ALOE SEASON

We are missing out on one of the highlights of the year, the widespread blooming of aloes that brighten the otherwise drab landscape of late autumn and during the winter months. I had a legitimate reason to drive out of town last week for the first time since the Covid-19 lockdown began and noted many aloes blooming along the road towards Port Alfred, their flame-coloured blossoms lifting my spirits enormously. Fortunately, as their flowering season is fairly long I am hoping that the restrictions on our movements will be relaxed further before it ends. In the meanwhile, I am confined to observing the aloes in our garden.

Some have progressed from showing tightly closed cone-like buds like this:

To fully opened blossoms like this one:

The aloes attract birds, such as the Greater Double-collared Sunbird above as well as a variety of insects:

I am interested to see the damage done by ants at the base of some of the tubular flowers:

There haven’t been many bees around yet – perhaps they need the flowers to open a little more. I will be keeping an eye out for them.

22 thoughts on “ALOE SEASON

  1. ‘Greater Double-collared Sunbird’ : sometimes I think the people just make up these names for birds. Is there really a lesser double collared sunbird? Or even a medium single collared sunbird?

    Like

    • Over twenty varieties of sunbirds live in this part of the world – not one is medium- or single-collared. However, what used to be called the Lesser Double-collared sunbird is now known as the Southern Double-collared sunbird – ornithologists like to keep mere bird loving mortals on the hop.

      Like

  2. We have a single Aloe, species suprafoliata (Boekaalwyn in Afrikaans) in our little garden and sadly it’s down to its last remaining blossom.But while in its prime the regular visits by the White-bellied Sunbirds was beautiful to watch.

    Like

    • It is good to hear from you again! I have just checked out your Boekaalwyn – what an interesting configuration of leaves it has. I don’t think I have seen one of these before. I am fortunate to have a number of aloes in our garden – the problem is that it is not as sunny as it used to be because the trees have matured since we first planted the aloes.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.