Friday, May 24, 2013

Brood II Break Out Continues

The eruption of the Brood II 17 year cicadas is going great guns here.  Every day it seems like there are more everywhere.  Most of our plants have the discarded shells stuck to them, and if you look around, the cicadas are hanging out everywhere.  When the wind is still, their droning like the "Star Trek" phaser sound is omnipresent, but not yet obnoxious.

 I just walked out of the front door, and there were five of them on a shrub by the pond, and there was a Robin in the driveway trying to figure out how to eat one.  Apparently, it involves pulling off the wings first.

The Blue Flag and Yellow Flag Iris have bloomed in our pond again this year.  The Blue Flag is a native species, that you can find in swampy spots in the area, while the Yellow  Flag is a non-native from Europe, and considered to be an invasive species, although I can't say I've seen huge patches of it that would give me any concern.

The other thing blooming in our back wood is the Mountain Laurel, Kalmia latifolia.  In parts of our back lots it's thick enough to form "laurel hells", thickets that are too dense to walk through.

It has a pretty white flower with some pink, and there are cultured varieties with much more pink and red.  But I'll be content with the native.

When I first moved to the east, it reminded me very much of the Manzanita, a collection of many species of dry land shrubs in the west.  They are both in the Ericacea, the family that contains azaleas, rhododendrons, and heathers.

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