colours in nature are ever pure black.

I really like the contrasts between the stamens just catching the sun and their shadows formed on the petals.

Bloom 3

Bloom 3

Nature truly is stunning.

 

post script: Reverse engineering is taking apart an object to see how it works in order to duplicate or enhance the object. This practice, taken from older industries, is now often used on computer hardware and software, as in the Ben Affleck movie, Paycheck.

 

Thursday Spring Fever

Snow Drops 1

White Bells 1

I think these lovely little flowers are White Bells, not Snowdrops. It’s hard to tell, because, just like most things here in South Africa, bathed in the ever-present warmth of the sun, they grow big!

Snowdrops 2

White Bells 2

And while you are never going to see these White Bells pushing through actual snow, as you would in, say, England, they are one of the first flowers to bloom at the end of winter.

 

Tuesday Spring Fever

Daisies

Daisies

I love the humble Daisy.

It is Spring here in Cape Town, South Africa. I took my camera with me on my walk with my dogs round the block the other day. My neighbours have lots of flowers suddenly blooming on their verges and I thought I would share their exuberant beauty with you this week: one a day. Yesterday was my garden.

I liked in this first photo how the bright sunlight turned the daisies into an abstract art painting. The full photo follows:

Daisies and LM

Daisies and LM

You can just see Little Monkey’s back as she walks by, giving you perspective.

 

Mysteries of the Universe

Succulent 1

Succulent 1

Funny how you can walk past an object day after day –

Succulent 2

Succulent 2

Never noticing the infinitesimal changes –

Succulent 3

Succulent 3

Being wrought before your very eyes –

Succulent 4

Succulent 4

Until suddenly captured by its beauty.

 

Mysteries of the Universe

Funny how you can walk past an object day after day

Never noticing the infinitesimal changes

Being wrought before your very eyes

Until suddenly captured by its beauty.

 

Sunday Musings #30

Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.

– Martin Luther

 

OK so I didn’t plant an apple tree today, but I did prune my roses; a tad early as it turns out, because I thought it was the end of July already, not a week off, and you’re only supposed to prune your roses on 15th August.

This date I got from an elderly neighbour, who had the most magnificent rose bushes blooming in glory year after year. Everyone else around would notice when she pruned hers and quickly go off to prune their own measly specimens, myself included!

Well, it is sunny and pleasant and next weekend it may be pouring down with gale force winds. So ’tis done.

This doesn’t really fit in with Martin’s quote above, but I do like it.

 

Mr Spaghetti Legs and the Swiss Cheese Plant

Mr SL and the Cheese Plant 1

Mr SL and the Cheese Plant 1

While I was gallivanting around Europe recently, my daughter DD’s Swiss Cheese Plant was drowning in its pot after heavy rains. Though this is a lovely ceramic pot, it has no drainage holes.

So it was time to transplant it out into the garden.

Mr Spaghetti Legs loves new scents and came along to “help” us during the replanting.

Mr SL and the Cheese Plant 2

Mr SL and the Cheese Plant 2

He had to inspect the hole too!

Cheese Plant 3

Cheese Plant 3

Finally, the Swiss Cheese Plant is safely tucked in its new home, where hopefully it can cope with all the heavy rains still to come in our Cape winter.

Quiz Time.

Do you know why the leaves split and have holes in them?

Apparently it is to enable the leaf to grow larger and cover a greater area than a solid leaf could. This means that it can receive a more constant supply of the dappled sunlight filtering through the trees, and hence have a better chance of survival. If you are interested, you can read more about it here Leaves with holes in them.

 

Sun Flower

Sun Flower

Sun Flower – photo by DD

What do you mean, it’s not a sunflower?

It’s a Sun Flower!

And as that guy, Bill Whatshisname famously said, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

To get the full effect of the sun on this flower, gradually tilt the screen away from you and watch the petals light up with ultra-violet light.

Put your coffee down first!!

So now you are seeing through the eyes of a bee!