Aloe 'Hercules' Progress And October Light

February 2014:
Aloe 'Hercules' photo alo4100_zps36156e7d.jpg
October 2014:
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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:
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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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  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!

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

    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?!?"

  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.

    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.

  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.

    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!

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

  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!

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

  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.

    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.

  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.

    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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