Thursday, July 31, 2008

Zebra Swallowtail

The Zebra Swallowtail is never far from her
host plant, the Paw-paw bush.

We have five now in the back yard.

The leaves on the bushes are being eaten up

by the Zebra Swallowtail caterpillars.

This pleases me!

One of these days I will have a nice colony of Zebra Swallowtails in the backyard.

Female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

I spent the morning in the gardens.
It was foggy and cool.

A female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail,
in her black dress,
graced me with her beauty.

She is my favorite butterfly.

Her mate came in.
A beautiful pair.

I watched them dance.
Goodbye July!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Lots of rain

The rains stopped this afternoon.
I recorded 5.5 inches.

It is wet outside.
Thank goodness I live at the top of the hill.

The Red-spotted Purple was first to the Butterfly Bush.

The leaves hold plenty of water for the Skippers.

Temperatures are to rise into the 90's tomorrow.
It will be steamy!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Waiting for Dolly

Our local weatherman said a high pressure system,
associated with Hurricane Dolly, was on it's way.
Heavy rain is forecasted.

I took my coffee to the deck. I wanted to spend some time with my bug friends before the storm came. Little Bee came right up for a morning leg crawl and bee kisses.
When the Snowberry Clearwing moth came to the Butterfly Bush, Little Bee went to say, "Hello".

I have been watching the Fig Beetles fly about in the vegetable garden. They bury themselves in the grass clipping paths. I am pleased to have these Flower Scarabs in my garden. I think they are exotic. With all the rains and high temperatures this summer my Midwest garden feels like the tropics.

The Gold Finches, wild canaries, are feeding in the sunflowers.
A small flock calls my backyard home.
They also enjoy the cone flowers.

The Red-spotted Purples are feeding on sliced oranges.

The air is heavy.
The flies are biting.
The mosquitoes are swarming.
Think I will go out again and look for Dragonflies.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Rainy Morning

The morning showers are keeping me inside.
The month is drawing to a close.
Time to begin packing July up.

I stopped to read a few magazines.
I do like tomato soup and clowns.

I wonder if this clown was before
the Campbell's Soup Kids arrived?

There is a shop near by that carries Madeira embroidery.
I did not know what it was until this morning when I read my grandmother's July 1912 issue of Needlecraft.

I have a few pieces my Grandmother made.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Steamy Sunday Safari

The rains over night once again filled the bird baths
and the butterfly puddlers.

I watched as the Red Spotted Purple
drank water from the leaves of the Forsythia.

A June Beetle swam in one of the bird baths.
I watched as he swam to the edge of the pool
and climbed out.

A Carpenter Bee gathered pollen from a Day Lily.

As the sun rose so did the temperature.
It is hot and humid.
The air is filled with moisture and bugs.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Classic Summer Days

It has been hot and humid.

The Tiger Swallowtails have been nectaring
in the cone flowers.

The Gold Finches are finding seed on the Sunflowers.

Thundershowers overnight left us with half an inch of rain.

A female Ebony Jewelwing greeted me when I went walking.

She is my new favorite bug!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Funeral Duskywing

The Bright Eyed Cosmos provide food for many varieties
of butterflies and bees.
I save seed each year and resow in the spring.
It also self sows.

When I went to gather some seed this morning
I saw this Funeral Duskywing.

I knew it was a Funeral Duskywing because
of the white fringe on her wings.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Safari Sunday


I spent some time with a Katydid this morning.

This is one of the summer night singers
I have been listening to.

This one is a female.
I could see her ovipositor.

She seemed to enjoy the day lily.

It is hot and humid.

Perfect bug weather.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Full Buck Moon

I have been going here and there.
There is a bridal shower on Saturday and
I wanted to do up a little something special
for the bride to be.

While shopping today I saw an Eastern Comma puddling

and a pair of Zebra Swallowtails.

The Orange Sulphur was getting a drink of water.

In my garden the Tiger Lilies have opened.
My husband calls them Leopard Lilies.
I think they are charming. They came from my neighbor's yard before she went into a nursing home. My son brought them to me. They are treasures, Joe's Lilies.
Gardens are full of stories.
I hope to help my new niece- in- law begin her garden story!
Happy Full Buck Moon.
Happy stories.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

"It's a miracle"

"It's a miracle," my doctor said.
"Your health has been restored!
What have you been doing?"

"Just the supplements and enzymes you recommended,"
I was as pleased as my doctor.
" I also have been drinking the herb teas you suggested and growing
my own medicine. Your encouragement made a difference for me."

I am out in the gardens. I am weeding and deadheading. I am saving seed.

I am connecting with my plants.

I am saving containers to winter sow this coming year. I am dreaming of gardens.

I once again am a plant person.

I feel good. I feel well. I feel whole again.

My knees were fine today, no pain when I unfolded.

My back and shoulders are just fine.

It was hot and humid but I could be outside.

My Doctor ask me if I was allowing my plants to heal me.
I do not know, maybe so.
I do know I sat with the Rosemary today.
I began weeding her bed. I did some layering. I want to propagate her again.
I want to rebuild my Rosemary hedge.
This Rosemary is winter hardy in my zone 5b.
An usual plant. An unheard of "Hardy Rosemary".
She has survived flood waters and late frosts.
She has survived below zero temperatures.
A gift from Mother Nature.
This Rosemary is the miracle.
The Rosemary healed me.

Monday, July 14, 2008


There is a little chipmunk that has come to live near my garage door.
I see him scurring about in the gardens.
Last week I began filling a brass leaf with seeds and nuts.
A bowl for Chippy.

Slowly the Chipmunk has begun to trust me.

I hope there is a family.

I would love to see baby Chipmunks.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sunday Safari

I took my coffee to the deck this morning.
I was thinking about our bug hunt today.
I thought about all the different bugs in my backyard.
I am reading a book called,
"The Birder's Bug Book", by Gilbert Waldbauer
Almost all of the birds eat bugs.

I was thinking and reading when a little bee landed on me!
"Hello, sweet bee!"
Little Bee stayed with me for a very long time.
I wish I knew the language of the bees.

The grasshoppers are growing.
They camouflage well in the grass.
Many of my backyard birds eat them.

The Spring Azure, in her summer dress, nectars on the blooms of the pokeweed.
I have left all that grows wild in my gardens.
The birds love the berries when they ripen.
I read that the tiny Metalmark butterflies nectar on weed blooms.
I have never seen a Metalmark. I am leaving more "weeds" in the gardens.
I would love for the Metalmarks to come and be comfortable.

The female Dragonfly likes to perch on the spent stems of the day lilies.
I can clean them up in the autumn.
Having water in my gardens means I have Dragonflies.
Having habitat for the birds is also habitat for the bugs.
I am going back outside.
I will sit quietly with my book.
Maybe Little Bee will come.
I would love to hear the adventures of Little Bee!