Sunday, September 11, 2011

This and That

We've been enjoying some nice weather the last couple of weeks.  I am finding myself too tired to do a lot in the evenings, but have delighted in sitting out front in our new planting area.  All of the other beds are full of plants with very narrow paths.  One has to be outside of them to see them, but in the front, we can go into the garden to sit.  I love it!

I have been seeing at least 2 different hummingbirds on the blooms, but can't go in to get my camera, because they will be scared away.  When I do have my camera, they either don't come, or else they are too flighty for me to get a photo that isn't a blur.  I did get a VERY short video that I put on Facebook awhile back.  This is the first season that I've seen hummingbirds more than once or twice.  I love it!  We don't put feeders out because we are afraid we won't keep up with cleaning them.  I do intentionally plant black and blue salvia and agastaches for them.  I've also seen them on kiss me over the garden gate, Mexican sunflower, red salvias, and gomphrena.

I was planning on cutting back the first teddy bear sunflower head today to prevent the squirrels from helping themselves to it, but first, I spread some compost on an area of the vegetable garden, and divided some irises.  Then, I did other things and didn't get to it. 

The sunflower looked like it may need some support, so I put the yard art deal closer to it to let it lean.  I hadn't decided if I was going to tie it to the support yet.

This is the top flower, the first to bloom.  This is the one I was planning on cutting off.

Later in the day, I opened the front door, and this is what I saw.  I grabbed my camera, and took one quick photo before yelling and running toward the varmint.

This was not focussed, but I included it to show the running of the squirrel with the big bloom in its mouth. Stop, thief!  I was hoping it would drop it so I could snatch it up.

It stopped for a brief moment in the neighbor's yard, but I continued my chase.

Once it made it to the tree, I knew my chances of getting the flower back were gone.  I just didn't want it to be able to eat it.

"Are you still down there?"

"Na, na, na, na na!"

After the squirrel went up higher in the tree, it started throwing down pieces of the white part of the flower, adding insult to my injury.  I gave up, and went back to assess the damage.  This is the reason I gave up growing the regular kinds of sunflowers, because the squirrels take off the blooms before the seeds are mature, and scatter the flowers around the neighborhood.  The plants end up torn up or knocked down in the process.  I wonder what would happen if I sprayed these blooms with a pepper type spray made to repel critters.

And now, for the "that".  I have some whorled milkweed in a flowerbed at church.  I didn't know if I could transplant it, but decided to try.  One of them is doing well, something ate the other one, except for the stem.  I wonder what that could have been.  Surely rabbits don't eat milkweeds.

I saw these shadows of some plants, and  thought they were pretty enough to have their picture taken.

This has been a bad summer for the vegetable garden, except for the spring salad season.  Even though I had a fence to keep the rabbits out, my bush beans got eaten by insects, and I didn't get more than a small handful of beans.  The pole beans surprised me, though, by having a number of huge beans.  Oops!  I like them small and tender, but I intentionally overcooked them, and they were pretty tasty just plain, with some spray margarine and a little pepper.  These that I picked today, are still large, but I broke most of them up small, and made some vegetable soup with them, and some onions, garlic, carrots, celery, corn off 3 cobs, and frozen chopped spinach.  I use a vegetable base from a jar you keep in the refrigerator when I make soup.  It was pretty good.

I found these onions when I cleaned out the area to apply compost to.  I thought I had picked all of them.  Usually, I get a crop of nice sized onions, but they were small this year, and a lot of them bolted.  I did get some chopped and frozen, though.

I am seeing butterflies every day now.  It is good for me to just experience them, and not have to take pictures every time.  This is either a painted lady or American painted lady.  I forgot which.  Liatris is another favorite of mine and the butterflies.

I felt the wind from a monarch flying by me the other day.  That was so cool!  I like the legs, proboscis, and antennae in this photo.  I hope the Mexican sunflower continues to bloom well into the fall so the monarchs traveling through can enjoy it.  Still, I see the monarchs on many other blooms as well.  I am seeing 4 or 5 at a time when I go out.  There are also swallowtails, sulphurs, different kinds of skippers, and such.

Here is one of the reblooming irises.  Someone identified it for me awhile back, but I'm not remembering what it is.

I've been watching much of the 9/11 coverage this weekend. I have felt compelled to listen to the experiences of those whose lives were changed more directly than mine, and to learn more about some things that happened that I didn't know the details of.  It was amazing how so many people used their boats to get people off of Manhattan.  My thoughts and prayers are with all affected, and our country.


  1. Sue, I don't really plant anything for Monarch butterflies but I'm seeing a lot more of them this year than in past years. I would usually see a few during the summer months passing through but this year I'm seeing them almost every day. I'm not sure what that means but I like it. Your flowers always look so great. How much time do you spend in the garden tending to their needs every day?

