Monday, July 31, 2006

Well, it *was* cool and pleasant...

We're caught in the grip of a heat wave. Highs today and tomorrow of around 100. Couldn't do anything in the yard over the weekend, though luckily I got the weeding done the weekend before (two whole paper yard bags worth!).

The heat however is great for butterflies. I went out yesterday and chased some with the camera. Got only a few halfway decent pictures, but since the butterfly bushes have started blooming, I expect more visitors in the coming weeks.

Black tiger swallowtail (female?)


Same monarch, on milkweed... have to go look for caterpillars

Also sighted: a red admiral, some sort of white sulphur (they're so hard to tell apart and they move very quickly!), and a tiny lavender-gray fella (azure?).

In bloom: nearly everything. Even one of the asters has started, a pink-flowered aster that I thought was a goldenrod. Oops.

Parthenium integrifolium, wild quinine

Agastache 'Blue Fortune', anise hyssop

Also, a fine stand of horseweed, Conyza canadensis. I had to wait for it to flower so I could ID it; now I need to pull it all out. It's one of those interesting Asteraceaes that has only disk flowers, giving the illusion of a flower that just hasn't quite opened yet. It's lovely now but when it goes to seed it will look very ragged and weedy so it has to go. Some weeds, like chickweed and violets and dayflowers, I leave unless they're in the way. I have some really nice wood sorrel, a couple of feet tall! I wish I had purple clover in the yard. I wonder if I could get some seed from a vacant lot.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

One more thing

The yucca plant looks *terrible*! Hardly any of the flowers even opened; the rest turned brown/black and dried out before they could even fully form. I know the plant is having an earwig problem but I don't know if they're the culprit. I am very disappointed.

July updates

This has been a really good year for the garden - the right amount of rain, not too hot, and only one horribly destructive hailstorm early on. The only plants still feeling the effects of the hailstorm are the daylilies along the south edge. It's very shady there anyway; it may be time to move those to the upcoming birdbath garden.

July 4 pics:

Garage garden

Butterfly weed, Asclepias tuberosa (which a few days later I caught a rabbit felling near the base of the stems. Isn't this plant supposed to be toxic and unpalatable?!)

North edge garden

Wayback garden - it's a jungle out there!

Monarda fistulosa

The only semi-decent shot I could get of this crazy-looking bug (on the milkweed). It was something like a bee, with a narrow, pointed abdomen plated in orange. His hind legs also were plated in orange and the whole effect was of a very wide abdomen that had been subdivided into three independent parts. There was nothing like it in my bug book. He really liked that milkweed, though!