Tuesday, May 12, 2009

[Exceptionally] Pretty pictures: transmitted light -- Part XI

Went out to the house again yesterday, because I had the day off. I was going to try to get some stuff planted, finally, but ran into technical difficulties (among other things, I needed, like, 100 more feet of garden hose than what I had), so now the Lysimachia is wondering how come it got to ride around in the car all day. Possibly I should forget actually planting anything and go directly to container gardening. Maybe I should find out what's been planted here already before I start adding stuff all over the place. Already some Convallaria majalis (lily of the valley) have popped up since I was there last. And there was another surprise:

Thamnophis radix, the plains garter snake.

This struck me as a good sign. I like snakes. And this one was big and healthy-looking. Not much of a conversationalist. Robust, though.

Anyway. All of this is to explain why I'm resorting to the transmitted light pictures for today's post.

(The previous transmitted light posts can be found here.)

Rhapis excelsa. I had not previously noted the little sideways (vertical in this photo) lines. They're perfectly visible to the naked eye, of course. I'd just never paid attention.

Tetrastigma voinierianum. The dark specks are natural, not bugs or dirt, but they also brush off. I'm a little confused about their origin and purpose.

Ficus benjamina 'Black Diamond.' I still like this variety of Ficus benjamina, but it's less certain about me.

Cordyline glauca. It's not always noticeable, but new Cordyline glauca leaves, if the plant is growing in strong light, will come in purple first and then turn green later. Which is kind of cool.

Coffea arabica. I know that the plant in this picture did have some chlorotic leaves (it was a casualty of the 'Skunky' purge), though I can't recall whether this was one of them. Hard to tell from just the one picture, though it seems like whether or not it's chlorosis, something must be wrong.

Dracaena deremensis 'Lemon-Lime.' This was an incredibly, bafflingly hard picture to get. I literally tried for months, under various lighting conditions, and invariably the picture would come out blurry. It was weird.

Aglaonema 'Maria.' Turn it sideways and pretend it's a Rorschach blot. What do you see?

Dracaena marginata 'Colorama.' Also a very difficult picture to get, and not necessarily worth getting. But there it is anyway.

Dieffenbachia 'Panther.' Probably my favorite from this batch.

Codiaeum variegatum NOID. I hadn't realized until the day I took this picture that Codiaeum variegatum leaves have multiple layers of pigment. I was looking at a nice yellow 'Mrs. Iceton' leaf and thinking about photographing it, and then I turned the leaf over and it was actually red underneath. In retrospect, this is perfectly obvious, but at the time, I was surprised that croton leaves aren't necessarily the same color all the way through the leaf.


our friend Ben said...

These are gorgeous, Mr. S.! Love the croton! But I especially love the snake. What a handsome fellow!

Water Roots said...

Yup, really cool snake. I guess you'll be seeing quite a few of those out in the country!

mothernaturesgarden said...

I run across snakes in my garden and do not like it. To each his own as they say. I love seeing the backlit photos. The sun is like and xray machine sometimes.

Darla said...

Great photos, I love how you do this. The snake on the other hand, is so not a good sign to me!

Kenneth Moore said...

Aw, such a cutie! I ran into some sort of snakes in a mulch pile at the National Arboretum--I only had my phone, so my picture isn't as wonderful as yours.

But lately I've been seriously thinking about a snake as a pet. They're everywhere. They're cute. They eat dead mice. That's what's holding me back from buying one--the feeding.

Donna said...

Is the snake really blue?!? In Wisconsin the only garter snakes I've seem are shades of green with stripes. He/she is lovely though. I like snakes too.

mr_subjunctive said...

The snake was really more of a dark gray, with yellow stripes. The bluishness in the picture is just reflection from the sky, I think.

Anonymous said...

Your idea about growing only in containers for the time being is exactly advice I'd recommend, having spent much time gardening in new places (rented gardens do not hold me back by much). Get to know the microclimates around the new place. Good gardening authors often advise waiting an entire year before planting a garden. I'll never have that much patience, but I do hold things in containers as long as I can to avoid wasting money, time, etc. planting stuff where I would have known better if I had just observed before rushing in armed with shovels and valuable plants.