Aloe 'Hercules' Progress And October Light


February 2014:
Aloe 'Hercules' photo alo4100_zps36156e7d.jpg
October 2014:
 photo HerculesOct18-2014_zpsb5f390b8.jpg
Here's a young 'Hercules' of about the same size at the Huntington Desert Garden:
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We have October foliage colors in Southern California.  The colors are similar to the displays in temperate climates, but the foliage is different.  A glowing orange in Echeveria agavoides:
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A beautiful mass of small Crassula, Echeveria, Sedum, and Gasterias in the afternoon light:
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Rather than mellow autumnal pumpkins, the large orange fruits from Encephalartos arenarius:
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Squirrels were squabbling over the Encephalartos fruit, and crunching on palm seeds in a nearby Jubaea/Butia hybrid.  The squirrel looked orange, too.
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Nice trunk on that Jubaea/Butia hybrid:
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Woodpeckers worked at the trunk of a Phoenix canariensis.  Dried Alluadia flowers to the right.
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Alluadia and Cussonia paniculata remain their typical green.
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Yellow not in the foliage but in a lavish floral display from Choisia insignis:
 photo huntdg3189_zpse90a2641.jpg 
Yellow flowers soon from a young Aloe dichotoma.  A fallen brown Sycamore flower mixed in the Aloe foliage.
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Now what is that?  Look down at the lower right... photo huntdg3249_zps114d25ef.jpg
Stapelia, complete with flies. 
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Autumn in Southern California can be more the quality of the light and air than anything else.  A softness to the light, a mistiness to the air, and some, not all, of the leaves are brown.
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Comments

  1. Very nice. Something about these photos today really captured southern cal for me, possibly because of the light? Maybe I've been there more often in fall/winter than other times of the year. Love the 'Hercules' progress!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Alan. The light here is at its best in fall/winter. The summer light is glare.

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    2. Oops, forgot to mention how much softer the Portland July light was--people were commenting on the harshness at times and I was thinking, "Harsh?!?"

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  2. Thank you for posting those 'Hercules' shots. I know mine has grown since I planted it in April but alas I wasn't smart enough to include a fixed object in those early photos.

    Beautfiul photos from the Huntington. The light is definitely different now. I pointed that out to my 13-year old daughter the other day. Even photos taken at midday have a slightly golden tinge to them.

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    Replies
    1. It might bloom next spring--might be big enough. I'm curious to see what the flowers are like, though a ladder will be required to see them.

      Taking photographs makes us more aware of the light differences, doesn't it? Otherwise it is mostly subliminal.

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  3. I'm not sure I could ever live in your climate long enough for the flora to stop looking strange and exotic to me. I love seeing your photos.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Ricki. I so enjoy the conifers (that were not brown as they are here) and the amazing Hostas, and rain-wet foliage(!) in the PNW. I never get tired of those either!

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  4. Beautiful light in these photos of colourful and textural plants, the choisia is beautiful and such a cute squirrel.
    xoxoxo ♡

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  5. Wow! Hercules has put on a lot of growth in a short time! Your soft autumn light is beautiful! Thanks for sharing your fall colors!

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    Replies
    1. Whoever named that hybrid 'Hercules' got it right, didn't they?

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  6. Great pictures of a, for us, exotic Californian garden. `Hercules´ is exactly the right name for this Aloe, but I´m charmed by the cute squirrel, what a sweety. O nooo, I also see a stinky Stapelia, I had that one for a long time in my greenhouse.

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    Replies
    1. I didn't get close enough to tell if the Stapelia was stinky or not, but when I saw the flies, I wasn't interested in getting too close.

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  7. Your 'Hercules' has certainly bulked up. What is it usually like in SoCal in December/January? Is there anything in bloom? Our family may be making a trip out there.

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    Replies
    1. Here Dec/Jan is prime time for Aloes and Camellias. It can be very nice--sunny and mild in the 70's, or rainy (we are hoping rainy this year). Often need a sweater at night and long pants instead of shorts on some days. The beach can be nice but the water will be too cold for swimming.

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