Finally Some Rain! & Butterflys Hatched.

By: GardenGrrl , 5:50 AM GMT on June 11, 2010

Blog Update 07.03.10
Finally got one of the pictures approved. The caterpillars shown below have hatched out to Black Swallow Tail Butterflies. Their colors are very vibrant when freshly hatched. Was so tickled to find some that had emerged before they dried off and flew away.

Blog Update 07.03.10

We finally got rain! Of course it has been going on for several days now so next I will be complaining about too much rain instead of drought. Please pass some cheese when I start that wine.

Right now there has been an amazing transformation of the landscape from yellow and brown to brilliant green. The cracks in the ground are finally closing. No longer have to worry about Roxy breaking a leg stepping into one.
Being low to the ground she comes in soaking wet now but we have developed a fun game with the towel to dry her off.
The dog and bird provide me with an endless source of amusement.
Life is always better with laughter.

Chiggers have been a problem in the yard here the last couple years. At least I think they are chiggers. Haven't seen what has been biting me, but it's the horrendously (no drama added to this statement) itchy hard red welt of three to six millimeters in diameter.

Bites prefer back of knees, or where undergarment elastic meets skin...which can be socially embarrassing when you really want to scratch in public. Some show up on stomach area. Anything besides or in addition to chiggers cause these kinds of bites?

Thoroughly dousing myself with the lovely scented Deep Woods Off does keep me protected, but pee-yeww! Between the smell factor and laziness, I really don't like dousing my entire self in insect repellent everytime I go in the yard.

Picked up four new bites just crouching in the recently mowed short grass. They don't seem to affect my dog Roxie. She rolls over on her back to get sunshine and belly pets, I squat down but don't even sit in the grass and come up with bites if I don't spray first. Arrrgh!

So, short of napalm and illegal pesticides, does anyone know how to get these creatures out of my yard? This is really taking the fun out of gardening.

Also, anyone know of low-odor insect repellents?

***** ****** ****** ******

Here we are half way through the new year and I haven't posted any pictures of my garden. Well, now that it is officially really hot in North Texas I will stay home and tend to the yard. Was looking at a banner crop of tomatoes and squash this year, but some two legged varmits picked everything :( Fortunately one of my co-workers is having a good year in his garden too so he is sharing his extra tomatoes.

Had some really pretty birds show up this year. Check out this golden House Finch. They are usually red, but this one is a very pretty mutation. Hope it continues with this flock.

No bees this year. Have been hand pollinating everything. Did plant some Dill to attract Swallow Tail Butterflies. It worked and they laid eggs which have hatched into caterpillars. Be aware that when you plant food for caterpillars, they will strip it down to a twig eating it. So put these food plants in areas that caterpillar ravaged foliage won't look unsightly. Also avoid the use of organic pesticides like BT, beneficial nematodes, as well as regular pesticides in these areas.

The new peach tree seedling has leafed out and grown a foot!
The strawberry garden is also very happy.

Summer is here.

The Yard (GardenGrrl)
Here's a golden House Finch. They are usually red where the yellow is.
The Yard
The Yard (GardenGrrl)
A "golden" House Finch.
The Yard
The Yard (GardenGrrl)
I planted Dill to feed the Swallow Tail Butterflys this year. These are what the caterpillars look like.
The Yard
The Yard (GardenGrrl)
This is the back garden. Lot's of Larkspur volunteered to come up this year.
The Yard
Newly Hatched (GardenGrrl)
Black Swallow Tail butterfly newly hatched. The parents laid eggs on the Dill I planted for them.
Newly Hatched

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56. shoreacres
12:59 PM GMT on July 15, 2010
Hi, GG,

Thanks for stopping by WP. I finally responded over there - life has just spun out of control. Trying to meet work deadlines in this heat is a pain - I can't keep a schedule like I usually do, and I'm not coping well ;-)

Member Since: October 4, 2004 Posts: 205 Comments: 15288
55. plapman
12:56 PM GMT on July 15, 2010
Good morning Gardengrrl
enjoy the day
Member Since: August 18, 2006 Posts: 2529 Comments: 7720
54. GardenGrrl
3:31 PM GMT on July 13, 2010
Good morning, it is going to be a sunny day in North Texas.

