Thursday, August 03, 2006

Garden Wildlife

The hot summer days seem to have promoted growth in the garden... the bugs are booming, my tomatoes are growing (although not ripening they are definitely HUGE) and new flowers bloom and surprise me! I have spotted a number of volunteer plants in the garden, including this beauty...

A volunteer morning glory. I get them every year, they just somehow appear here... and I never planted any. Not to worry, I pull most of them up, and let just a few bloom!

Dh and I think they are pretty, so it really doesn't bother us too much!

Other willing volunteers in the garden, are BUGS.
I am sure that these guys are up to no good... my field guide says that they eat peaches... I have yet to check ours. I doubt any are left between them and the squirrels!

These fellows are rather friendly though:

not only do they keep the bugs away from us, but they have made friends with the kids...

Up close, they can be absolutely stunning!

He was rescued from the soapy water, rinsed and left to dry... and he actually recovered and flew away!

But the real showstoppers in the garden right now, are somewhat of a pest... these little guys are defoliating my fennel. Trouble is, I LOVE the butterfly that they become!

They are black swallowtail caterpillars, and you'd swear they were my daughter's raison d'etre since she dresses herself in shoes and hat each morning to "See papiwwas" (That's caterpillars in 2 y.o.)
I on the other hand, was much more thrilled to see these fellows on my butterfly weed/pleurisy root. (That's the orange bloom in the photo).

This is a monarch butterfly caterpillar... and pleurisy root is a member of the milkweed family, and a beautiful caterpillar haven. Normally I get some of the questionmark caterpillars on here, but this year, I have monarchs. Now if only they stay there!

Finally, a recent photo of my son's garden... he has done a great job this year!

1 comment:

Jill said...

Fabulous job on the garden J!!! And I don't blame her for getting dressed properly to see the caterpillars. They are beautiful! We have some black swallowtails in our backyard. Love them.