Chain of hearts ハートカズラ


Now, it gets cooler after the seems-to-be endless tropical hot summer. I walked in my garden to look for something new.

At our garden table, I noticed something under the table. This is a view of it. 

On our garden table, a pot of "chain of hearts" were left for about a month. During summer, it is too hot to do anything outside. And, there are lots of lots of mosquitoes attacking us.

The vines of it got through several decoration holes of the table and hanging down almost to the ground.

I untied the vines that are clinging to each other, pulled up from the holes, and hung them at the edge of the table. While I was struggling with the vines I found seed pod. I found by googling, they would grow into young plants if I sow the seeds when ripen.

Water is the source of life 水は生命の源


They say, "Water is the source of life." Indeed. There are strange organisms appeared in our garden after some rain and with cooler temperature.

I guess this is a kind of mushroom. Very small.

These, too.

鉢土の表面のジェリーのようなものが見える? Wikipediaによれば、イシクラゲと呼ばれるものらしい。そして、食べられる!! オエッ!
Can you see the jelly like thing on the surface of the pot? According to wikipedia, this is called star jellywitch's butter, or mare's eggs. And, it is edible. Yuck!


Dreaming of the rich harvest of blueberry ブルーベリーをタップリ収穫するのを夢見て


In these past few years, our blueberry tree has been giving us a fairly good harvest. Expecting more I made several cuttings. It was two years ago. As they have grown healthy, I planted them today when summer heat is almost over.

Our garden is mostly full of trees and plants, so I decided to plant the blueberry at the place where I remove a lavender. Blueberry likes acid soil, so I used peat moss and Kanumatsuchi.

The removed lavender looked like not liking the ground, so I potted it at least for the time being. It is surrounded by the other plants waiting for the eternal habitants.


After the typhoon 台風の後

I went out to see one of my old friends after no-see of  several months. The typhoon #15 was attacking through the south-west part of Japan, and we only had a little of gust and some rain.
Today, we had intermittent rains and sunshine between them.  I went out in the garden while sun was shining.


A potful of fern


Rose shoot

My favorite succulent table

I wonder if this is the season for ladies' tresses?

This Tillandsia looks lifeless. But, it is alive! Here is a flower.

Sorry I don't have any place to propagate.

Aeonium, and thing.

Staghorn fern. This was the first year to see Foliar frond for this species.

天照冠"Tenshokan", Heavenly shining crown

Tenryu, Heavenly Dragon (I assume)

"Koganeryu", Golden dragon (I assume)

"Tsurunomai", Dance of crane

"Kazan", Volcano

"Kinkirin", Golden Qilin


Today's visitor 今日のお客様


A visitor came to our garden this morning. A batterfly of all blue-black. Googling the net the closest was "the Great Mormon"

Close up of his face is a little creepy. ;-)


秋の兆し? Hints of autumn?


Probably because of two typhoons at the south of Japan, the temperature of past several days were lower than 30 deg C. This is like a little early autumn weather.

Whatever the cause is, my succulents seem to be able to catch their breath after severe horrible hotness and humidity for about a month.

Dioscorea Elephantipes, Elephant's Foot, or Hottentot Bread recovered from his hibernation during hot season, and started to grow fine string like vine. It will soon open up leaves having shapes of hearts. It twines around anything that touches, so I made for him a spiral support with an aluminum wire this year.

 アルブカ・スピラリス ‘フリズルシズル’ 。去年は葉を落とさなかったのだが、今年は球根の一つが葉を落として休眠してしまった。春に花が咲いた時花茎が重くて球根ごと傾き、根を痛めてしまったせいだと思う。これも葉を伸ばし始めた。
Albuca Spiralis "frizzle sizzle" did not lost leaves last summer, but this year one of the bulbs lost the leaves and went dormant. I think it is because the roots were damaged as the bulb was badly inclined by the weight of flower stalk when it bloomed this spring. But, it also started to grow leaves.

After the typhoon would go away, it will be hotter again. I wish they can tolerate the coming back of summer.

ソロモンとミジンコとベランダー Solomon and water flea and verandah



A few days ago, I took out a book "King Solomon's Ring" written by Konrad Lorenz that I bought many years ago. Because, at that night I remembered that the book described about so called "balanced aquarium" that I started experimenting since this past May. It goes as, "cover the bottom of a glass tank with clean sand, and insert in the foundation a few stalks of ordinary water plants. Pour in carefully a few pints of tap water and stand the whole thing on a sunny window-still. As soon as the water has cleared and the plants have begun to grow, put in some little fishes, or, better still, go with a jam jar and a small net to the nearest pond..."



As I was reading again after a long time, I was almost tempted to go out and capture some creatures at the nearest pond.