Hi Prose, that is a beautiful watercolor! Am impressed with your use of perspective and values to create a natural looking 3D effect.

Hi Sandi, "Putzed" isn't used much in the UK? It is a derivitive of a Yiddish word; putz, which means clumsy oaf. Used as "putzed" it means to wander aimlessly around looking busy but accomplishing nothing. Isn't that the true goal of every stay home vacation? ;-)

Hi Tony, Roxy finally got to go play at the dog park. So fun to watch her be able to run without a leash.
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53. plapman
2:44 PM GMT on July 13, 2010
Good Morning gardenGrrl
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52. sandiquiz
1:05 PM GMT on July 13, 2010
"putzed in the yard."

You do talk funny... really you does .... 'eh, by gum!!

What were you doing when you 'putzed'?
It sounds as though you might have been 'pulverizing' it into submission!! LOL

I asked a question in my blog about how soon you need to revert to night mode?

(Oh, look-see - I have just asked it here, too! ) LOL

Have TuesDAY to you :)
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 325 Comments: 29633
51. Proserpina
12:30 PM GMT on July 13, 2010

Hi, here is a flower to greet you this morning. Instead of shooting it, I painted it. Needed a change of genre.
Happy Tuesday to you.
Member Since: May 6, 2008 Posts: 188 Comments: 19249
50. GardenGrrl
7:57 PM GMT on July 12, 2010
Yes it's true, I am on vacation and have become a "day" person for the next two weeks.
So far have been to the zoo, a play, several night spots and have putzed in the yard.

My melons have over grown the garden wall and spilled into the yard. I have one melon the size of a baseball and bunches the size of large acorns. If half of them grow to eating size I will be leaving them on peoples door steps like orphan children. lol.

Hi Sandi, I see you have taken on a bold and colorful avatar. Will stop by your blog to catch up.

Hi Prose, you have a new avatar too. Koko is adorable!

Oh Boy another Other Bug! Can't wait to catchup on the adventure.

Hi Plapman, wouldn't that be great if could get the rain only when needed? My yard, however, seems quite pleased with all this precipatation.

Shore, That's It! Thanks for leaving the link to more info about The Belt Of Venus. Very cool info. It only lasted a few short minutes. By the time I stood there saying, Oooh, Ahh, Pretty....and then ran into the house to get the camera, it was fading as I shot pictures.

Oh yes, the writing thing...Every sign in the universe seems to be telling me to get off my happy butt and write my stories. I have decided that at the end of my vacation when my schedule changes to working every weekend for the next six months and I have absolutely no social life, it will become "The Art-A-Thon" and I will complete at least one technical project and three short stories.

Hi Gams, yes, it's vacation time and I am in full goof off mode. Am eating too much of all the wrong things, staying up all day and enjoying sunshine, and have not done one work out video. I could get used to this.

Okay, off to do quick hellos and then back to my schedule of not having a schedule.

Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 290 Comments: 11471
49. shoreacres
2:03 AM GMT on July 11, 2010
GG ~ Speaking of butterflies, I just ran into this quotation from Vita Sackville-West:

It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by. How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment?

Well, yes. ;-)
Member Since: October 4, 2004 Posts: 205 Comments: 15288
48. seflagamma
1:03 PM GMT on July 10, 2010
Hello Gardengrl,

I read somewhere this morning you are officially on a 2 week vacation from work!
YIPEE!!! I know you are loving that.

But vacation time goes by so quickly.
Hope you are out having a good time already.

