Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Eye Of The Beholder

This Italian parsley plant is not having a very good year.  It is small and now it is being eaten by a parsley worm.  On the other hand this caterpillar will turn that parsley into a beautiful black swallowtail butterfly. I have a passion for black swallowtail butterflies

The pink hibiscus has been frosted , dried out, then drenched and skeletonized by bugs. I think the Japanese beetles did it, but I didn't actually see them and I won't since there are no leaves left for them to eat  Pressing on regardless the large pink flowers open to show off their beauty just the same.  It is quite magnificent for this plant to put on such a display under these conditions.  The large pink flowers with pleated petals flowers look perfect!  To give credit where credit is due, we borrowed the expression "press on regardless" from Sue Hubble.  She used that expression as the name of her old pickup truck.  We read her books when we were trying to define what our retirement life would look like.

Things being what they are this year the garden has gotten away from us.  There are plenty of weeds in this picture.  In this case Ed's stone wall and the red cardinal flowers look so sensational it's difficult for almost anyone to see weeds.  I have always loved the lush overgrown look anyway!

By now I hope you are seeing beauty in the garden and feeling serene! WARNING: If you really get freaked out by snakes STOP reading here.  If you are looking for a different kind of beauty and some excitement in your life, read on!

We have more tools than the shed will hold.  As a result the three wheelbarrows remain outside.  Stored up side down and propped up on large stones or an abandoned bale of hay, we know that creatures live under them. I went to get a wheelbarrow and let out a piercing scream when I righted it.  This was no ordinary scream.  I was still making noise when the sound returned after echoing off of the ridge. Ed knew that I had uncovered an impressive snake, one worth seeing!  When the snake straightened out to slither away, it displayed more than three feet in length.  That is about as large as milk snakes get here.  This one had recently shed its skin.  That is apparent because of the sharp lines of separation between the colors.  The skin is also blemish free.

Later in the day the serenity of the garden was broken with another of my snake shrieks, but it wasn't nearly as intense.  After all these years, Ed could tell it was  only a garter snake and less than a foot long.  He didn't bother to come to see it and the snake was long gone anyway!

One of our lawn tractors must also be parked out of doors.  It has been transported to the dealer twice this year to try and repair the damage done by nesting rodents.  We now park that tractor near a stone wall where we know milk snakes gather.  We are counting on these beautiful constrictors to decrease the number rodents living in the immediate area.

1 comment:

Linda Cook DeVona said...

Interesting post! I'm amazed you got such a clear photo of that snake! Had I paused long enough to take a photo, I'm sure it would've been blurry! I felt pretty bad this morning as I walked past my weedy garden patch, vowing to myself that I won't let the weeds take over next year! I feel somewhat better after reading that even devoted gardeners such as yourselves are unable to keep ahead of the weeds. I know you devote hours and hours to weeding... Those Cardinal flowers sure are showy!