Pink Spiders, Red Flags, and Things that Go Bump in the Night

Today was another red flag day with a fair amount of wind. Nothing like we have had a few times this spring – but decidedly dry and breezy. And, as the clouds do so often in drought years, the grey clouds seem to tease as they drift by, only leaving a few drops of moisture behind.

Mauna Loa and friend, 6.29.20

The premiers today were mostly pink spiders. And, pink Ned Roberts spiders, at that. Now, trying to photograph a spider daylily with wind gusts up to 30 MPH is interesting. I am like a dentist trying to tell the wind to hold it’s breath until I snap the picture. My patient is non-compliant.

Rocky Mountain Pals 6.29.20

First premier pink spider was Rocky Mountain Pals. This daylily has a sweet story of being dedicated to the hybridizer’s cancer treatment team. I told the story to a co-worker today because she is battling cancer.

Pink Rain Dance 6.29.20

Next, big old Pink Rain Dance catches my eye. She is a huge bloom and such a great pastel pink. I can only guess Ned Roberts named her during a drought year in the Southwest.

Pink Enchilada 6.29.20

Funky named Pink Enchilada was also in my pack of pink premier spiders. Another big. floppy spider from my Roberts collection. I suppose they are all cousins, or something.

Prairie Blue Eyes 6.29.20

My last premier is an older daylily that deserves some credit for a bit of near blue – which didn’t happen much during the time she was hybridized. Prairie Blue Eyes opened her eyes for the first time in 2020 today.

All American Chief 6.29.20

I recounted scapes tonight and I think it is about 130 now. So, potentially a decent bloom rate. I can’t believe I’ll miss 6 days of it – but I will savor coming home to see the color.

Purple Many Faces 6.29.20

As for things that go bump in the night – it is probably just my cats playing with their toys at 2 AM.

Mediocre

Maybe it is because last year we had the rain and we were officially not in a drought that makes this year seem mediocre. I don’t mean bad . . . I just mean a pretty good drought year. But, an exceptional drought year just the same.

My irrigation water basically comes from a system that feeds off the Gunnison – This is Blue Lake Reservoir, where we camped, and it looks pretty full so far.

There are a few cultivators that didn’t bloom last year that usually are reliable – I think it was the freezing rain that stopped them. This year, Navajo Rodeo and Papa Longlegs sit looking like tall grass. Maybe I need to get the new pots going this fall – maybe the tree roots are taking over, again. I mean – the tree is thirsty, too.

Santa’s Pants 6.28.20

I had some premiers today – perhaps I should start with Santa Claus – because Santa’s Pants showed up today.

Wineberry Candy 6.28.20

Wineberry Candy also had a premier bloom. She doesn’t fit my name theme at all, but I wanted a new daylily the day I saw her.

Catherine Irene 6.28.20

Speaking of name themes – another from my family garden had a premier today. Catherine Irene – named for my mom. She is a pretty little mini.

Early Bird Cardinal 6.28.20

And, Early Bird Cardinal showed up for the first time. When I put the sprinkler (drip) system in a week ago, I wondered if I was on-time because her buds were so dry. But, they seem much happier with a little more water. Sadly, my porch drip system battery died and I didn’t notice – I lost some buds off of primal scream. Darn drought. We need monsoons.

Dream Keeper 6.26.20

And, one finale while I was gone yesterday – Dream Keeper. My spring bloomers are hibernating. Seems too soon.

A nice cluster of Ojo de Dios today

It was a fun weekend camping and I need to hit the hay. Tomorrow, another day of novel pretty blooms to explore. Good night!

Be Like A Daylily

As I scribe this, I sit in my tent near Blue Mesa Lake in Colorado. The wind finally stopped. It’ll be cool tonight, low 40s.

Clump of Indian Love Call 6.26.20

Maybe the reason I like camping is the raw exposure to nature. It’s how my daylilies live. And, they don’t have sleeping bags for the cold nights or tents to protect they from the wind. No wonder drought years (50% of the time?) Take their toll on bud count and bloom rate.

All American Chief 6.26.20

I had some great premiers today. All American Chief was a bonus plant I got 6 years ago that finally bloomed last year. It reminds me of Ruby Spider.

Cheyenne Eyes 6.26.20

Cheyenne Eyes is a pretty Robert’s spider with an interesting color combo.

Comanche Princess 6.26.20

Comanche Princess also has a premiere. I live her curly spider legs.

Yellow Happt Returns 6.26.20

My other pot that says Happy Returns had a bloom. I think it’s a little more yellow that the other pot I have on them.

