Putter More

Aloe thraskii is coloring up and preparing to open its first flowers of the season
A chance for rain (maybe) next week;  this week is dry and mild.  Green waste bins are full again, ready for another collection day.   Still doing garden cleaning, trimming, moving.  Rather than rushing through it, I'm puttering my way, relaxed and enjoying cool late fall weather, and taking moments to look around and enjoy.  

We actually have a little fall foliage color this year--only two months later than the rest of the US.  It's a nice little novelty for us.  
Acer palmatum
 Boston Ivy, Parthenocissus tricuspidata
Puttering paused also to observe Acorn Woodpeckers have taken up residence in the neighborhood this year.  Apparently there are sufficient acorn-producing oaks now to support them.  

This spring a neighbor reported seeing a hollowed out place in a nearby Eucalyptus trunk acting as a nest, with baby bird heads popping out to look for a parent.  Now the babies are adults.  There are about six individuals.  Acorn Woodpeckers are a highly social species.   This group gathers periodically throughout the day in one of the half-dead Eucalyptus visible from our bathroom window to squawk and chatter.     

Today their tapping could be heard in the morning quiet;  I investigated.  They are turning a neighbor's trash palm into a "granary tree",  a storage unit for acorns they will eat during the winter.  They tap holes in the trunk, then insert an acorn, to be retrieved later and eaten.   
 I'm moving succulents around, out of nursery/recovery areas to proper spots.  Gasteraloe 'Green Ice' recovered from a mealy bug attack can go into a mostly shady spot by the back stairs.
 I put off and put off moving beautiful Agave 'Monterey Frost' for no good reason.  Purchased in 2011 it was planted in a visible spot that became hidden by the growth of 'Bishops Castle' rose and a volunteer Toyon.
Toyon whacked back to provide access:
The whacked stuff: 
 During rescue
 New location, nicely visible!
 Aeoniums awakened by the rain. 
Oak seedlings appearing, too.  Not a good place:
 Roses to be sniffed, between putters.

 Stairway Agaves to be admired.  'Kara's Choice'
'Ray of Light' grows more and more beautiful.  This plant develops more variegation as it matures. 
Note to self:  "work" less in the garden.  "Putter" more.  


  1. I love your variegated agaves. You're getting a lot more done in the garden than I am. I've been distracted both by holiday preparations and a pet emergency but you just reminded me that I best at least put a call into the arborist about getting some trees (like our ginormous toyon) cut back now that the contractor is almost (but not yet 100%) done with the house.

    1. But you are so much more organized, you get more done with less effort. Sorry to hear Pipig is not well. Cats pull through some situations that seem dire. That nine lives thing.

      Not 100% yet? There's always a few little things. It happened here. I finally finally got the rug for the bathroom last week. The finishing touch only took a year!

  2. From the cool, celestial 'Ray of Light' to those gorgeous, fiery crape myrtle leaves, it's an array of splendors. So thrilling about the woodpeckers.

    We had a new-to-here hawk fly into the closest tree to the house today -- easily a third bigger than our resident sharp-shinned hawk, and completely differently colored. It was a red-shouldered hawk. After awhile it left its perch to go circling above, which sent every visible animal (barn cat, rabbit, squirrels) scurrying for cover. The big wingspan was a little scary even to those of us safely inside!

    1. The woodpeckers are fun. I read one drawback is they will peck into wooden eaves on houses, but we don't have wooden eaves, so no problem. Plus there are plenty of Eucs and palms to peck.

      We have Red Shouldered hawks here on and on. Good rodent hunters!

  3. What a fun post. I thoroughly enjoyed your puttering. Here I look out and see frost with a few evergreens holding court. All is brown and mushy so I especially enjoy seeing your greens and variegated plants. Everything looks so healthy. Putter on...

    1. Everything green here is much more green from the rain, all the dust and smog washed off. Enjoy your winter rest from gardening--it gives you time to plan for next year's garden, right? :^)

  4. Hooray for puttering more! I wholeheartedly agree, although I haven't puttered much this week. Hopefully I will get to amend that in the next few days. Your agaves are amazingly beautiful! The 'Monterey Frost' looks a little octopus like with its animated "arms". Love it!

    1. The puttering continues here. The garden looks a little better, but the gardener feels a lot better. Putter on!

  5. We once had woodpeckers hammering at the soil pipe which is fixed to the house wall alongside the bathroom. Clearly it provided good resonance, better than any dead tree they could find in the woods. The only trouble was they started about 5.00 in the morning.
    Happy puttering!

    1. Not a morning person, then?

      Here there is a Mockingbird who hammers on the front windows and on the car windows of any car that stops on our street. There used to be a crow who did the same. TapTapTap CAW! TapTapTap CAW!

      Not at 5am, though. California birds must be more nonchalant.

  6. I hear you! Thank you for this PSA. I tend to forget about the "puttering" part all too often, but really, it's where much of the garden enjoyment comes from!

    Love your Agave 'Ray of Light' and 'Monterrey Frost'.

    1. Yes gardening is for fun. It's not "yard work". Sometimes we forget.

    2. You really do have some excellent foliage color.


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