Love your photos! Enjoy your weekend!
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 307 Comments: 41087
47. shoreacres
12:52 PM GMT on July 10, 2010
GG ~ I just read your description of the moonrise again. I think what you saw was the Belt of Venus. Was it like this?

This is actually a setting moon - the phenomenon appears opposite sunrise or sunset.
I love the name!
Member Since: October 4, 2004 Posts: 205 Comments: 15288
46. Proserpina
12:50 PM GMT on July 10, 2010
Your new photo are wonderful! Love the butterfly, caterpillars, and the larkspur.

We are finally getting a little rain this morning. I and the yard are very happy.

I hope that your Saturday is a very good one, Sunday too. The whole week of course!
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45. Proserpina
12:47 PM GMT on July 10, 2010
Member Since: May 6, 2008 Posts: 188 Comments: 19249
44. plapman
1:43 PM GMT on July 09, 2010
Good Morning GG
it would be nice to distribute the rain evenly.
Have a great day
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43. sandiquiz
5:25 PM GMT on July 08, 2010
It is Thursday and your last day at work!

Yeah!!.... Come out to play in the garden:)
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42. OtherBug
2:49 PM GMT on July 06, 2010
Just dropping by to say hello while I'm on my latest adventure!

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41. Proserpina
8:40 PM GMT on July 03, 2010

MySpace Graphics
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40. sandiquiz
4:13 PM GMT on July 03, 2010
GG -
I feel it not fair to wish you a happy fourth... will you have to work??

Whatever - I still want to say thanks for the birthday wishes (belated or not) LOL

Those craft pieces sound really interesting... looking forward to the results, but will wait a couple of months!!
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 325 Comments: 29633
39. GardenGrrl
11:01 AM GMT on July 03, 2010
Okay, time for a quick hello and then off to sleep. It is raining right now and that is a wonderful time to get some rest for us day sleepers.

Hi Shore, THAT is a really cool video! I'm going to be out in the garden weeding to a techno groove in my head now :-)
We had a really pretty moonrise the other night. It was a near full moon rising from the SE. Lifted by a cerelean blue horizon that seemed to have stolen the pink from the setting sun to drape across the top of the lunar sky. I thought I was looking at a sunrise. Very pretty, but my pictures have so much noise in them that I would be embarrassed to post them on Wuba. Some day need to either get a better camera or learn how to work the manuals on my point and shoot really fast for these quick changing and fleeting sky scenes.

Hi Innskeep...?

Hey Surfmom, good to see you around. Roxy and her cute ears are waving hello to Hope.

Hi Sandi, I found a couple low-budget digital art programs and a really low priced drawing pad (has pressure stylus and what you draw on it shows up in the digi art program you are using.) Am thinking about putting together a web-comic. Rather than spending a few hundred on Corel or Photoshop, a new computer with more RAM and regular memory etc., I thought I would try these out to see how much fun it would be to play with first. Ask me in a month or two when I figure out how to work "layers", fills etc if I'm having fun yet.

Hi Collinsfarm, I need to find some sulpher dust. I saw some at a boutique garden store in a tiny canister for $$$$. Not hardly enough to fill one of my bootie socks. I know there has to be some around cheaper than that.

Hi Calpoppy, did you say HOT chili cook-off? Sounds delightfully dangerous and tasty. As for the pasting of photos and graphics, you can tell which of us has lots of patience and which of us don't. Uploading to WUBA and sticking it in my main blog is the easiest way for me.
Otherwise you have to have a Photobucket or Flickr account and first upload to them. After that you pull up two internet screens so you can copy and paste from them to here. Then there is the part about getting fancy with widths, heights and whatnots.
I haven't got that down without distorting my photos. The default sends then as slightly larger than thumbnails. Sooooooo. Nevermind. lol.
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 290 Comments: 11471
38. calpoppy
3:07 AM GMT on July 03, 2010
Have a happy 4th!!! We will be off to a HOT chile cookoff. Should be fun, lots of friends there. thanks for the offer of a camera if you win the lottery:) I actually do have a nice camera, but if you can come out and show me how to post the pics on the comments, Lol!! I will try to sit myself down and learn how to do it, sometime soon.:) (hopefully)
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37. sandiquiz
9:17 AM GMT on July 01, 2010

