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June 2024

The Next Insect Armageddon

The cicada Armageddon has ended here. The endless droning has subsided.  I can now walk across my yard without being attacked by miniature flying torpedoes or crunching a plethora of brown carcasses with each step.

I have definitely been enjoying the quiet and have been looking forward to a time of peace in the garden.  And then my son-in-law, the arborist, stopped by and announced, “The Japanese beetles are here, and it looks like a bad year.”  I really wanted him to be wrong, but, as usual, it appears that he was right.  They are here  –  and they are hungry.

Hosting A Butterfly Gathering

My youngest granddaughter is an absolute ball of fire. She has boundless energy, endless curiosity and the attention span of a gnat. She seems to be everywhere at once, talking a blue streak, except when we are in the garden and the butterflies flutter in. Then she is mesmerized, standing quiet and still as a statue hoping a butterfly will land on her like it did at the butterfly house ages ago. Watching the expression on her face as she patiently stands, wishing for one to find her, makes me determined to create a butterfly paradise so, just maybe, she might get that wish. 

Native vs Nativar

I had an eye opening experience yesterday. 

Every day I sit by a huge window overlooking my back garden to drink my morning tea. While I sat enjoying the view, a bevy of butterflies swooped into the yard to begin their daily feeding frenzy. They come almost every morning at about the same time for an extended meal and then pop in and out the rest of the day. 

A Piece of the Desert

I fell in love with prickly pear cactus six years ago on a trip to the desert Southwest —. not as a plant to grow, but as a food to eat!  It was delicious in salads  and made lemonade taste so much better. I ordered it at every restaurant we ate at. When we got home, I found some pads for sale and immediately snatched them up with the intent of recreating those culinary delights I’d had. After a couple of days of intently studying the increasingly limp cactus pieces, I realized that I had absolutely no clue what to do with them, so they wound up in the composting bin and I moved on.