Random Few For Friday

Talk about late bloomers, my snowball bush has produced
one lovely fluffy pretty bloom.
It’s odd, I think, but pretty neat too.My herb garden has came a long way from when we first started it back in 2016.There’s nothing like homegrown tomatoes!
Yep, that’s the mantra this gardener gardens by. I’ve finished my ‘Joy In The Journey’ cross stitch.
I’m thinking I may make it into a wall
hanging instead of a framed wall picture.
I’m going to leave it on the frame until I decide.My next cross stitch project is called ‘Butterflies & Daisies’.
It reminds me of the butterflies we raised this Summer.I was surfing around for movies and surfed upon a 70 episode set of ‘One Step Beyond’. I’m familiar with the series from watching a few of the episodes on a video site. I didn’t realized it was based on true stories and was even aired before ‘Twilight Zone’ came along. That impressed me and as it was reasonably priced, I bought it. I’ve not watched but a few of the episodes on the first disc. I plan to watch through the episodes in order. I really enjoy the stories. The stories do give one cause-for-pause to ponder the odd events that happen from time-to-time.

Have a great weekend!

.

Wildlife Wednesday – camouflaged caterpillar, sphinx moth & trapdoor spider

I was tending to my marigolds when I saw tiny petals moving around a bloom. You don’t usually see that type of activity in a marigold, so I watched it for a few minutes. I discovered that it was a caterpillar that had used marigold petals to camouflage itself. I got such a chuckle from see it.

One evening just after sunset, we were sitting on the back-porch. I saw what I thought was a hummingbird flying around and feeding on my daylilies. I commented to my husband that the hummingbird sure was up late and I’d never seen one fly after dark. He agreed.
I got my camera and tried to focus in on it and take a couple photos. Only one turned out pretty good and it wasn’t a hummingbird, it was a huge moth. Wow, if you know how big a daylily bloom is then you can kind of tell that this moth was quite large.
I looked on the internet and as best as I can tell, it’s some sort of a sphinx moth.

Last weekend, our mower’s drive belt broke. My husband used a leaf blower to clean the mower out before he started work on it to replace the belt. He called out for me to come and see the spider that had fell out of the hood. I hurried over and was surprised to see one of the biggest trapdoor spiders that I’ve ever seen. Its body was at least 3 cm long (a bit over an inch). With its legs it was even bigger and scarier.
I clicked off a photo of the trapdoor spider before my husband properly dispatched it.
I’ve decided not to post the trapdoor spider photo in this post out of respect to people who may be unsettled by seeing it. Instead, I’ve made a link to the photo. If you would like to see the scary creeper Click Here a photo should open in a separate tab or window (if I linked it right.)

It can be amusing, interesting and/or unsettling to notice some of the buglife that I don’t usually pay attention too. I’m glad my camera is usually with me so I can get photos to help me in internet searches to better identify them.

Have you seen any amusing, interesting or scary critters lately?

I hope your Wednesday is pest free and a good one.

.

Black Swallowtail Butterfly Lifecycle

Here’s my video of the black swallowtail butterfly emerging from it’s chrysalis. It’s pretty neat to see the butterfly emerge and watch it climb as high as it can. My video isn’t perfect, but I’m glad to have it anyway.

Here’s a gallery of the basic lifecycle of the black swallowtail butter from egg to butterfly. 
*There another stage not shown; a shedding of the skin off of the chrysalis. I wasn’t quick enough to capture that stage in a photo or on video.
These photos are from different butterflies. I tried to choose the clearest photos to share. I copied some of them from my video of the chrysalis hatching(?).

And for now, with the exception of watching new caterpillars in the wild, this ends my butterfly farming for the year.  I think it was a success.

Wishing you all a successful week.

*edited in 7-12-2017- Over the past few days, I’ve been watching some black swallowtail butterfly eggs and today I discovered they hatched. I managed to get a photo of the tiny caterpillar less than 24 hours old. I added the photo to the gallery.

.

Deer, Gardening & Shrubs

There’s a new fawn in the neighborhood. I was able to get a photo of it and its Mom. They’re so pretty.
~*~
Our tomatoes are finally ripening in larger numbers. We like the Roma variety quite well. We eat them like regular tomatoes. They also make delicious juice.Now that our tomatoes are coming in, our squash is coming to an end.Our garden is pretty much at an end. My husband mowed everything down except the tomato, squash and cucumber plants.
~*~
I’ve always wanted a ‘Rose of Sharon’, I was delighted Friday when my husband surprised me with a lovely white one.
Saturday, we went for a ride and found a garden center that was having a 50% to 75% off the shrubs. We bought 2 crepe myrtles, a pink rose of sharon and 2 garden phlox.Sunday evening, We transplanted the shrubs in the yard. I’m in high hopes they’ll thrive and bloom and attract more butterflies. We’re happy to have lucked up on such a good deal.
~*~

I hope you all have a great week.

.

Potato Bucket Done, Corn Harvest & a Tomato

My potato plant was looking poorly and began to turn yellow, so I decided it was time to see if it was productive. I’m happy to report the my potato bucket produced one little potato. Unfortunately, it is too small to eat.  I left the little potato in the garden for any critter that might want a snack.
I don’t think my potato bucket experiment has been a total failure. It solved my curiosity and it produced several blog posts. 😉
~*~

A short time ago, a storm came through and flattened our beautiful corn. About half the crop struggled to stand back up. Some critters feasted on some of the corn. Even though the corn probably needed another few days of ripening, we thought it best to harvest it or we wouldn’t get any to eat.
On the 4th of July we harvested, shucked, blanched, cut-off-the-cob, vacuum packaged and froze 17 bags of corn.
We’re very happy to have the corn frozen and available for many meals to come.
~*~

At last another tomato is finally ripening. It’s so pretty snuggled down in the lush green leaves of the tomato vine. It should be ready soon.

Originally, I kind of wondered if our garden was too small, but it’s proven to be a good size for us. We’ve enjoyed tending our little garden and the veggies are a mighty tasty reward.

Wishing you all a happy harvest!

.

Wip Wednesday – Joy In The Journey, Potato Bloom & Chrysalises

Only one of these are truly my work-in-progress and the other two is the wip of Mother Nature.

I’ve started working on my ‘Joy In The Journey’ cross stitch that I strung on a frame last January. I used regular sewing thread and gridded the fabric off in 20×20 stitch blocks to help me with the count. I like the look of the grid so well that I’m going to leave it. I think the grid gives it a sort of nostalgic look. It’s slow going, but it’s coming along.My potato plant in the bucket has started blooming. I think potato blooms are so pretty. This experiment is moving along pretty well so far.We ended up with 7 Black Swallowtail Butterfly Chrysalises. We brought in 5 caterpillars that are now in the chrysalis stage. Then the other day after a storm we found two chrysalises in the top of our fennel plant. They’re the ones on the left side of the photo. We brought them in because where they were in the fennel they were too tempting to birds.
I’ll take the individual twig of the chrysalis outside as the butterfly start to emerge. I look forward to seeing the lovelies emerge.

Wishing you all a success with your works-in-progress.

.