Sunday, August 8, 2021

The Minute I Turn My Back, My Lovely Garden Becomes My Glorious Weed Patch!

A deluge of water coming from the heavens tonight can make one feel they're under attack by the gods.  Bolt after bolt of bright white lightning ripping through the darkness overhead, as the thunder roars and pounds over the rooftops…closer and closer, then farther and farther.  Then closer and closer, then farther and farther.  One sighs when it ends, and half a breath later it comes to life again. It’s going to be a very long night tonight.

Dustin, a bit confused with fear of the thundering vibes in the air, was finally convinced that the safest place in his world was his cave bed.  Lacey caring less about outside weather and just fine with the inside weather, impatiently paced waiting for my bed time when she could cozy up to me in what used to be Zoe’s place.

Charlotte, cozily curled up into a ball inside her cat hassock in her private room, away from the wrath of Lacey, was just fine.  Austin, dear Austin, decided to sprawl out on the dog’s sheepskin on the couch, instead of irking Lacey, vying to find a place closest to me at bedtime.  It was a win-win situation, especially for Lacey who can pout up a storm when Austin’s in her space.

As the last few years have seen my belief system change, and frustrations in my personal life become unchangeable, I’ve suffered a multitude of dreams, almost nightmares, where I’m stuck to the extreme of sleep paralysis and dream claustrophobia.  I’m been working on ways to wake myself up from this horrible way my subconscious is trying to work out my problems.

Until then, I sleep with a night light on in the hall at the bedroom entrance, soft beautiful music playing, deep breathing exercises, and most importantly, end my day sooner than later.  So as I lie here tonight, serenaded with music and thunder and a talking Lacey pacing back and forth, back and forth, and back and forth to be petted, I’m beginning to realize it doesn’t get much better than this…then sleep.

Riot of Brown-eyed Susan's with dry Bottlebrush Grass

1/2 inch Carpenter Ant

Blue Clematis Arabella has been blooming constantly since May.
Late summer second flush of smaller blooms on Clematis Corinne;
some little creature finds her a tasty treat.

Virginia Big-Headed Tiger Beetle
Unfortunately he was dead when I found him.

Juvenile Blue Tail Five-Line Skink Lizard

'Halcyon' Hosta with blooms that stay close to plant.

This year's late cicada emergence.  
Cicadas emerge from clay soil in yard forming an almost perfect
 dime size round hole as they dig out.
That would be what the front claws are for.
They then climb up something to molt and shed their nymph skin.
There's a slit on the upper back of the dried skin.
Listen closely for two different batches of cicadas.

Sideoats Grama Grass flowering 
Milkweed Seedpod opening.

To garden is to have that hope that one day all will pull together into a thing of beauty that shines like a beacon in the neighborhood.  Hahaha…  In its youth, I would say my garden paraded an array of colors throughout the months, especially in the heat of summer; but it was bathed with the brightness of the sun.

As the trees and shrubbery grew more massive, the sun eventually dwindled into dappled shade or all shade with brightness only around the edges. It all became more demure like fine china replacing the melamine, but with that demureness, the wild child of the neighborhood began to emerge.

Every plant begins with a plan, although that plan is fuzzed somewhat by nature doing what it chooses to do.  Color exists around the edges, although sometimes it’s with a daylily, iris, daffodil or tulip.  Besides that, all is native except two remaining china boy and girl shrubs and a few of the clematis.

I’m beginning to think of my garden as fifty shades of green with a dusting of color here and there throughout the seasons.  It looks subtly beautiful without the need to elicited ostentatious flattery from others.  But it is work, as it is not allowed, because of neighbor’s attitudes, to be real nature where anything goes.

We cleaned the bird boxes early this year, as the house wren nested in the chickadee box after the chickadees fledged.  As suspected the wren built her nest on top of the chickadees second batch of egg laying, and of course the eggs were still there after the house wren's young fledged.  It’s just a part of nature one accepts begrudgingly.

The second batch of house wrens fledged from the small woodpecker box, and another false house wren nest was removed from the larger woodpecker box which had a colony of black ants under the twigs.  A water hose and nozzle cleaned the boxes nicely and me with the backsplash.

