Category Archives: yard

My encounter with Flutterby


Last week when Brian was cutting the grass, he said a Monarch butterfly came out of nowhere and he wasn’t sure if he swatted at it or it was just hurt. It was laying in the grass and not really moving a lot. It let me pick it up and it’s one wing looked a little ‘out of joint’. I put it up on a zinnia in a pot and would check it the next day.


The next day it was on the ground, so I scooped him up and put him on the white butterfly bush.  Almost immediately, it started to drink through its tube-like tongue, the proboscis, as it went dipping it into each little flower middle.


It still wasn’t moving it’s wings as much as it could, but it looked happier.

The same thing would happen day in and day out for a few days. I moved it around back to the purple butterfly bush too.

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You can see the damage on the wing.

Then it started getting braver and wouldn’t let me pick it up. I watched it fly over the roof one day and then land on the branch of the chestnut tree near very prickly burrs. It could surely impale itself on one of them. It then took off again, flying a little zig-zaggingly around the yard.

I haven’t seen it for a few days, but it was neat to be the guardian to such a fragile creature.

All life is fragile.

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After looking at photos, I’m pretty sure this is a ‘she’ as she has lots of spots around the border on her wings. 

My Moon flower vine and Passion flowers are gracing me with their blooms. I plant the moon flowers by seed and bought the Passion flower plant back in May. What unique treats.  The moon flowers smell like talcum powder.

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On a personal note, I had been working once a week at a church preschool and they asked me to come in twice a week now and 3 times a week once a month! I’m really flattered by this.

A few days ago, I had injection therapy on my back in three spots. I took one Valium and did fine. The worst one was the shot near my tailbone as the doctor really jammed it in there (fanny area). I can see a difference already! I know I can handle something that some people get put under anesthesia to get. It was only 10-15 minutes. I sure did not like laying on my tummy the most. Sure hope it lasts a while.

Trying to get everything planted before 6/1


Well, that isn’t going to happen with one day left in May. I am rather slow this year with getting my gardens cleaned up because of my arthritis issues. Plus the weather has gone from cold to hot and back again and windy thrown in! I only have two gardens that look fairly good. I’m really proud of the Asian themed one I have under the Japanese maple that came from my mom’s house as a wee sprout. I think all of her kids have one or more of them in their yard as do a few friends.


I love Sweet William or Dianthus and only a few plants came back from last year. I added about 18 new ones in white, burgundy and pink. The bushy one in the front is the only good one from another growing season. I added a few hostas (Brian did the digging for me) and the wild begonias come up by themselves. I also added a few orange impatiens and red begonias. The wild ones are pink. It the pots are Stargazer lilies and a Passion plant.

Next is the red mulch which is really cinnamon color.

I did some planting around the pond where I have the ‘Mod Squad’ of frogs. I always call one Elvis (as in Elvis as left the building, meaning they usually jump in when we approach). The little one I call ‘Squeaky’ as he sounds like a dog toy when he jumps in with a quick squeak and a splash. The other one, well let’s just call him Froggy-lol.

Anyway, I like to plant salvia around there for the hummingbirds. I added a chocolate Cosmo next to the burgundy Coral Bell plant. I’d like a few more ground covers. My Japanese iris gave me one flower.

What is looking good this year are geraniums. I just re-potted mine last night (I always re-pot them and always keep them in pots). I have some bare spots around the house, think I’ll get a few more geraniums.


I used a filter on Instagram and it made my steps look really dirty. But I have to admit, the steps and wall there need a good power washing. That’s the last thing I do.

It got really warm today, about 90. I decided to plant some things in shady areas under my front bushes. I did impatiens and begonias.  I then went around and started my fairy and gnome patch and got some little ‘globe’ flowers and snap dragons in before I got tuckered out.

My yellow rose bush is gorgeous! I didn’t prune it back and I am glad I didn’t!


So I had to go to the dentist (filling repair) and doctor to see about my recent blood work. My glucose is was 115 and the doctor felt that it was ‘pre-diabetes’ since I have two siblings with it. I’ve been told that was kind of in the normal range. I really didn’t like my triglycerides being 50 points above what they should be. I’ve been making more vegetable based dinners. Last night we had Black Bean and Sweet Potato chili which I liked better than the kind I’ve been making with meat my entire life! I have some work to do, and I slip up as we have the tempting food in the house and I try to eat fruit or drink water first before I give in.