Laughing Feather 6.26.20

It’s 10. I can barely keep my eyes open. I’m usually up until after midnight. The melatonin of watching a sunset, maybe feeling the temp drop. We respond to nature’s signals just like the daylilies.

Comanche Princess double bloom 6.26.20

Happy Birthday, Erica. May you be safe, may you be happy, may you be healthy, may you live with ease.

First of the Lasts

Today marks almost 3 weeks since the first bloom of 2020. I’ve had about 31 cultivators bloom so far. Not quite 20% of my daylilies.

Hopi Jewel 6.25.20

Today brought several new faces to the group – so the daylily epidemic is upon us. Hopi Jewel is a fun cultivator with an interesting shape. She was a bonus daylily for one of my Southwestern daylily name orders.

Echo Canyon 6.25.20

I did well with Robert’s spider daylily premier blooms. Echo Canyon came to visit for the first time of 2020. Such a lanky spider.

Coral Taco 6.25.20

Coral Taco also joined us today for the premier of 2020. She is another lanky Roberts cultivator.

Chaco Canyon 6.25.20

Chaco Canyon, a little less lanky spider from the Roberts group also showed up. I love the place Chaco Canyon. I wonder if I would favor these daylilies less if they had names that didn’t bring to mind my roadtrips?

Mini Pearl 6.25.20

Mini Pearl from my family name section also gave us a premier today. She was purchased because my grandma was named Mini Pearl.

Now, for my finales (OMG – the summer always goes too fast):

Mildred Mitchell 6.24.20 finale

I missed that Mildred Mitchell had a finale bloom yesterday. She was short lived this year – only one scape. I think my near blues need to be repotted in fresh soil, again. Bluegrass Music appears to be taking the year off.

Saratoga Springtime 6.25.1 finale

Saratoga Springtime also had her finale bloom. Springtime is gone, afterall. She gets a lot of attention because she has the yard to herself for a couple weeks. Well, she and the plainer yellow trumpets and Dream Keeper.

Jungle Queen 6.25.1 NOT a finale

Tomorrow, another day, another camping trip. When it is January, I think about summer and wonder how the he## I fit it all in. Mostly, no sleep . . . well, a little but not enough.

Spikes or Waves

Ah, the talk of pandemics. Nothing like having a doctorate in nursing at a historic time like this. I almost wish I was back in biostats or epidemiology class right now.

The Colorado Kid 6.24.20

People debate if this is a spike in the first wave or a second wave. Hmmm, well, it reminds me a little of the epidemic of daylily blooms in summer. There are days with 8+ premier blooms (new cases) and days with only 1 or 2. Are the busy days waves or spikes within a wave? IDK that there is a right and wrong answer – but I would say the second.

Mauna Loa 6.24.20

Like the epidemic, we will see a peak and a decline after that. Fortunately or unfortunately, daylilies are seasonal. There will be no second wave during flu season . . . or Christmas.

Lady Fingers 6.24.20

So, today was a good day if you are into low numbers. I only had 2 premiers. Both are old daylilies from my early days of collecting these plants. Lady Fingers is one I got for my landscaping circa 9 years ago. It is simple yellow – but a spider, not a trumpet. I like the green throat.

Inwood 6.24.20

The other one from today is Inwood, who is having a better than average year. Her buds are healthy and she has more spikes than average. I was delighted to see such a pretty bloom. She reminds me a bit of Canyon Colors, who is having a bad year and I think it is because the grass is taking over her pot. As soon as her sad scape gets done blooming, I will dumb her our and dig the grass off of her roots.

Kokopelli 6.24.20

Fall project – I think I will start working on putting my Southwest Garden daylilies in better pots, like my daylilies out front. I think they are more protective against tree roots AND after my sewer issue last winter, I am reminded that my garden is on the easement. That means if the water pipe gives, the City digs. If they are potted, it will be much easier to deal with. I have them in pots, just not better quality ones. I may do half this year and half next. It will be way easier than digging them up the first time!

Ruby Spider 6.24.20

Anyway – We will see if tomorrow brings a peak, but I think it is all one big summer wave. PS – I have 32 folders of cultivators on my computer now – out of 171 possible. That’s almost 20% bloom rate. Less than 3 weeks since the first bloom. Let’s see where we are in a week. I should do a graph like the epidemiologists. Really.

I Have My Droughts

I left the new sprinkler system on too long – I got on a video meeting and totally forgot. I am sure I will have the water bill from h@## this summer. Why??? Because see the map below – the darkest red is an “exceptional drought”. The blue circle is my home region. It is a drought year, and getting worse each day.

