Archive | July, 2013

Butterfly Sighting7.27

28 Jul

photo I spotted this beauty on Saturday, sent around a picture and Ansley ,emailing from France, id’d it as an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.

Isn’t she pretty?

-Denise

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A Bee at Work…

27 Jul

A Bee at Work...

I have seen a big bee pollinating away in the garden recently! Here’s pic of him working on one of the cucumber plants yesterday.

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A Garden Friend….

27 Jul

A Garden Friend....

I saw this little guy on one of the carrots in the squash bed. Only saw the one so far but there may be more so keep your eye out…

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Want to Try the Bounty from June’s Mini Garlic Harvest?

6 Jul

photo-118

garlic on towel After we harvested half of the garlic crop in June, I dried the garlic for about 3 weeks.  It’s ready to try!  Let’s divvy it up after this evening’s harvest.

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seedlings

5 Jul

seedlings

cilantro (Ana) and Oriental eggplant (Kaiya) seedlings getting strong enough for transplant

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Seedings

5 Jul

Seedings

cilantro and eggplant seedlings getting strong enough for transplant

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new additions

5 Jul

new additions

Herbs hanging in the felt plant pockets along the fence are now well-established (except for the ailing thyme) and open for picking as desired. All are labelled. Try the Greek basil – spicy! Please be considerate and don’t harvest so much that they’re not available to others or that the plants are damaged beyond recovery. (Thank-you, Dylan, for helping hang the pockets.)

Thanks to Ana and Kaiya we have cilantro and Oriental eggplant seedlings that will soon be ready to transplant. We should have eggplants ready to harvest in August and probably through October.

Eastern swallowtail butterfly chrysalis!

4 Jul

At about noon we were in the garden and saw only 2 caterpillars (out of our original 7) left on the carrot greens and wondered whether they had wandered off to form chrysalises or if they had fallen victim to wasps or birds.  The big poops (!) on the carrot greens suggested pupating was imminent, but we couldn’t see chrysalises anywhere.  We gave up and went inside, hoping to find something to which we could transfer the caterpillars to watch them metamorphose.

By the time we got back outside, though, it was too late.  The remaining caterpillars had disappeared by 5pm . . . and then Audrey, half jumping the garden fence says, “Hey, I see one!”  Warner, Jaydon, and I crowd around and see that she’s right.  There, hanging by a single, silky thread is an Eastern swallowtail butterfly caterpillar.  Within about 5 minutes, it was starting to pupate, and the whole process was finished just 2-3 minutes later.

I have now learned that the caterpillars tend to wander off to find a place to pupate after a big final poop, attach themselves to their chosen spots with sticky silk at one end and by a wrap-around silk thread at the other, and then hang for about 24 hours before forming their chrysalises.  It’s still amazing to me that we arrived and found the caterpillar at exactly the right moment to see it all happen.

It chose a not-great spot, unfortunately — as Warner says, “It’s right behind 3d base.”  We tried to protect it with some artfully arranged (so as not to be too pointy) hardware cloth, and stuck up next to it the sign I made a couple years ago — it has pictures of the Eastern swallowtail butterfly caterpillar, chrysalis and butterfly.  If our caterpillar/chrysalis miraculously manages to survive the rain and baseball, it would emerge in 10-14 days.  So we should start looking on July 13.  Fingers crossed!

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