Wednesday, July 15, 2020

First Tomatoes and More Butterflies

More than ever it's been the simple things that have been adding a bit of interest to day after day of staying home.
Watching and waiting for that first tomato to ripen has been one of the recent highlights.

 This week there were enough to put to good use.

Underneath all of those chopped veggies there are meatballs with rice in them.  The veggies cooked down to a nice fresh tasting sauce.  Garlic and basil added wonderful flavor.  Best of all it will provide several meals for the two of us, which is nice because it's hotter than blazes around here.  Not the kind of weather one wants to be slaving over a hot stove in.

 Although, I will brave the heat to chase the butterflies.

 I've had several different butterfly bushes in the past 20 years.
All of them put together never drew the variety that we have been seeing on this one patio plant.

 These were just a sampling of this week's visitors.
Hummingbird moths, bumblebees and even a hummingbird have also been seen.

 Some of them are camera shy.
Others are happy to pose and share their unique beauty.
Thank you, madame butterfly :).

Most evenings we enjoy a cool drink on the patio.
Last night these three entertained us.
There is something very relaxing about watching butterflies glide through the air.
While not trying to sound like a butterfly bush advertisement, I can highly recommend this Pugster Blue Buddleia if you are looking to draw butterflies to your garden.

I first learned about them here.  Amazing, eh?
Laura has a wonderful YouTube channel called How's It Growing.  If you're not familiar, it can be found here.  

In other news, I am finally watching The Crown!
It seems like I've been seeing recommendations for this series for years (?)  I don't know why it's taken me so long to get onboard.  Last night I had to force myself to only watch 2 episodes.  Love it!!

Until next time,

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

July and Butterflies

 Be The Fireworks 
an interesting thought in light of our present situation.

In the early spring, when things were looking uncertain about whether we would be shopping at the garden centers, I ordered a butterfly bush online.  Having never done that before I wasn't sure what to expect.  It arrived looking healthy and has been thriving on the patio ever since.
While waiting for the butterflies to show up, I added this pretty plant stake to liven things up.

Just yesterday our first visitor arrived.

I was thrilled that it lingered long enough for me to snap a few photos.

After consulting my butterfly guidebook, I think it is a pipe vine swallowtail.  There are several swallowtails that look similar, so I could be wrong about that.
You may see another guest on the lower portion of the bloom in the photo above.  Are you familiar with that guy?  He is an unwelcome guest and I'm not ashamed to admit that when I encounter them, they are dropped to the ground and stepped on.  Squished... pulverized... take that Mr. Japanese Beetle!!

The butterflies have been showing up indoors too.
I felt a great sense of accomplishment upon putting the last piece in this beautiful puzzle.
My sister (Hi Norma) sent it to me as a gift quite awhile ago.  She is an expert at putting together 1000-2000 piece puzzles.  As for me, it had been years and years since I've done any.  After doing two with 500 pieces, I decided to challenge myself a bit more.  I won't set any speed records for finishing, but once things started coming together it was a wonderful way to pass the time at home.

I hope you are all staying well.
What's been keeping you busy lately?