Stopping by to wish you a very happy, healthy and safe JULY :))
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 325 Comments: 29633
36. collinsfarm
5:55 PM GMT on June 30, 2010
Hi GardenGirl,
One way to keep the chiggers off of you while working in the yard is to fill an old tube sock with sulfur powder. When you go out in the yard, dust your shoes and socks. If you wear long pants, you can dust the pants legs. When finished in the yard, wash off with the hose.
Member Since: September 1, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 1358
35. sandiquiz
5:14 PM GMT on June 30, 2010
Artsy Crafty stuff....
Tell all, what have you been buying!!
Hope your week is going OK... It has been a hectic week here, and so hot and sticky.... we are not used to it !! Mustn't complain, it could be a lot worse.... ie, terrible rain and storms:(

Take care... is Alex going to cause you any troubles?
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 325 Comments: 29633
34. surfmom
12:56 PM GMT on June 29, 2010
Gosh I LOVE your dog - between those great ears & EXPRESSION... I'm a fan of Roxy!!
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33. shoreacres
12:28 PM GMT on June 29, 2010
Hi, GG ~

I just bumped into the best video. I don't know if you're a fan of techno - I'm not, exactly - but it really works with this one. It's very much an "essence of gardening" piece - and the sight of the videographer's mom sitting with her dog made me think of you and Roxie (even though the garden itself makes me think of calpoppy).

Hope your week's going well - it looks like you're going to get some rain, finally, compliments Alex. We had a true tropical storm sky at sunset last night - all steel gray and lemon yellow, with clouds that looked like a big bunch of pulled-apart cotton candy. Don't like the storms, but I love the skies!

Member Since: October 4, 2004 Posts: 205 Comments: 15288
32. Innskeep
3:07 PM GMT on June 27, 2010
Member Since: November 16, 2008 Posts: 19 Comments: 119
31. GardenGrrl
10:02 AM GMT on June 27, 2010
Hi, we have had rain everywhere but the park this week. 4 miles away at the airport they recieved 3/4". We watched the clouds and listened to the booming thunder with great yearning from our house. So, I've been watering. Wahhh.
Been really busy this weekend. Have not found sulpher at my usual shopping places. Been running up the water bill with showering and changing clothes. Seems to work. Only have one new chigger bite this week. And I smell great. (LOL).
I predict there is going to be a lot more activity taking up my time, so I will be a bit scarce for awhile.

Hi Prosepina, along with bringing spring, I see you also brought summer :-)

Hi Sandi, yes it has been very busy around here. All of my mail order artsy craftsy stuff showed up so I have been trying to play with everything and keep up with the house and yard.

Calpoppy, I swear, if I win the big lottery I am going to send you a really good camera so you can take pictures of all those cute little quail and post them. Better yet I'm going to personally deliver it so I can see all the neat critters that we don't get around here.

Hi AllyBama, Isn't Benadryl the greatest thing ever? I've actually considered using nail polish in pretty colors just to cover the red spots with something that only makes me look strange and festive instead of diseased ;-)

Hi Shore, Would be happy to send you some rain if I could get my hands on it. We are back into the "dome drought" pattern here. Cells split and go north and south of the "dome" which happens to border where I live.
Barges and drunken sailors, who needs TV. Cancel your cable and start your own reality TV show filmed from the docks.
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 290 Comments: 11471
30. shoreacres
4:17 AM GMT on June 27, 2010
And here comes another anti-itch remedy - white vinegar! It's always worked for me - freezing with an ice cube is good, too, if you don't have too many spots and can stand that cold where chiggers like to live ;-)

You must have gone off somewhere, or I'm confused about your schedule again - which wouldn't be a surprise. I can't keep my schedule straight. Whatever you're up to, hope it's fun. If you see any loose rain around there, send it down here. We need some, but I'd prefer to get it from up north than from the direction of the Gulf.