    I was planting grass seed in the front yard when the neighbor told me that a plane had hit the trade center tower in New York. I thought it must have been a bad malfunction of an aircraft and continued to seed the lawn. After I finished with the lawn I came into the house and turned on the TV just in time to see the second plane hit the other tower. This actually hit me as a terrorist act and the rest of the day I was glued to the TV. By the end of the day I was just numb with no emotion and could not believe that anyone could or would want to do this to our country. Being in the city that they brought President Bush, I am sure I saw the black Airforce one with the squadron of jet fighters escorting the President to SAC airbase streak across the sky as they were landing at the airbase. As the days passed and the whole plan unfolded the horror of it all began to sink into my soul. How could anyone put together a plan to destroy three prominent buildings two of which were high security. Only the heroic acts of those on flight 93 saved the White House from being hit as well. It was an awful day in the history of the United States. I can now understand what my parents went through when they heard of the bombing of pearl harbor. I have the documentary recorded but I haven't watched it yet.

    Don't get me started on squirrels. They are the rascals of the neighborhood. There isn't anything they won't try to destroy or get into. If they just weren't so cute, I drown everyone I could catch. What a carefree life they live. Although I don't think that life style would quite work for us humans. What do you think?

    Have a great day enjoying your garden flowers.

  2. Another wonderful post, Sue! I am so glad you are spending time just being in your beautiful garden surrounded by the many blossoms and visiting birds and butterflies. Dare I say, the squirrels, too? They are very cute!

  3. PS your photography and captions are delightful as always, too!

  4. I sure do like those sunflowers-I'm definately saving a spot for them in next year's garden. Sorry the squirrel took off with one of your blooms. I did read that the pepper spray keeps them off, but have not tried it myself. I don't have problems with squirrels---it's the bluejays doing all the damage here.
    Have a wonderful week, Sue---I'm glad you're able to get out and enjoy your lovely garden more now!

  5. You need to have a picture of you just sitting and enjoying your garden! It is rare that we gardeners do that.

    I believe the iris is 'Immortality'.

    So far, squirrels don't bother me much. I can't believe you got such good pictures of that rascal steeling the flower head. I have a dog out in the yard all the time; maybe that is why.

    My butterflies are mostly gone now.

  6. Gode billeder.
    Smukke blomster.
    Sød Egern.
    Tak for rundvisningen.

  7. Great photography Sue. You still have a lot blooming there. Your sunflowers are wonderful and even though the squirrel was a thief, it was a great story.

    Have a really nice week ~ FlowerLady

  8. Your Monarch photo....frame it! Simple gorgeous.

    Squirrel story...very funny. Reminds me once again why I don't like squirrels. They're downright rude.

    Sue, it's good to hear that you actually sit down sometimes and enjoy your beautiful plantings.


  9. Love the squirrel doing you r seeding for you ..butterfly gorgeous

  10. The squirrel narration was too cute!! I giggled all the way through it. I know people who get to see them all the time think they are a nuisance, but on the farm, we simply haven't had any. .I've seen 2 on their way through in nearly 15 years. .I would love to watch them up close!! I wonder if just a bulk package of cheap cayenne pepper would help. .it won't bother the birds. .and it does work on cats. Good luck!!

  11. Glad you are enjoying your new "garden room". So there was a silver lining in removing the silver maple. ha. Probably miss the shade however. send some of the monarchs down this way when they head south. Ok? All I have is one male, who flys and drifts when I get near.

  12. Blasted squirrels! Still...those photos were pretty hilarious! So glad you are getting to sit and enjoy the garden...sometimes we do forget to do that, don't we!

  13. Greetings fellow Kansas.
    Don't get me started about squirrels. I'm sick of feeding birds while feeding squirrels.
    I believe the white iris is 'Immortality'. It's the most reliable rebloomer. Enjoy your Fall.

  14. I was laughing at the photos of the sunflowers and the thief. But even if it does that all the time, I find it cute and your photos are cute too. I always love the squirrels, maybe because we don't have it here. It really looks naughty eating his loot from your garden. About the 9/11, I remember i was looking at the CNN news when suddenly the plane hit the towers, I saw it at that moment! God bless all those who died, who remained and who helped the aftermath. Let's also pray for the perpetrators, that their minds be clear!

  15. Why, that crafty little devil of a squirrel! Lovely shot of the Mexican sunflower, I have one very much like it. But this year, the rabbits ate every single one of my tithonia seedlings. Grrrrr.

  16. Your garden is just lovely so late in the season. Squirrels can be such a pain, sorry to hear you've been having trouble. I'm still not sure where the summer went yet, it all seems like a blur.

  17. Great photos of the squirrel and his loot. I love the one of him up in the tree, eating. Your garden is looking wonderful as always. I have a lot of tropical milkweed here, but I'm still waiting to see a Monarch.

  18. I know the squirrel frustrates you, but your play by play is priceless! We rarely have squirrels, and I did not know they were so fond of flowers.


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