Friday, September 26, 2014

More Monarchs For Mexico



Today was another perfect fall day for the Monarchs.  This beautiful specimen is drinking nectar from Ed's Mammoth Pink  chrysanthemum.  His uncurled proboscis works like a straw drinking in nectar to fuel up for the trip.  Butterflies need 55 degrees to fly so today is  another great day to catch warm thermals and head South.


There is something magical about these beautiful butterflies and their long migration. We wish them Bon Voyage on their trip. Times' a wasting if they are going to reach Mexico by October 31 through November 2.  In Mexico that is when they celebrate the Days of the Dead.  According to ancient myth the butterflies represent the returning souls of the dead.  Numbers of returning butterflies are decreasing at an alarming rate.  I hope people's awareness has been aroused about this in time.  I so love to watch these beautiful creatures.  We do what we can to help, growing  the milkweed they need for their caterpillars plus goldenrod, asters, chrysanthemums and other nectar producing flowers they need for food.  Now it's time to watch them soar over the trees on warm thermals heading South,  and hope next year's generation of Monarchs will return here next summer.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fall At Its Finest


Once the fog burned off the garden, this was a glorious sunny morning.  I was delighted to see several Monarchs sail over the garden heading South.  My favorite thing  is when one clears the roof of the house and glides above my head.  Ed and I headed out with the garden tractors to the back.  We wanted to weed and dig potatoes to prepare the garlic bed for planting.  The garlic planting is only a couple of weeks away now.  Ed dug for potatoes.  This year we seem to have a bumper crop.  Digging potatoes is one of the most fun things in gardening.  If you have never done it try it next year for sure.  The man who digs a five gallon bucket full of new organic potatoes for his table is rich indeed!

I spent my time weeding and dragging frosted pumpkin vines to the compost pile. Our pie pumpkins and butternut squash had quite a year this year too!  It  is so quiet in the back. I can see why Ed loves it there.  The sound of birds doesn't have to compete with the noises of civilization to get your attention.  I did not see, but I heard a Black Capped Chickadee.  These friendly little birds spend their winter here.  Now that the hummingbirds and other summer birds have left us, he is a delightful replacement.

After lunch I stayed front to work and hoped to catch a picture of a migrating Monarch, but butterflies like sunshine and the clouds rolled in.  I did manage to get a picture of just one of the many goldfinches that feast on the sunflower seeds left in the garden.  Their constant chatter and bobbing flight are a fine diversion from my work of deadheading Gloriosa Daisies.  Off in the distance I heard the who-who-who-who of a Great Horned Owl.  The beauty of the purples and yellows of the asters and golden rod is being joined by the gradual change of color of the trees.  It's a day like this that reminds me why I love it here so very much!