I'm going out in the morning to take barge pics - I had one outside for a while, and now there are two. Turns out they're putting in pilings along the bulkhead. I don't quite know why, unless they're going to create a space and put in some extra fill. Those bulkheads tend to start eroding after a while, so that may explain it.

In any event, the small boats are going to love it - they'll have something to tie up to now. And I'll have more drunks to watch on weekend nights! LOL
Member Since: October 4, 2004 Posts: 205 Comments: 15288
29. AllyBama
3:55 AM GMT on June 27, 2010
I agree with 'gamma - paint the spots with clear fingernail far as the itch, the Benedryl Stop Itching Gel is great! buy some!!!
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 134 Comments: 20654
28. calpoppy
3:09 AM GMT on June 27, 2010
Hi GG, sorry you have chiggers in your yard! They can be nasty. The only thing that can bite us here are rattlesnakes.LOL Have to tell you about the quail family that came in. There was a trail of baby quail that seemed endless! Must have been 40 of them. Only saw the babies at first then the parents came in. An observation on our part is when the baby quail reach a certain age adult quail will start to hang out with other quail families which makes up some very large trails of baby quail. Hope you are having a great weekend!!
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 72 Comments: 4766
27. sandiquiz
7:22 AM GMT on June 26, 2010
Happy busy?

Usually you check in Thursday or Friday?
Perhaps you are out and enjoying summer and your garden:))

Have a great Weekend:)
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 325 Comments: 29633
26. Proserpina
5:49 AM GMT on June 21, 2010
Summer Comments and Graphics for MySpace, Tagged, Facebook
Comments and Graphics - Layouts - Photobucket
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25. GardenGrrl
12:10 PM GMT on June 19, 2010
Good Morning,
Thanks so much for the info. I can Google away, but it just seems better to hear info from people I "know". It is easier to reach a mental consensus in my head on a plan of action.

Shore and Alley!, a light bulb went off after reading both of your posts. Will definitely do the "plate search" so I can pinpoint spots that will most likely need regular treatment. It just occured to me I may be getting the little buggers at the bird feeder I visit everyday to refill.
My neighbor rings her house with mothball sprinklings to chase away any wandering snakes that may happen to slither by. When I add the sulpher, things are going to smell really interesting.

Hi Gams, I think you may have our butterflies because they got the early memo there is going to a drought this summer around here.

Hi Surfmom, I have heard of the Skin So Soft, but never the part about adding Listerine. I guess it must be the Euclyptus (sp?) in it.
I don't think we get Dutchmans Pipe around here, the name doesn't ring a bell. We get a lot of wild yarrow and I guess the swallow tails like that too. The Black Swallow Tails sure like the dillweed though.

Hi LowerCal, yep, my little country home has been encrouched upon by the urban sprall. Just have to make my tiny yard a wildlife refuge.

Hi Prose, That is a cool looking flower. On a completely off subject topic, it's 7am here and I am wide awake. Have to drive to McKinney to meet my Dad for early dinner so no sleeping late past 4. Might have to go wake the spouse and head to the Farmers Market for breakfast and meet Dad with not so much sleep that I needed. The dilemma of a night person.

Hi Sandi, Oh I would love to put one of those up. Back when I was a kid, neighbors could shoot at you with a shotgun loaded with salt pellets if you came to raid their gardens. No one called the police on them or threatened lawsuits, beacause the parents would tell those kids, "Thats what you get for trying to steal" (and then give them a whooping to boot).
If only we could pick and choose things to keep from the "Good 'Ol Days".