Konrad Lorenz was an Austrian zoologist, ethologist, and ornithologist.  The book written by Japanese authors that I can think of and that can be compete with the "Solomon" stuff is "Convenience of Water flea" mainly organized as dialogs between a ethologist Dr. Toshitaka Hidaka, who is a translator of the "Solomon" stuff, and Mr. Akira Sakata. Mr. Sakata is famous as a saxophone player in Japan, but he graduated with fisheries science major.
Reading this book again, I remembered when I CREATED the water flea just from a bundle of rice straws in my junior high days.



These two books reminded me of another book "Botanical Life" by Seikou Ito. Although this is not as academic as the former two and is not about aquarium mostly, I like the touch of the sentence that is so witty. I always want to write sentences like him. It became a series of TV program called "Plant boy, Verander" while I did not notice. I now watch the program by recording the broadcast every day. He appears on media criticizing Japanese government and things. As one of the fans of him, I'd rather see him with more otherworldly  flirtatious attitude.

Today's aquarium. Three months has passed after it became "almost" balanced aquarium.


Dragons 龍たち


I have to say my selaginella are doing fairly well this year. Especially today they look pleased since it is raining from yesterday night.
Let me show some samples here.


One named as "Hakuhou" Dragon. This is still a baby. The leaves are expected to curl down when it grow older.


"Kouou" Dragon if I literally translate "Crimson king dragon". The leaves of this started to curl down a little. It should curl much more.


食物連鎖 Food chain



Guests visited us yesterday found a dead cardinal tetra in my aquarium. It lay on the sand. The other cardinal tetra looked fine. I think they are here about a year. It is rare that we see a dead fish even though we watch the tank everyday. They just silently disappear. Because it is consumed by the other creatures before we notice.


This morning I found a shrimp eating something. Here it is. The bone of a dead cardinal tetra.


Cooling off  暑さを逃れて

It is horribly hot here. Outside temp is 36 deg C high and the low is 26 deg C. When I go outside, I really feel like I enter an heated oven. Some of my succulents died. It is about time to let some of the plats cool off in the air-conditioned room.

The first one I brought in was this fern. As it is planted in a small dent on a porous lava rock, the heat affected it really badly. I took it in when it was about to become dry leaves. With some water in the dish under the rock, now it looks really pleased.

The next are bulbous Begonias. They are known to hate summer heat. Last year it went hibernated dropping all their leaves. Mostly they recover in autumn, but I think it has their big energy lost. I took them in when they started losing their leaves.

This one have two young seed sheaths, and I wish they survive to grow into young plants. 

It was a little too late for this one. The main stem is dying, but the young buds started to grow from the soil.


乾燥ユーカリ Dry Eucalyptus



After more than two months, the Eucalyptus tree that I cut at the trunk grew as it is like this from the beginning. If left it would grow too big again soon. I had to prune the brunches.


So I did cut some, and the cut branches were dried and displayed at our entrance. Some scent. Not so bad?

巻柏の復活 Recovery of Selaginella

Recovery of Selaginella.


Last summer, I wrote most of my selaginella were eaten by worms. This is one of them called "Chinese flower". It was really in terrible situation.


During last summer, it slowly recovered by growing new leaves. However, this year, I found another problem. Moss occupied the top growing point probably because the plant was in fatigue situation because of the damage last year. It could not grow new leaves interrupted by these moss.


Last month I removed the moss by tweezers from the growing points and also from the trunks of the plant. Bothering the trunks is not good for the plants, but there is no other way. After about a month, new leaves started to grow even thought the whole plant do not look perfect.

苔を取る時に期せずして葉も幾つかちぎってしまった。 それらは周りの土に植えて置いた。ここで根付くかも。

While I removed the moss, I cut some leaves unintentionally. I put them around the mother trunks expecting them to start growing from there.


Will Natto clear up? 納豆菌の威力はいかが?


Yesterday, I was trying to find a good way to make water in my aquarium clearer googling internet. I found some chemicals used to clear the tap water. However it is not directly applicable to aquariums. One article that attracted me was to use natto (fermented soybean) bacteria. Interesting isn't it? Sticky natto bacteria makes water clearer. The site recommends to use water after washing some natto with it. But, I decided to use whole natto that, I thought, can be food for fish.

This morning I dropped some natto into the aquarium. I had expected many fish and shrimps would be attracted because of the smell of natto. But, they were almost ignoring the natto for several minutes. The first brave fish was cardnal tetra. Especially one of them started to peck the natto. When debris were swirling, the other came to eat them. But the other fish did not try to peck the natto beans themselves.

After another several minutes, one rosy bitterling (Rhodeus ocellatus) followed the cardinal tetra. They pecked the natto alternately. No shrimp or plecostomus came closer.

At this time I had to go out for several hours. When I came back, almost all natto has gone. And the last one still pecking was the rosy bitterling.

This pleco recentlly scarcely seen appeared but showed no interests to the natto.

The large one also ignored the natto.

After several trial, the other fish and shrimps started to peck natto. However, effect to the transparency is still unkown.

By the way, the tank has not been kept without a pump and a filter since May. There has been no problem so far.