Wildlife Wednesday – Black Swallowtail Caterpillars and Parasitic wasps

The Black Swallowtail Caterpillars have been feasting heavily on my parsley. The fennel has almost ran it’s course and I suppose that’s why the Mother Butterflies chose the parsley at last. I’m glad I planted it for just that purpose.

I’m more than a bit miffed about a new discovery with the chrysalises. Apparently there’s parasitic wasps that injects their eggs into the chrysalis. Their young feeds off the butterfly pupae and hatch out. I’ve found several chrysalises with the circular hole in them.

It’s a wonder that butterflies survive at all. 

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Beautiful Weekend for Gardening

IMG_9162It was a beautiful weekend. The temps were in the 80’s and it was mostly sunny. The wind was gusting from time-to-time, but thankfully it wasn’t chilly.

IMG_9356My husband rotortillered the garden and got half of it planted. He planted onions, beans, potatoes, spinach and radishes.
I like his row markers. It’s bamboo with plastic golf balls on top.  🙂

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It rained last night and the temps are dropping, it’s  in the low 60’s today. It’s a gray dreary day. It’s not supposed to get below freezing or anything, but it might frost at night or get cold enough to nip or kill non-cold-tolerant plants/buds/blooms.

IMG_9348It’s officially Dogwood winter.
and we still have several little winters to go before warm weather sets in for the year.

The next few weeks will be up and down like this. This part of Spring usually costs home-gardeners dearly because they’ll be convinced the cold snaps are over and plant plants that aren’t cold tolerant and then lose them all with a frost. I’ve seen it happen so many times. It always makes me sad.
Some folks, like us, keep containers on hand to cover up any plants in the garden, during the colder nights that might frost or be cold enough to kill plants .
We try to be patient to plant, but it’s so very hard when the sun shines and the stirring of the need to be out digging in the soil overwhelms us.

Planting/starting seeds/seedlings in trays in the house helps curb some of my anxious need to plant in the garden during this ‘chancy’ time of the season. I tend the plants so carefully that I feel a bit like they’re my babies and I become over protective of them. I’ll keep them in the house during cold days and nights. When the days are warm I’ll tote them outside and set them on the porch. it’s a lot of work, but I need the exercise. lol
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I’m quite pleased with my seedlings. They’re healthy and happy. I transplanted them to bigger containers.
I took a photo before I wiped off their new cups, I hope you didn’t mind seeing a little dirt. lol
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I planted my basil and parsley in they’re permanent containers for season. They’ll be just fine growing in them during the Summer. I love having fresh herbs on hand. 🙂
IMG_9386I still need to wait for the peppers to grow some true leaves before I transplant them to a larger container.

It was a peach of a weekend. My husband and I look forward to more pleasant weather and gardening.

I hope you all had a pleasant weekend and was able to go outside and enjoy some soul refreshing sunshine and warm weather. 🙂  (except for Barb, I hope she’s enjoying some nice cool breezes and getting a much deserved break from the hot summer temps of Oz. 😉 )

Wishing you all a great week!
gardeningcouple3-spcbg

Monday Mix – 4-7-2014

IMG_8710The screech owl that my husband named Screech is still with us. I apologize for the photo but it was looking straight at me and I didn’t want to use the flash. I didn’t want to hurt it’s eyes. I’m surprised it’s still here. I figured it was just wintering over in our barn. But maybe this means it’s a girl and will have baby screechlettes sometime this summer. That would be so fun. It makes me smile just to think of it. If you click on it’s name, Screech, you can see better and clearer photos of it.

IMG_8767I hope everyone had a pleasant weekend. I also hope you was able to get out and enjoy some sunshine.
We had mostly sunny days and storms at night. Our temps varied from low 30’s to high 60’s. This time of year is so goofy that way.

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Don’t laugh… I harvested my first ever asparagus. I’m tickled pink about it. This is the 3rd year since I started the seed, so I picked it. Hopefully in a few days there will be a few more stalks ready for harvest and I’ll pick them and add them to these and cook them up for us to eat. I’ll let you know how that plan goes.
Okay you can laugh now. lol 😉

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My seedlings are coming along nicely. They look a little scraggly but soon I’ll transplant them into bigger containers and hopefully they’ll look stronger and healthy.

IMG_8738The flora and fauna are trying so hard to come out for the year. I discovered a ladybug in one of my pear tree photos. I guess it was trying to stay sheltered in the tree and weather out the storms.

IMG_8799Our pear trees are loosing they’re blooms now. I wish they’d keep them longer. There’s not much prettier tree than one in full bloom.

IMG_8781The dandelions are blooming everywhere. They require so little to survive and they’re quite cheerful.

IMG_8828And last but not least for this Monday mix
Here’s a sneak peek of the colors of yarn of a crochet project I started last week. Hopefully, I’ll finish it soon and then I’ll post a photo of the finished project.

Here’s wishing you all a lovely week of sunshine & smiles.
🙂3-spcbg