Okay, I think I will have to forgo a bit of sleep for tree ripe peaches and some fresh fancy bread.
Life is too short to miss out on fresh local produce.
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 290 Comments: 11471
24. sandiquiz
6:23 AM GMT on June 19, 2010

Did I see you say to Karen that you have got neighbours who allow their kids to come and pinch your fruit and veg!
Do you not have trespass laws in the States!

I think one of these is needed!!

PS - It doesn't say children, but they are just another variation of an predator, but have two not four legs! LOL

Have a great weekend!
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 325 Comments: 29633
23. Proserpina
4:49 AM GMT on June 19, 2010
Member Since: May 6, 2008 Posts: 188 Comments: 19249
22. LowerCal
3:32 PM GMT on June 18, 2010
Great photos of the beautiful flora and fauna of your yard. :^) Sorry to hear about the lightpole weeds replacing your trees out back. :^[
Member Since: July 26, 2006 Posts: 59 Comments: 9838
21. Alleyoops
2:16 PM GMT on June 18, 2010
Getting rid of Chiggers in your yard

Step 1
Mow any tall grass and remove weeds. Rake and remove the grass after it has been cut. Don't give chiggers any hiding places. Wear long pants, boots, long sleeve shirt and mosquito repellant when cutting grass in areas suspected of a chigger infestation.

Step 2
Use powdered soil sulfur. Spread powdered sulfur all over your yard. Spread the sulfur early in the morning before the sun becomes too hot. After you have spread the sulfur water your lawn and yard for at least 30 to 45 minutes. Use care when handling soil sulfur. Be sure to wear gloves, eye protection and a mask over your mouth and nose. Soil sulfur is available at garden centers.

Step 3
In a yard sprayer add 1 gallon of water, ¼ of a cup of dishwasher detergent and 2 tablespoons of canola oil. Mix the ingredients thoroughly. Spray your backyard to eliminate chiggers. Keep children and pets away for 24 to 48 hours

Read more: How to Get Rid of Chiggers in Your Yard |
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20. seflagamma
12:15 PM GMT on June 18, 2010
Your garden is beautiful!

as for chiggers, I use to get them ever summer growing up in the south, especially when we played in wooded and weedy areas.

We use to put a dot of fingernail polish on the spot to "smother" the chigger so it would die.
but the itching went on for a week or more!

Chiggers and Poison Ivy were two itchy problems us southern kids got every summer!

Not sure what will kill them in the yard without killing the good insects also.

We have a bunch more butterflies this summer also; wonder if it has to do with the record breaking winter cold we had in Jan - March???

Enjoy your weekend and your beautiful garden1
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 307 Comments: 41087
19. shoreacres
11:46 AM GMT on June 18, 2010
Morning, GG,

Chiggers are a good bet, and I grew up knowing the best way to avoid those babies is to stay out of the grass ;-) On the other hand, you might be suffering from spider bites. This is the time of year when I get a lot of bites on the boats - and they're exactly as you describe. It's like they land somewhere and decide, "Hmmm... That tasted good. Let's have some more."

About a week ago babies were flying everywhere, and I think the young ones must bite, too, because I never see them. They're about half the size of a pin head - even smaller in many cases. But they pack a punch. If you see single strands of spider silk, look a little more closely and see if they have babies attached - that's how they travel!

ADD: I found this article from the Missouri Conservation Society (or whatever). It's just great! Full of information about how to identify if chiggers are in your yard, how to minimize their damage, etc. One of the neatest tips is this:

Unlike ticks, which quietly wait for hosts, chiggers run about almost constantly. Chiggers tend to move towards and onto any new object placed in their environment. You can test your lawn for the presence of chiggers by placing a black piece of cardboard or a white saucer. Vertically on the ground. If chiggers are present they will move rapidly over the object and accumulate on the upper edge where you can see them with a magnifying glass.
Member Since: October 4, 2004 Posts: 205 Comments: 15288
18. surfmom
10:55 AM GMT on June 18, 2010
Don't know how to rid the yard of chiggers

I find a combo of Skin-so-Soft and old fashion ORIGINAL Listerine - a dash of the the skin-so-soft, to a majority of listerine - okay to use on the dog too. I mix it up in a large Spritzer bottle and spray up b/4 the barn or yard work.

