Friday, August 8, 2014

My Goodness What A Day In The Garden!

I headed out to the garden pretty early to pick squash blossoms to stuff for lunch.  It would have been a bit less exciting if I had gotten outside earlier.  As it was I had to shake bees out of the blossoms before I could place them in the plastic bag.  On my way out I noticed this milk snake curled up in the stone wall.  I promised myself I would take a picture if it was still there on my return.  There it was right at my eye level.  It looked like a fancy bracelet.  Ed and I did a couple rounds of "You touch it! " "No you touch it!"  In the end even though snakes give the the willies, I did touch it lightly.  It barely moved and was soft and dry to the touch.  Maybe someday I won't shriek when a snake surprises me, but I doubt it.

Woo Hoo!  I present to you the first Monarch caterpillar I have seen in the garden this summer.  In this picture it's a little hard to tell which end is up.  We watched it for some time and decided that the end with the shorter horns has the mouth.

I noticed him sitting on an immature seed pod.  Usually I find them chomping on the leaves.  I was delighted to see him!  I hope there will be more!  Our mowed area is looking a little strange as Ed avoids mowing the young milkweed now growing in our lawn.  He is unwilling to take the chance of cutting down a caterpillar food source.

We have left milkweed growing in the garden in places we would normally weed it out.  Here we have a lovely planting of Black-eyed Susans with three milkweed plants.  All of these plants are invasive and have displaced what we planted there.  In time we may see the winner here but perhaps both plants will survive.

We had a busy day in the garden.  We harvested onions, picked and processed Tavera green beans, picked some tomatoes, pulled lots of weeds and Ed mowed some the hay field that we pretend is our lawn.

We also discovered that a ground hog has dug a tunnel under one of Ed's stone walls in the square.  A huge pile of stones and yellowish subsoil was piled in the corner.  No end of the tunnel could be seen.  The ground gave way under foot revealing a six foot tunnel running parallel to the wall.  That critter doesn't know it yet, but he has crossed a line and war has been declared.  I gave up one of my heads of broccoli to bait the trap.

I also discovered an active hornet's nest under the ramp into the kitchen.  In the past a neighborhood skunk took care of a nest of ill tempered bees for me.  I'm afraid where this one is hanging Ed will have to come to the rescue like he so often does.  Tonight a big yellow moon shines on the garden. Tomorrow looks like another wonderful day to spend in the garden.  What will it be relaxing or infuriating?


Indie said...

You are brave - I wouldn't touch the snake, that's for sure! Yay for your Monarch caterpillar! I have yet to see any here in Massachusetts, though I have a lot of milkweed ready just in case. I used to get lots of Monarchs in my garden in North Carolina, and I wonder how many they are getting there this year. Good luck with the groundhog!

Donna@Gardens Eye View said...

Oh I hope rewarding Becky. Such wonderful sights and quite a bounty in your garden. We also have to trap groundhogs or as I call them groundchucks as I always confuse their two names. :)

My you continue to have a rewarding summer!