Two winterberry shrubs replaced two china girl hollies along the back fence line.  They are covered with cheesecloth at the moment to protect them from the cicadas slitting their tender stems to lay eggs within.  The side prairie garden, to my dismay, has been quietly taken over by wild raspberry, passion vine, and Canadian goldenrod.

There are days when gardening is a therapeutic pastime for me, and other days when I would like to nuke the whole mess and call it a day.  It's personal, this relationship with the force that created the earth.  It learned everything in 4.543 billion years.  I, on the other hand, learned everything in 74 years.

Just saying...

It's All About the Joe Pye Weed

Green Metallic Sweat Bee - about .3 inches long

At first I thought this was a Virginia ctenucha moth.
Now I think it's a Yellow Collared Scape Moth (a daytime moth)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Spicebush Swallowtail
Both Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and Spicebush Swallowtail are males.
They did a dance of circling each other, 
spiraling  up and down across the patio vying for territory to feed.
The Easter Tiger won that round.

Young Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillar in cupped leaf of spicebush.
By late afternoon it had completely hidden itself 
with the leaf totally folded around it for protection from predictors.  
I think it's false eye marks are to scare off predictors also.  

Eastern Bumblebee

Honeybee - my population of honeybees has grown tenfold from last year.
A hive must be nearby.



Lacey chilling out.

Even though I see nature differently with all of my closeups, I still enjoy putting down the camera and just watching the darting blurs and dances of her inhabitants, both rooted to the ground and free to take flight.  It comforts me after a sweaty workout quietly beheading the unwanted from my Eden, to silently sit in the shade of my deck with a glass of ice and tart cherry juice, surrounded by container after container of potted wild plants, to just be.  It's an experience that has no match.


  1. Yvonne, you have an amazing eye for details. loved all your clicks of the insect life in the gardens.

  2. Your attention to nature pleases me to no end! Your identification is a hundred percent correct too. Well done! As for sleep, I am fortunate that, most nights, after reading for about a half hour, I get to sleep without difficulty. Now if only my bladder would shut down for eight hours!

  3. Hello Yvonne,
    The thunderstorms can be very scary and loud for the furbabies, I had a dog that would hide in the closet behind my husbands shirts. Your garden images are lovely, beautiful captures of the butterflies. We could use some rain here, it has been a hit or miss with the storms. Take care, have a happy day! Wishing you a great new week ahead.

  4. ...your garden is a dream for an entomologist.

  5. You have a fantastic sense of observation! That big-eyed caterpillar is so cute! I wouldn't have noticed.
    I think I once wrote: your garden is like a small wild habitat - personally, I like very much this kind of gardens.
    I wish you a good week! All the best to you and all your beautiful furry friends.

  6. I just wrote about how mu garden got totally out of control during my time at the lake. You're right -- turn your back on it and it takes over!

    I'm with you on the bed buddies. I always feel calmer, better, when Lizzie is there. I could listen to her purr forever!

  7. It's certainly been a wonderful season for flowers!

  8. You do have an incredible eye for details, Yvonne.

    I always enjoy my visits to your lovely blog.

  9. weeds are plants we do not want in places we do not want them to be - it's my observation that bees and butterflies like the "weeds" better than most of my flowers

    1. A good reason to justify weeds :) Insects like all my stuff, except the black-Eyed Susan's. They seem to be the loneliness flowers on earth when it comes to insects.

  10. Your photos are so awesome to see with the gorgeous colors and textures. I do understand your thoughts about the garden, as they are mine, too, sometimes. But then, looking at the same garden on a different day makes a lot of difference :)

    Thanks for sharing your link at My Corner of the World this week!

  11. Hello Yvonne,
    Beautiful views of your lovely garden. I am amazed at the details on the insect and beautiful butterflies. The last photo of your sweet cat is adorable. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, have a happy weekend.

  12. The butterflies are beautiful and you have lovely summer flowers. I don't garden as much any more, we try to keep things simple and less work. Enjoy your weekend. Looks like you have some flowers to cut for bouquets!

  13. I see a lot of nice things in your garden. Both flowers and widllife. It is amazing how colorful beetles are. Great shots. The Swallowtails are such beauties. :)


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