Welcome to my zone 9a habitat garden near Houston, Texas.

Friday, May 31, 2013

This week in the garden - #66

Here we are at the last day of May, five months into 2013 already. Where has the year gone?

Summer may not have arrived on the calendar just yet, but, by any other measure, it is here. Temperatures in the 90s every day. Oppressive humidity. No rain in sight. Yep, it is definitely summer in Southeast Texas, and tomorrow is the first day of hurricane season. Oh, joy.


May means daylilies. There are several different kinds in my garden and nearly all of them have been in bloom this week.

The variety names are lost in the mists of history and my memory, but I love them no less for being nameless.


Long-time readers of this blog, from 2009 or earlier, may remember my posts about Sam Box, the box turtle who lived in our backyard for over twenty years. As soon as the temperatures got warm each year, she (we didn't know her sex when we named her) would show up in the backyard. Over the years, she developed a cat food habit and she would come to the back porch where I fed my two garden cats to filch some of their kibble. I would see her most days during the summer.

2009 was the last year that I saw Sam. We had an unusually harsh winter in 2008-09 and I think she may have succumbed during it. But she had a good, long life.

The following year, 2010, a baby box turtle took her place. Box turtles are territorial and we assumed since he was evidently hatched in Sam's territory that he must have been Sam's son. So, he became Samson or Sammy, for short.

He turned up again in 2011, having grown a bit but still small enough to fit in the palm of my hand.

Sammy in the summer of 2011. Just like mom, he would show up on the back porch every day looking for his cat food fix.

I didn't see him at all last year. It's possible he was around, but I never happened to encounter him. Then, yesterday, once again, a small box turtle, slightly bigger than the last time I had seen Sammy, came to the back porch to enjoy a cat food snack. But, if it is Sammy, he is much changed since I last saw him.

Apparently, he's had an encounter with a predator. His shell was damaged around the head where it looked like something had gnawed at it. Still, in spite of the damage, he seemed none the worse for wear. He appeared to be moving about just fine and enjoying his meal of cat food, just like Sam Box in the old days. I hope he lasts as long as she did.


Elsewhere in the garden, in another sign that summer is here, the Hamelia patens is in bloom.

And the green anoles are busily displaying their flashy red throat patches as an inducement for the female anoles to come on over and play house.

Yep, summer is most definitely here.


  1. I hope your garden got some of the rain we had this morning. Your daylilies are beautiful. I can never remember the names of mine either, but I love them anyway. I remember reading about Sam Box. The poor guy you saw yesterday looks pretty beaten up.

    1. We got 0.8 inches of much-needed rain this morning, Jayne. Halleluiah!

  2. Aw, photos of Anoles always make me homesick for Houston. Your daylilies are pretty, only my lemon lily is blooming so far, but it does smell wonderful.

    1. Anoles are endemic - and plentiful - here, and they are great helpers in the garden. Love them!