Thursday, September 07, 2017

Hoya flowers!

Last summer I got a couple hoya plants from Home Depot, just 'cause.  Just 'cause they're pretty and I like plants and they make pretty flowers and stop rolling your eyes Emma it's my house and I can have as many plants as I want.

Ahem, anyway.  So one of the hoya plants that I got was Hoya carnosa compacta, commonly called the Indian rope vine or wax plant.  I had it inside all winter and it didn't do much (conditions in my house in the winter are not exactly the tropical jungle conditions of its forbears' native southeast Asia and India), but when I put it outside this summer it really took off.

I was watering the deck plants when we got back from vacation on August 22, and what did I see?! Buds!

Hoya buds!

An itty bitty little group of buds on a peduncle (flower spur)!  I've never bloomed a hoya before, and I was so excited that I ran for the camera.  As I was taking the picture, I saw this!

Hoya buds!

Another peduncle!  With lots of buds!!

I was so excited.  By August 30, the bigger cluster looked like this.  Well defined now, and looking like they are ready to pop any moment.

Hoya buds getting bigger!

And then... and then... on September 5, they opened!

Hoya carnosa compacta

The bigger cluster, anyway.  The smaller bunch still hasn't opened.  You can see why it's called Indian rope vine- the leaves are so crinkled and close to the stem that it doesn't look very leafy.

Hoya carnosa compacta blooms!

The clusters can form a nearly complete sphere of flowers.

Hoya carnosa compacta blooms!

The flowers are so pretty.  They are waxy and substantial, but the surface is covered with little hairs that make them look like velvet.

Hoya carnosa compacta

They are also scented, though I don't find the fragrance of this species particularly pleasant.  It's somewhat reminiscent of chocolate, but just a bit off.  Sort of musky chocolate, and a bit cloying.

I'm so thrilled that one of my hoyas bloomed.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Smoke, smoke, and more smoke

In case you were wondering if the wildfire smoke in the Pacific and Inland Northwest is really as bad as the news outlets are reporting, let me assure you, it is.

I-84 eastbound overlook in about June

I-84 eastbound overlook on 9/6/17

These pictures were taken from the eastbound scenic overlook on I-84 between Pendleton and La Grande, looking back toward Pendleton.

The first picture was taken a couple months ago, the second was taken this afternoon from the same spot and looking in the same direction.

On a good clear day you can see Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, and Mt. Rainier from here (about 150, 150, and 170 miles away as the crow flies).

Today I couldn't even see the valley floor.