Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sunday Safari

It is because of the summer heat
the coneflowers thrive.

They are a wonderful food source.

After the seeds set

the Goldfinches will have a feast.

I am growing sweet peas this year just for me.
I am charmed.
As the temperatures rise into the upper 90's
and low 100's I wonder how long they will hold on.
I am aware of the heat and the stress it puts on the wildlife.

Some seem to thrive and others wilt.

On my morning garden walk I made sure all the bird baths and puddlers were full of water.

I am being quiet today.

I am remembering my sister.
I miss her. Twelve years seems long ago.
I can still hear her voice as if we talked yesterday.

Years ago an elderly neighbor brought up her old
garden club books. She thought since I was a gardener I would treasure them. I do. I treasure the memory of her.

We planted Mexican Sunflowers.
They are the favorite nectar source of the Giant Swallowtail.

I did up my first terrarium.
It was so fun to do.
It is on my husband's nightstand.
I shall keep gathering for terrariums.

I am planning my September flowers now.
The bees and butterflies will need nectar.

I am deciding now what I will need in December
and January to remind me of the garden.
To help chase the winter blues I will need flowers
and mint tea.
I am planning our July and even though
it is unbearably hot in the afternoons
I am falling in love with summertime.
At dusk we sit on the deck.
We watch the dance of the fireflies.

I love the Fireflies.
They love the summer.
Happy Sunday Safari.
Stay cool and hydrated.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sunday Safari

I have sunflower fever.

Not only have we planted specialty sunflowers

but I bought a half pound of
 Russian Mammoth Sunflower seeds.

I am tucking sunflower seed in every spot I can.

I use sunflowers in my August decorating and this year

 I want to make dried sunflower wreaths for December.

The birds love the seeds.

I think this year we could have enough seed
to save for people and bird feed. I hope the deer stay away
from the seedlings. I am bordering the sunflowers with zinnias.
Hopefully the zinnias will do the trick.

Watching the bees in the sunflowers gladdens my soul.
It is the relationship between bees, birds and people with this amazing flower that has given me  the fever.
I finished reading this remarkable story of
humans and sunflowers. I strongly recommend this book.
It is a perfect summertime, non-fiction story.
I have sat in sunflower fields and I have written poems
about these lovely flowers. I have always grown sunflowers.
But this year something is different.
This year I feel a passion I have reserved for lavender and roses.

The zinnias are doing fine.
I bought them in bulk too for over seeding.
I love zinnias and marigolds.
Wonderful flowers for summer heat and humidity
in the Tall Grass Prairie.

For our Summer Solstice we are beginning a sun study.
We will see how many hours of sun each garden spot receives.
I want to ready my areas for roses, the flower for 2013.

I read in the afternoons.

I do my journal writing
when it is too hot to be outside.

Each Summer, during the days of Cancer,
 I work on my non-violent ways.

I learn a wee bit more on how to live in harmony.

I love cone flowers too and bee-balm.

I love sitting on the glider under the Ash Tree
 watching the butterflies rest.
I love falling in love.
I love planting seeds.

My husband just came in. He has another
flowerbed ready for sunflowers and zinnias.

Our children honored their Dad today with gifts
and phone calls.
He is a wonderful Dad and an amazing partner.
He likes sunflowers too.

Happy Sunday Safari,
my fever continues to burn.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sunday Safari

We have been watching butterflies
lay eggs in their host plants.

Today the Variegated Fritillary laid eggs
 in the wild violets that share the lawn with clovers.
We keep the deck of the lawn mower high
 so the clovers and violets remain uncut.
I am researching the host plants
for all the butterflies that are in my area.
We are creating host gardens.

We watched a Giant Swallowtail lays eggs
in the Garden Rue.
 I went looking for eggs and found a caterpillar, they are called Orange Dogs.
  She must have laid eggs a week ago too.

The Zebra Swallowtail laid eggs in the Paw- paw bushes.
I just read the Sphinx Moth uses the Paw-paws for hosting too.
I will be looking for more eaten leaves.
The Zebra caterpillars feed at night.
I see evidence they are active.

We have been listening to the Pipevine Swallowtail
caterpillars munch away on Pipevine.
I counted 40 caterpillars!

Today I begin my Oak Tree days.

I am just learning this 13 moon way.

"In the myth of Phaeton, a timely thunderbolt from Jupiter
killed Phaeton and ended a world drought with a sudden rainstorm. The Dagda, a supreme father-god in Celtic mythology, is a Celtic Zeus who also protected the earth from drought by changing the weather."
We need rain once again.
Thunderstorms are in our forecast.
I am looking for the Rain Dragons to return.
It has been hot and dry.
I am deadheading in the mornings before the heat of the day.
While the bees are still sleeping.

The Day Lilies open all at once and begin calling
 to the pollinators, "Come hither little ones."

By mid-morning the bees have filled their sacks
with pollen from the cone flowers.

Under the bird feeding station the bird's spilled
sunflower seeds are blooming.

We weed and water their sunflower bed and leave as many plants that sprout for the deer that graze at night.
 These are sacrificial flowers.

Our Sunflower garden is tucked in with the Fennel, Queen Ann's Lace and Sweet Annie. These sunflowers are for August flowers
for our table and for the Gold Finches.

We are outside as much as possible.
We stop often and watch the butterflies.

We stop to play.
Happy Sunday Safari.