Image from www.droughtmonitor.unl.edu

It’s the kind of year where there are less scapes and more buds that just turn brown and fall-off. Two years ago, we were probably in worse shape at this point . . . and that is why I started to think about more drip systems. I mean, mine are DIY but they do the trick to make the ground moist. Even if they cost more than mom nature. Water now . . . before the restrictions!

Ruby Spider 6.23.20

I had a few premiers today. Let’s start with Ruby Spider. While I always liked daylilies, she is the first one I looked forward to every year. She is the first one that had her own unique flower-ality.

Primal Scream 6.23.20

Primal Scream – I had to have this one early in my daylily days because of the name! I got this sad, inexpensive fan that took a couple years to bloom. Then, the garden store sold me something they labeled as Desert Flame – but I am 99.9% sure it is also Primal Scream. So, I have one on the porch that is big and blooming.

Mount Echo Sunrise 6.23.20

Mount Echo Sunrise – A Robert’s spider with the coolest green throat and beautiful light yellow color. She lives up to her name.

Mystery Daylily – “Nosferatwo” 6.23.20

Then – one of my mystery daylilies that were dying in a garden I put them in before I was into daylilies. They were little seedling sized things. I noticed that about the same time I realized my potted daylilies were 2-3 X the size as my in-ground babies. So, I put them in a pot together not having a clue what was what. I think this may be Nosferatu but I really don’t know, so she is called Nosferatwo for now.

Indian Love Call 6.23.20

I have my droughts that it will be as high of a bloom rate as last year. There are some cultivators who are still small and scapeless. These poor babies came from down South – daylily land. Here they are in the stinkin’ desert doing their best despite their droughts. (I had 21 in bloom today . . . let’s see what tomorrow brings.)

Short and Sweet

Tonight, my blog will be short and sweet so that I can get enough shut-eye. I will tell you that I wish my evening hadn’t been such a wreck. My old dog is still sick and needs to go into isolation and get treated again. I have to clean everything with bleach, again. If I didn’t work hard at my day job or if I had help around the house . . . tonight it seemed overwhelming.

Land of Enchantment 6.22.20

I feel a little underwhelmed by my bud count. I still have about 110. That number has been flat for a week. Unlike Coronavirus, I hope for another spike in scapes. And, I must have broken a scape off of Heron’s Cove while working on the drip system. Ugh.

The Colorado Kid 6.22.20

My premiers – the mascot for my blog, The Colorado Kid opened today. She is my favorite near blue.

Pink and Cream 6.22.20

And, simple Pink and Cream, another Stella cousin, had her premier today.

Nurse’s Stethoscope 6.22.20

I had 12 total. Still a lot of yellow trumpets. Let’s see what the sun brings tomorrow.

Wild Horses 6.22.20

Drip, Drip, Drip

I will say one thing positive about the pandemic is that I have spent a lot more time in my yard and patio doing projects that I have wanted to do for some time.

Dream Keeper 6.21.20

So, today I extended my side yard drip system to the upper part of my front flower bed. I am guessing there are 50 plants in that area – so it took a chunk of time. I was nervous to hook it up, but it works fine. My sprinkler system is great for the lawn, but not for the flower pots. It is just not enough. So . . . I will come back to drip systems in a minute.

Mauna Loa 6.21.20

First, I had several premiers. Mauna Loa is a pretty Ned Roberts daylily that I added last year. It is one of his older ones, but the color is still vibrant.

Petite Petticoats 6.21.20

One of my minis, Petite Petticoats, gave me a premier bloom today, too. I seriously almost missed her in a big bucket of minis.

Purple Many Faces 6.21.20

Purple Many Faces showed her face for the first time in 2020 today. Another colorful Roberts cultivator.

Return a Smile 6.21.20

Oh, and sweet Return a Smile. She was one of my very first daylilies and always makes me smile.

So, that is it for premiers today. Likely, this week, I will shift to premiers only. I have a couple honorable mentions today. I had 4 premiers this week that didn’t open right the first time. Now, they are back with their normal beauty – Kokopelli, Land of Enchantment, Jungle Queen, and Mildred Mitchell.

Kokopelli 6.21.20
Land of Enchantment 6.21.20
Jungle Queen 6.21.20
Mildred Mitchell 6.21.20

OK, back to the drip system. Last year, I put one in on the front part of the bed I did today. Again, it had a lot of plants and I was new at doing drip systems other than it a short line. So, I did it the same, and needless to say, the drippers at the end did not have enough pressure.

