Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Bloomin' Tuesday

The first day of summer is not until Friday,
but you wouldn't know it by the temperatures 
and afternoon storms with which we've been frequented.
Here's what's goin' on at Maple Hill.

We spent some time with friends a block over,
and their crape myrtle trees are bloomin' big time!

While my farmer friends Faye and Lynn were away,
they asked me to water their cherry tomatoes.

Unlike full-sized tomatoes,
these beauties can be grown all summer long.

These luscious pearls are a tasty treat.
We were allowed to snag a few for our efforts.

Back at home, 
it was a great time for seed starting.

Yogurt cups and toilet paper rolls were readied for the seed.

As most of our veggies are done for the summer,
we will be planting a variety of flowers 
that don't mind the heat and humidity.

Love reusing these containers I found in someone's recycle bin.
Thanks, neighbor!

It only took a few days to get germination.

Here's one of the moonflower plants grown from seed.
These are fragrant and bloom in the evening.

The one exception to our summer slow-down
is sweet potatoes.

I'm starting a slip with a white sweet potato.
It was the only organic sweet potato I could find at the market.

I also started some basil and parsley.
Some of the parsley will be used to host caterpillars.

The beautyberry is producing tons of berries for the birds.

These green grape-like clusters
will turn a brilliant magenta.

It's been one of our goals to provide more food for wildlife.

This cutie was happy to stay still long enough for its close up.

The gloriosa daisy has come back to spend some time with us.

What a blessing.

A few of the first sunflowers are waking up.

Last year there was an absence of these cheery blooms.

Somehow, it doesn't feel like summer without them.

The rosemary and sweet potato vine 
seem to be content sharing space.

Remember the caterpillars that were found on the parsley plants
at Farm School this week?
We decided to rescue them from certain demise.
After all, 
Faye & Lynn do need to have some parsley to sell.
We happily brought them home.

We've been having a great time making a home for them.
Several were given to one of my students 
who loves the critters and all their magic.
Our past experience has been with Monarchs, which can be seen here.

They are similar in color, but have stripes instead of spots.

These are Black Swallowtails, so we are thrilled with the chance
to learn about a new type of critter.
You can see this one starting to attach itself to the netting with silk.
It is forming the curved shape, preparing to create the chrysalis.

Another attached itself to the empty lemonade container we provided.

After the chrysalis was formed, it turned this shade of brown.

You can see another cat suspended from the parsley stem.
Its chrysalis remains green, to blend in with the plant.


This lil' guy affixed itself to the top of our patio roof.
It stayed this way for a day.
I was able to capture the actual making of the chrysalis.

Watch this:

This one must have been quite content to stay put,
because it secured itself to the very parsley plant 
it had been devouring.

They are voracious eaters, 
which is why Faye and Lynn were happy to part with them 
in the first place.
Works for me...

Hope you have all kinds of fascinating things 
where you are today!

Enjoy God's bounty!