We were away for three weeks. We arranged for someone to water the plants if necessary, but we were not prepared for the squirrels. How many can you count in this photo?
Counting two sets of ears bottom center, and two tails upper right but not far right, there are eight! We have been battling to keep them away from the bird seed and thought we had won that battle by installing cones on the feeder poles. Then they could have whatever the birds kicked over the side. I had bought a seed covered cylinder which I thought would keep the birds happy enough until we returned. However, the seed cylinder was not even touched.
But the squirrels (well, I suppose it could have been a rabbit because we did see one when we first arrived home) have decimated our two large bushes of Chinese Pink Hibiscus. They were in full flower when we left. Now there are no flowers and few leaves. As for my very special melon-colored hibiscus that is only about two feet tall and which I have been tenderly watching over.....well you can see what it looks like below.
Fortunately, pretty much everything else survived very well. The begonias were overflowing.
This is called the potato vine, which I think is a very ugly name for a vine or bush that is very pretty. I have three of these and they were all thriving too.
Even our Jacaranda tree was in full bloom -- still is. It is a whole month late this year.
And this is what we call an elephant's foot (don't know the real name), and it was blooming for the first time in its life. The foot is the bottom part that is large, fat and round. My youngest son bought this many years ago when it was just in a small plastic pot. It has been transplanted many times. I hope it isn't one of those which blooms once and then dies.
Poor Henrietta suffered a little too. I had intended to bring her in before we left, but I forgot. She has some tail feathers missing, but fortunately not too much damage was done. Squirrels again, I suspect. I have to find some more black feathers to repair her.....Now if that annoying black crow ever comes back...!!!