So I guess it’s better to take my time with gardening anyway. I just want to avoid the mosquitoes and other bugs.

Sean and I went up to Lancaster on Memorial Day as Brian was working. We only did a little shopping, but we also did geocaching! We found 6 out of 8! We saw a couple of covered bridges too.


We were all set to apply for our passports, even got our photos taken at CVS (they look like mug shots as you can’t smile). We then were looking for our birth certificates and Brian has misplaced his! He had to order a copy. We were hoping to go to Canada and Niagara Falls this year….sometime!

I’m Being Followed by a Moonflower…


I love that this vine shows me about five delightful and fragrant flowers a night (and a bit in the light) for the past few weeks. All of this beauty from about 3-4 seeds planted right near the evergreen tree.


First you see this, which in a certain way resembles a vanilla swirl ice cream cone:


They bloom all evening, miniature moons in the dark


And then they are gone the next day



The next evening, they will be back, but only until the frost of autumn comes


I ❤ the leaves also, for obvious reasons


I like blue flowers like this salvia, but that’s a different post


Nice bloomers


Happy ‘Gotcha’ Day and Birthday to our sweet Cosmo kitty who wandered into our yard 10 years ago. I think someone dropped him off all those years ago. We think he’s about 12 though.

I spent a little time outside again yesterday. It wasn’t as breezy and the mosquitoes were testing me as was a chatty Cat bird. The bird was talking to his friend in a nearby tree. The entire time I was lounging about. I did a little work-moved some plants around pulled some weeds near the pond (and waving to the three current residences -two little and one medium size). I got a book in the mail about Christian Sanderson, the man whose museum we had visited on Saturday. It’s a smallish book, but it was just published this year. All the photos looked exactly like the layout of the rooms as they are now. And I saw where Mr. Sanderson passed away on my 7th birthday in 1966.

I also took a few photos:

Happy with these hanging baskets-Chenille and Nasturtiums. There was something else in there with the Nasturtiums, but they over took it.

The Lantana is a hardy plant. Love the Dr. Seuss type balls of flowers:

The petunias are pretty too with their stripes.

And I  have a serious gnome invasion-they are coming out of everywhere!

I took these with my camera phone. I think it’s a nice one.

Hope to take my mom out to a hometown event they have during the summer called ‘Dining under the stars’. Brian has his orientation at the store tomorrow-you all know what that is-videos!

Fluttering around the yard


Not only are these gorgeous yellow Swallowtails fluttering here and there, Brian and I were doing some much needed yard work over the weekend.

Saturday we were pulling weeds out of flowerbeds and Brian did the sidewalk. I thought it would be wise to get the weedwacker out on Sunday, so I fished around the shed and found it plus the extension cord. I started and Brian finished, though he ran out of cord. Big improvement!

It was one of the most pleasant days we had in a long time. I even got the iPad to work sitting outside so I watched an episode of  Web Therapy with Lisa Kudrow (remember Friends’ Phoebe?) She is really good with her prim and proper voice, but ‘her web practice’  looks like she has ulterior motive like maybe fooling around with her web patients!

With the events of Friday-the shootings in Aurora, CO…we’ve been walking around here with a sick feeling in our stomachs. An artist connection on Face Book said an old friend of hers lost her granddaughter Veronica, age 6. This is a nightmare. The public shouldn’t get their hands on assault weapons capable of firing round after round of bullets. Wasn’t it enough last year in Arizona to start regulating weapons like this? Sean was at a midnight screening of  Batman in Delaware, but who is to say why couldn’t that have happened in any theater?


Goldfinch Lunch Break


Brian happen to catch this hungry Goldfinch couple munching on the forming Zinnia seeds through the backdoor . I had to grab the camera and was happy with these shots. So sweet….

I’m glad they like these as I like to help wildlife.

I saw that the local school district needed a ‘full-time’ instructional assistant for the elementary where Sean went to school. I’m a bit nervous about working full time, I’d like to get my feet wet with part-time. I haven’t worked around kids for several years, but of course I raised a fine fellow.  They only want you to have a high school diploma. The pay is decent too. I dropped off my resume today.