Funny Valentine 6.21.20
Indian Love Call

I decided to research it and you need to put the line in a continuous circle – so both the start and end of the tube connect to the tap. Earlier this spring, I went back and fixed the front so it worked correctly. And, I am seeing a difference in the plant health – we will see on bloom rate. So far, Stella is much happier. And, my poinsettias are in heaven!

Mesa Verde 6.21.20
Ojo de Dios 6.21.20

I don’t have either of the newer drippers on a timer – other than my brain. It is still a lot easier to crank the hose and do something else for 30-60 minutes that haul water to all those pots.

Saratoga Springtime 6.21.20
Happy Returns 6.21.20

I am wondering if peak will happen before my trip in 2.5 weeks. I know it will be busy with blooms. I just need to get away and have an adventure.

Stella de Oro 6.21.20
Stella Yella 6.21.20

As the World Turns

It is the longest day of the year for another hour or so in Colorado. Summer is here – the season of the daylily explosion. And, now the world takes us slowly to that dark, cold December day a few days before Christmas.

Wild Horses 6.20.20

It wasn’t a real exciting day in the garden. I had one premier – Wild Horses. I really like the shape and color of her blooms. She is one of my favorite on the back porch.

Funny Valentine 6.20.20

I also am so disappointed in myself for not watching my scape when I went to get some sedum cuttings and accidentally knocked 3 buds off Jungle Queen. Every summer I do something like that and it hangs with me for a bit.

Mesa Verde 6.20.20

The good news is that the new sedum garden looks good. It is a little garden made of wine bottles with a new mural of a Navajo Tree of Life. It is the back side of my garage so I never painted there before – but it is my view from where I sit to eat. So, it’ll be fun.

Saratoga Springtime 6.20.20

Tomorrow, I extend my drip system to an area where my pots only get sprinkler water. It isn’t enough during the hot, dry weather. At this point, it may be too late to influence scape formation, but it could keep my buds from drying up before they bloom.

Golden Stella 6.20.20
Yellow Stella 6.20.20
Yellow Punch 6.20.20

Any, hey, I own mother nature 3 buds now. And, that is the way the world turns.

Freedoms

Today, I woke-up late because I worked until midnight on a supply list for one of our new programs. It is busy on top of COVID-19 – the world of nursing academics is and will stay upside-down.

Blue Beat 6.19.20

I was foggy . . . but when consciousness returned, I realized it was Juneteenth. I knew nothing about Juneteenth until I lived in Galveston and read a book by the same name. It is a day worth remembering.

Dream Keeper 6.19.20

We live in a world that seems shaken by so much right now. But, I am free to go out in my yard and take photos of the 13 bloomers of the day. All are different colors, and I treat each the same. I am free to write the blog. I can put just about anything I want in this blog – that is freedom. I can be a crazy daylily lady – that is freedom.

Funny Valentine 6.19.20

The other cool thing about today is that my Nurse’s Stethoscope daylily bloomed her premier bloom. She is the one I suggested the name for through the Daylily Society. She is named for the Show Me Your Stethoscope episode of the View. Maybe COVID-19 has helped the world understand all of the capabilities of my profession.

Nurse’s Stethoscope 6.19.20

I had a few other premiers – I do believe the peak is beginning to build. Canyon Colors had a premier bloom today. There is so much grass in her put that she didn’t put out many scapes. I was going to replant her in March, but couldn’t get out to buy the soil before she got too big.

Canyon Colors 6.19.20

Indian Love Call had a nice first bloom. She is loaded with buds.

Indian Love Call 6.19.20

Land of Enchantment had a premier bloom that looks almost as beat-up as Kokopelli did yesterday. I think it is bud damage from the big windstorm a couple weeks ago.

Land of Enchantment 6.19.20

It is Friday, summer solstice is tomorrow. It just feels like a significant day.

Happy Returns 6.19.20

My flowers today are dedicated to those who don’t know the same freedoms that I have known. And, they are dedicated to the frontline workers during COVID-19 – my Nurse’s Stethoscope seems to say “thanks” to my colleagues.

Laughing Feather 6.19.20

It’s my home weekend tomorrow. A few things planned around the yard. Solstice . . . Summer Solstice. And, I get a little sad knowing that the days will start shrinking, again.

Mesa Verde 6.19.20

Enjoy the show below . . . almost time to limit to just premier blooms in the daily blog.

Saratoga Springtime 6.19.20
Stella 6.19.20
Yellow Punch 6.19.20