We too are making the yard as friendly to bees & yeaaa those wasps as possible - if I bought any flowering plants they had to service the bees.

For some reason, I'm having one of my best Butter-fly seasons ever.

DUTCHMAN'S PIPE grows very well in Florida and is food specific to the Black Swallowtail
It's not too easy to get the seeds to germinate for some reason - but after I get some blossoms I'll have seeds and would be happy to share. I'll try and head back with pics of the flower and vine.
Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
17. GardenGrrl
10:38 AM GMT on June 18, 2010
Good Morning!
I bought a whole bunch of flowers at various places yesterday and am going to plant them as the sun comes up. Then go sleep again until the sun goes down. Dang but it's hot outside already.

Hi Prose, that is a nice variety of butterfly bush flower there. Deep indigo, cool.

Hi Calpoppy, it is kind of worrisome that butterflys and bees are disappearing. I've suddenly made my yard a wasp refuge just to keep them around to visit the flowers. That is neat you have bees on your property. If I ever get acreage, bees are on the list along with egg laying chickens. Did not know about the cell phone towers and bees. Wonder what all these new radio waves are doing to us as well.
Anyone for a tinfoil hat?

Hi Skypony, yep, I too have often thought of making the acorn flour when I lived up north. Guess neither of us have been able to channel enough of our "inner squirrel" to gather enough acorns. I did used to get cat-tail tubers and fern fronds. They are good to eat. Wouldn't gather the cat tails now though with all the run-off and such.

Hi Tony, Still raining?

Hi Sandi, You are very fortunate in the UK not to have those evil nasty chiggers. It would be worth having your cold weather to be rid of the little monsters.

Okay, sun is coming up, it's off to play!
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 290 Comments: 11471
16. sandiquiz
7:04 AM GMT on June 18, 2010
Oh, Dear... chiggers? Some kind of biting insect?

{Looked it up...YUCK - they are nasty little blighters!! }

Some of what I read said a hot shower with lots of soap after you have been in the garden might help, as they get on your skin but don't bite for several hours. They walk across the skin to the "tasty" areas!!

When I was little I was bitten by hundreds of fleas... I had been in a chicken house collecting eggs, and obviously disturbed them. My gran covered the bites with calamine lotion, which did help the itching. These days I believe in Benadryl tablets and lotion for any bites I get, usually mossies!

Hope you have a pleasant weekend...:)
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15. plapman
1:16 PM GMT on June 15, 2010
Good Morning GardenGrrl
Member Since: August 18, 2006 Posts: 2529 Comments: 7720
14. Skyepony (Mod)
2:41 AM GMT on June 14, 2010
I've got Feasting Free on Natural Edibles too.. I've been encouraged to make flour out of the acorns but never got around to it.

Hope you get some bees showing up. Had some sickly ones last fall. Just bumble bees & wasp until the hives in my hood recovered from the long winter.

Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 348 Comments: 42072
13. calpoppy
1:41 AM GMT on June 14, 2010
It is interesting but a little disturbing to find that people from different areas don't have butterflies this year either. We have plenty of bees since we have our own hive plus a wild hive that has taken residence under our container. But I did read recently that cell phones have affected bees, hopefully it is just a matter of tweaking the frequency that cell towers put out so it doesn't affect the bees adversely.
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 72 Comments: 4766
12. Proserpina
12:26 PM GMT on June 13, 2010

Good morning GG. Interesting you do not have bees this year and I do not have butterflies! Usually there are several kinds of butterflies residing in my garden and happily fluttering around from flower to flower, but this year I have seen only one!