Flowers around home


I decided to share a few photos of my flowers ‘up close’ as the garden long shots aren’t worthy of shares as they are so weedy.  We had wonderful rain Saturday and  also Sunday night. It’s great how things as small as grass blades perk up. Many of plants are from seed too. I love that.

Cosmos from seed just beginning to open

Zinnias-they have been taking a beating-wilting daily (seeds)

If you want flowers that will welcome you from 25 ft away with their amazing scent-plant some Starglazer lilies! The Sweet Bay Magnolia has been scenting the yard on the side of the house nicely too.

The Coleus are hanging in there nicely.

The prolific tomatoes are popping out of the fence. Hope I get these before the deer or groundhogs.

Very nice to have a few gourds on the vine. I am not seeing any pumpkins or watermelons. I was hoping that they would take off in this space. Maybe I’ll be surprised.

So…we geocache usually coming and going from places lately. Today we tried for 4 and found 2 though we were right in the correct spot for all of them. The one was a park in my hometown named after a man my grandfather worked for. : )  We went down a steep path to an open area to see that the coords wanted us to ‘bushwhack’ about 25-30 feet. I was wearing a dress and sandals, so no.  We’ll go back. Then we took my mom to dinner and one was suppose to be behind a Target store. There’s this long metal ‘barrier’, I think so trucks can’t go to the edge of the parking lot. We were right where it was, but it was hot and sunny. We couldn’t find it. We had found one behind a Hooter’s on the way to my mom’s house.

On the way home (I had gotten my hair done too), I asked Brian to stop at the local mall. It lead us to a fire hydrant next to a Kohl’s and lo and behold…Brian found a ‘nano’-the tiniest cache you can find. We didn’t sign the log-too tiny.

I have hid 3 caches now myself. I had trouble getting the 3rd one accepted as the name was for the local businesses near where I put it. A no-no. I changed it. The first person who found it said the box had been opened and the stuff spread all over the ground, even a travel bug! We are thinking a raccoon got into it. It’s not far from the restaurant dumpsters, so maybe. Wow!

Early summer 2012


I’m not that happy with many aspects of my gardens this year. We have one day of rain and then it doesn’t rain for a week or more. We need some nice gentle rain. The earth is dry and hard. I pulled some weeds out a few days ago, but it was pure muscle power. As I said earlier, my lack of mulching didn’t help matters either. My flowers in pots are doing the best.

I happen to be in the new Habitat for Humanity store and they had plants there for $1 a pot. I bought two of the royal purple Petunias and a pale pink. They are blooming profusely!

This Millions of Bells is doing well. Just today it looks a little droopy, so I may have to do a bit of snipping.

And then there are my Lilies. I really love them. They are in with ornamental grasses that are taking over. Also, the deer munched them all to the ground in the winter, but they came back! As soon as it rains, I am getting Brian out there to dig up some of the grasses.

This one is on the side of the house where Vinca vine is taking over.

The Portulaca are very pretty-I have two strawberry jars of it

The container next to this planter had flower seeds planted in it. One side was Poppy seeds and the other Zinnias. The Zinnias are doing well, but the Poppies got lost in grass! I don’t know where it all came from as this container had hot peppers in it last year. I see a sprinkling of Poppies.

I trim this back and it still goes like crazy as when we do have rain, the gutters leak and it get a big drink. I’m not seeing many butterflies on it yet.

I ran and got my camera when I saw this solo Monarch fluttering around

I do grow Milkweed for my butterfly pals

And this was spotted on the road-can you see what it says?

It says ‘I miss being a tree’. : )

Five little Nuthatches


Five little Nuthatches are living in a gourd in our evergreen tree out front. There were two gourds and one fell down, so I was thankful it wasn’t this nest before they arrived. They must have been born during the short time we were away. And wow are they noisy. The mama and dad are only about 4 inches long and the call is wickedly loud.

I had Cosmo out for a walk on his harness and hooked him up to a trellis on one side of the tree while I ran in to get the zoom. I had a little time focusing on the gourd, but I then stood inside the branches of a nearby Dogwood and waited a few minutes. It didn’t take long for Mama to come back, though she hopped around the branches watching Cosmo and then she hopped around me with this nasty grub or caterpillar in her mouth. 

I was very happy with these shots! If you’d like to use them, let me know first. Thanks.

I have more to tell you about our little trip tomorrow.