Monday, July 16, 2012

Garden and Weather Update

Rain has settled in over the past 10 days--the gentle kind that patters down in the night or moves through in a brisk daytime shower.
The parched ground has soaked it up and many struggling plants show signs of recovery.
We have spent hours renovating the gardens, sometimes working through a cooling brief shower.
The watermelon above is from heirloom seed.

We worked through a misty afternoon rain last Wednesday, pulling up tired, spent beans, corn and and such.  J. using the small tiller so that I could replant beans, as well as sow cabbage and broccoli seed.
I usually buy my fall plants from a nursery, don't see why I can't direct seed them, thin and transplant right from a garden row.

The zinnias are stalwarts--enduring heat and drought. With the benefit of moisture they have produced a fresh burst of colorful blooms.  Red-spotted-purple butterflies, golden fritillaries and swallowtails are all visiting the flowers.

I spent Thursday evening weeding the perennial strips. The praying mantis was clinging to a stalk of Russian Sage.

Side view of the mantis.

Swallowtail on a vivid pink zinnia.

Shades of pink are predominating in the zinnias sown from 2010's saved seed.

The butterflies are frustrating subjects for photos.  They flit and move while I am trying to focus the camera.
I'm using my 10 year old Fuji at this point as my Canon has been declared unrepairable due to the unavailibility of the battery compartment door.
I don't have the Fuji software loaded on this PC, so have experimented with other photo programs--none too successfully.

The colors of these butterflies have a lovely dusky shimmer which the photos don't capture.

I haven't cut the zinnias which are past their blooming prime as they still attract butterflies.

This scarlet flower hosts two butterflies.
I should make a point to sit very still and observe which colors are most in favor.


  1. Glad you have the rain you need. Now if only we had some of your sunshine you wanted rid of . . .

    Your butterflies look so exotic. It's been a bad year for butterflies here because it has been so cool and wet. My Buddleia is out and normally covered in insects, esp. butterflies, but not this year . . . I saw a cabbage white yesterday in the distance, and a couple of probable Graylings in the last week, but that's all since spring . . .

  2. The butterflies are fabulous and I think you have captured them beautifully. I am missing zinnias from my garden this year. Your fall veggies sound great and I have always thought that seeded vegetables do so much better than transplants, - they just start growing and never stop...

  3. Zinnias are among my favorite flowers, so I really enjoyed this post. Glad to hear you are getting rain.

  4. Glad to hear that you are getting some rain. Heard on the news yesterday that the dairy farmers in Wisconsin are running out of feed. Their pastures are all gone. Your zinnias still look beautiful, even if the are past their prime. Mine haven't started to bloom yet.

  5. Those butterfly shots are brilliant ... such wonderful colours ...I do wonder which colour they like best. Glad you got some rain ...we actually had a couple of days with out rain.xx

  6. Very pleased that you have some much needed rain.

    The butterflies are stunning. I hope we have a few humble English butterflies visiting the zinnias I grew from seed this year. I did see two red admirals today.

  7. The butterflies are stunning!
    The heat here is relentless also. It is 100* or running over to around 103* daily. But my garden is hanging in there. My larger, heirloom tomatoes are slow, and I'll bet I won't be getting those until late September. I have cherry tomatoes coming out of my ears and cukes also. My zukes are flowing also, because of the heat.
    Have a great week.

  8. Hi Sharon! taking a much needed rest from hard work here - also from the mess dust and clutter! I will be so glad when this DIY asnd building work is finished!

    I am so glad youve finally had some rain,we actually have a rare morning of sunshine here as I type!

    Your butterflies are beautiful! absolutely stunning!

    lovely to see Willis and the other two grey tabbies are now in your sidebar- I dont think you really had a choice in them becoming family, did you? (smiles)

    Leanne x