So glad that the damage to your home was minimal. How nice of the guy to leave the jack for you to use if needed. I guess you have been getting a lot of rain while we do not have enough. Right at this moment I have two water hoses going full steam in an attempt to save the newly planted trees and shrubs.

I hope that you enjoy my butterfly bush with a make believe butterfly. We are so delighted with the shades of the flowers. The person who suggested this particular bush promised us a beautiful shrub and it is.

Have a wonderful Sunday and work week.
Member Since: May 6, 2008 Posts: 188 Comments: 19249
11. GardenGrrl
8:03 AM GMT on June 13, 2010
Hi Sandi, Your butterflies are different than the ones we have in my garden this year. We have some that are similar that we call Skippers. They come in off-whites and yellows.
The white ones I have more resemble the flowers on your pear tree there. They are very bright white and have squarish floppy wings.
Very interesting photo of the fruit and flowers. Have never seen that.

Hi Plapman, Just so it's not all work no play, I'll send some waterski's along with that boat. Poor Roxy missed her trip to the dog park this evening. Everything closes too early for us night people. By the time I had coffee, did some laundry, had dinner, went grocery shopping, it was already 9:30pm when we got home and the dog park closes at 10pm.

Hi Calpoppy, How cool you have a yellow house finch too! They are so pretty. The "mad scientist" in me would love to start breeding a whole rainbow assortment of housefinches. If they aren't sterile, shouldn't we see some orange ones soon too. (Hope, hope.)
We are kind of short on butterflies this year too. Finally seeing some bumble bees but no honey bees. I've been protecting the wasp nests just because I see them in the flowers sometimes. Usually my garden is full of butterflies and such. Now that the veggies are about through, I may pull them up and put in some more "butterfly flowers".
Good to know you have a cat adoption program going there.

Time to go into my "long" week.
Remember to Practice Random Acts of Kindness and Senseless Beauty.

Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 290 Comments: 11471
10. calpoppy
2:55 AM GMT on June 13, 2010
Oh, your garden in really nice this year!! I love the single pink rose on the left of the picture. They always remind me of dogwood flowers.
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 72 Comments: 4766
9. calpoppy
2:42 AM GMT on June 13, 2010
I have a yellow house finch too. First one I have ever seen. He is hanging out with the rest of the gang. Love the caterpillars! We have no butterflies so far this year, a couple at the nursery, but none at home. The most recent nursery cat 'Puff' will get a real home this coming week. I am sad but very happy for him. He has come a long way, now he is even friendly with the customers. I am sure a new one will come and take his place soon.
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 72 Comments: 4766
8. plapman
1:43 PM GMT on June 12, 2010
Good Morning GardenGrrl
I'd welcome tye boat!
Have a great weekend
Member Since: August 18, 2006 Posts: 2529 Comments: 7720
7. sandiquiz
8:22 AM GMT on June 12, 2010
We posted together....

Our white butterflies are known as Large White, or Cabbage butterflies, as they decimate cabbages - well their caterpillars do!

LATER - I went to take a photo of the strange pear tree.

Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 325 Comments: 29633
6. GardenGrrl
8:07 AM GMT on June 12, 2010
Good Morning,
The weather has "cooled" off some around here. This evening it is in the 80's with a stiff breeze and actually feels quite pleasant outside. No rain for the metro-plex, just humidity.

Hi Skyepony, Thanks. Was just over at your blog and saw you posted a good link for an herb book. Remember the "Foxfire Series" and Euell Gibbons; Feasting Free on Natural Edibles? I still have those books.

Hi Tony, Looks like we might have to take a collection and send you a boat soon. Still raining on the prairie.

Hi Sandi, that is odd to have blooms after the fruit sets. Hopefully your set fruit will stay on the limb. Didn't know that about nasturtiums and white butterflies. I planted a bunch this year as companion plants to my cucumbers and melons. Have seen lots of white butterflies around the garden. I wonder if they are the same as yours?
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 290 Comments: 11471

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