Ed's day outside started off with the sighting of a beautiful new mourning cloak butterfly. At first it was sitting with its wings wide open to the sunlight, warming itself to begin its day. By the time Ed came inside to get the camera and me, the butterfly had warmed enough to flit around. Ed did manage to get this great picture, but soon after we both watched as the butterfly soared up into the trees.
It was delightfully cool this morning, exactly the kind of weather I love the best for working in the garden. I chose the bed in front of the house to work on. We have a grassy weed that is going to seed that begs to be removed. I called Ed over to help me prop up the sunflowers by placing a cage around the lavender. He gets right into the the plant despite the presence of the working bees. Soon after I started pulling the grass, I discovered two chrysanthemum plants behind the bench. Ed moved the bench out of the way. Now I wasn't just weeding I was rediscovering plants that had been planted there but had been overtaken with weeds, Ingeborg's mallows, and my self seeded sunflowers. Ed stopped what he was doing and joined me weeding in the places that are out of my reach. When the flowers on the mums open we will be able to determine their varietal name.
We really enjoyed clearing the grass and weeds from the bed. There are more surprises there than forgotten plants. Here a praying mantis egg casing is attached to the lavender. I hope I didn't disturb it. We can use all the beneficial insects we can get. We saw lots of caterpillars, one small green one with unusual chevron stripes, two gold fuzzy ones and a black and white fuzzy one. We may have temporarily evicted them from their home, but they headed off and I'm sure a new spot will be found.
All the time we were working the buzzing of honeybees was in the air. Most of them were busty right above our heads on the sunflowers, but this one found the sweet smelling flowers of anise hyssop to her liking.
Now this bed looks a bit more cared for and we thoroughly enjoyed our time in the garden. We didn't head in until it began to rain.
For the first time today Fall was really in the air. This morning I noticed a Black capped chickadee on the sunflowers. I haven't seen them around. I did have a hummingbird do a close fly by so they are still in the neighborhood. Monarch butterflies flit about laying their eggs and new ones will soon be hatching out. New England asters and goldenrod cannot be denied. In some ways they are my very favorite plants. Their colors work well together and they signal the arrival of fall. Goldenrod is horribly invasive and must be removed from well planted areas. New England asters are deer candy and draw the deer in wherever they grow. Despite their down side both are present in our garden.