Friday, December 29, 2006

Royal Palm

A royal palm, Roystonea regia, in Arizona.

Tropical Lushness

A bright ti plant stands out in the midst of tropical foliage.

Water Falling

A beautiful, yet artificial, waterfall in Arizona.

Santa Barbara Scenic

Tall Mexican fan palms line the beach in Santa Barbara. The Santa Ynez mountains rise in the background.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

King Palm Duo

These king palms in Santa Barbara, California evoke a tropical feeling.

Natal Plum Flower

The natal plum bears a close resemblance to the plumeria, but is much smaller.

Another Orchid

Although this isn't an orchid, it sure does look like one.

Golden Cane Palm

Two clusters of golden cane palms, Dypsis lutescens, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Arizona Hibiscus

A tropical hibiscus at the Royal Palms Resort in Phoenix, Arizona.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Floating Orb from Space

Is this another unidentified flying object?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Enlighten Me

An agapanthus from last year illuminated by a beam of sunlight.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Evolution of a Tropical Garden

The photos below show the changes my tropical garden experienced over the summer, from the period of mid-July to September. Next year promises to bring more expansion, with the addition of bamboo, bougainvillea, queen palms, hibiscus, and more banana plants. The garden is currently scattered over the property, in a greenhouse and by the front door.

Stage 01

My humble tropical garden on its first photographed day, July 21, 2006. Note that only a banana plant and pygmy date palm were present.

Stage 02

The garden had undergone change only a week after its creation.

Stage 03

The garden in August just after the replacement of the plastic tub with a ceramic container.

Stage 04

My tropical garden in September of 2006, very different from its start in July. It has seen the addition of four plumerias, a colocasia plant, a peace lily, a king palm, elephant ears, and alpine strawberries. When the banana was purchased in July, it was about two feet tall, and is now at least twice that height.

December Green

NorCal does have its advantages: the trees are green all year.

Hard Frost

Northern California has experienced a bit of a shock over the last few days. The temperature yesterday morning was 27 degrees Fahrenheit! That's the coldest I have ever seen it get here in the Bay Area. However, my tropical plants are failry fine; the banana plant has some shriveling leaves and so does the colocasia, but everything else is okay, including the "non-tolerant of frost" king palm.

At least the next few days are the shortest of the year: after that, the sun stays out longer and signs of spring start to emerge...

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Plumeria obtusa

A Singapore plumeria, (Plumeria obtusa), at a nursery in Southern California.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

End of the Season

My tropical garden winding down a few weeks ago after the addition of a small bamboo.


The leaves of honey bush look dangerous to touch, but aren't.

Southern California Skies

A Kentia palm invokes thoughts of the tropics.

Tropical Hibiscus

A hibiscus from Southern California to ward off the winter blues.

Hong Kong Orchid Tree

This specimen isn't in Hong Kong though, but rather the Quail Botanical Gardens in San Diego.


A fallen leaf backlit by the Sun.

Sweet Gum Leaves

Bright red leaves of a sweet gum tree on December 2, 2006.

Starting to Grow

Last week, I bought an amaryllis bulb, and it is starting to grow quickly.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Passiflora caerulea

Blue crown passionvine in bloom in my garden during June.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Sleeping Giant

The 14,411-foot dormant volcano Mt. Rainier rises dramatically from the surrounding landscape.

Comet Falls

The 320-foot Comet Falls in Mt. Rainier National Park.

Write Lightly

"Wows" written with a color-changing fiber optic pen. 15 second shutter exposure.

A Classic View

Fog rolls through the Golden Gate.

City Streets at Night

A slow shutter speed turns car headlights into trails on the streets of San Francisco.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

In Japantown

The Peace Pagoda in Japantown, San Francisco.

Friday, November 24, 2006

First Frost of the Season...Last Night

Winter's powerful grip is encroaching upon California this week. Last, night, the first frost of the season struck my garden with vengeance and bitterness (not really)! Somehow, all my plants are still alive, including my tender tropicals, which is ironic, considering that a thick layer of ice was covering house roofs, trees, and cars. More frost is scheduled to hit in the next few days. How sad.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


The flower of Callistemon somewhat resembles a fiber optic lamp.


An early-blooming Pacific coast iris.

Verdant in November

After months of rainless weather, the mosses have come alive.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Night in the Tropics

My tropical garden at night during the month of October.

A Stand Out

One leaf stands out amongst the others.

Friday, October 27, 2006

First Anniversary

Today, my blog celebrates its first-year anniversary. Since its inception, the blog has undergone a cosmetic renovation and has seen the addition of many photos. I started to create this site on October 27th of last year with an entry titled "A Coconut Palm". Ironically, I still haven't posted a single picture of a coconut palm tree on this blog. Only time will tell...

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Ginkgo biloba

The changing leaves of fall.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

After the Rain

A reminder of the allure of the tropics.

Sunbeam on a Nasturtium

An illuminated nasturtium is a sight to behold.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

First Rain

Northern California recieved its first substantial rainfall of the season today. After nearly six months of precipitation-free weather, the rain is welcome. The air is being cleaned and soon the hills will be rejuvinated into their luxurious spring-green state.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

In The Shadow of Giants

These huge redwoods are awe-inspiring.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Imperial Taro

Colocasia esculenta provides an alien-looking backdrop.


The color of these leaves is brought out with the Sun as a backlight.

Redwood Waters

A small stream tumbles through a redwood forest.

Signs of Change

Leaves reminding us of North America's steady march towards winter.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Improved Tropical Paradise

My tropical garden after the addition of blooming plumerias, a king palm, and an imperial taro (Colocasia esculenta).

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Tropical Splendor

Another fragrant and beautiful plumeria.

Plumeria is Open

The long-awaited plumeria has bloomed.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Plumeria Flower Bud

A plumeria getting ready to bloom.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Remember 9/11

May those who lost friends and family September 11, 2001 be comforted...

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Garden Glory Continues

Grandpa Ott is a good-looking grandpa.