Stepping out my back door today (do you now have the Creedence/John Fogerty
song in your head? ... I know the lyrics say "Looking", but...)
You're welcome! ~ ;)
Anyway... it is like stepping into a symphony
(maybe "cacophony" is a better word)
of insect song...
I just read that the buzz generated by a swarm of cicadas can reach 120 decibels, which is about the same noise level as a loud rock show...
I finally got to photograph a Monarch in the garden... He's sipping on a zinnia, but next year I hope to have milkweed (and Joe Pye?) for them... ~
The crickets are chirping loudly, as well, in the jungle that is a few feet from my steps... I am to the point of just "letting it go" ~ I didn't mean to plant Giant Marigolds this year; that's what I get for not marking my seeds! And they are TALL...(*some* still are) ~ I prefer the shorter ones, they just stay neater ~ A storm blew them all over a week or so ago, but they are still green and blooming ~ (I think it would be more detrimental to try to pull them up, now). Besides, I have already mentally moved into "next year country", as far as blooming things... I just read this quote and really liked it ~ it seems to sum things up nicely!
"The grass no longer smells of high summer, but of autumn crouched waiting."
As promised, I am following up on my caterpillar post...
Not exactly what I wanted to report, but I guess I am a little wiser about
caterpillars, and how Mother Nature doesn't really appreciate much interference...
First, the largest caterpillar disappeared...it was there, and then it wasn't.
(I suspect a bird or wasp took it...)
The four remaining ones were still eating away at the dwindling dill, however...
(evidently unperturbed by the loss of their comrade...)
Then another of the larger ones was gone.
Thinking I was being helpful, I cut what was left of the dill (pretty much just stems by then)
and also some nice, juicy basil (plentiful, and I thought I had read earlier that they would eat it),
and brought the whole shebang (the three caterpillars and all) in the house.
This was okay until the dill ran completely out... they don't like basil, it seems.
I did a quick Google search and found that other "host plants" are wild carrot
(Queen Anne's Lace), fennel, rue, and Joe Pye Weed,
so I went on a county-road drive in search of, first, the Queen Anne's Lace ~
and also the less familiar (okay, I only vaguely remember even hearing the name
but I had done my ~ I thought ~ *research*) ~
(I had already decided I was not going to be finding any fennel or rue.)
Well, I now know that by August, Queen Anne's Lace is finished...just the brown,
dry seed heads where it had been so plentiful a month ago (I had noticed it because I kept meaning to stop and cut some to go in a zinnia bouquet...)
And then I thought....THOUGHT, I had found Joe Pye...
but it turned out it wasn't him at all, but Milkweed (above)...
(I really need to brush up on my Missouri wildflowers!)
Now, if these had been Monarch caterpillars, all would have been well ~
but Eastern Black Tiger Swallowtail caterpillars aren't even tempted, sadly.
Then, one of the larger remaining caterpillars just fell off the barren dill stem, dead.
Right on the countertop.
Don't tell, but there was a TINY bit of newly sprouted dill in another pot ~
my husband's new crop ~
I took the last two caterpillars out there and just put them in the pot.
I went out a little while later, and the big one was gone...
(Again, probably a bird's lunch...) However, the smaller one was munching away on the tiny, fresh dill... Next year, I guess we will just plant more dill ~ a whole row of it ~ instead of just a little pot's worth. Amazing how a species can be so dependent upon such a limited diet... :( I will find Joe Pye Weed in advance, too, and try to have it growing as well. Oh, I have to share...one of my favorite blogs ~ (I go there and lurk) ~ "Perfume Posse", over on my side bar... has a photo of JOE PYE WEED... in the latest post, "Bits and Pieces" ~ I couldn't believe it! "Synchronicity"! Check it out! (Hope this is okay to post, Musette!) Have a wonderful rest-of-the-weekend! Love,
'Pillar-Post-Script...I just went out and checked, and my last "baby" has
I had read what a small percentage of caterpillars actually make it to the butterfly
stage, and I see that it's true...
"Nature, red in tooth and claw..." (Alfred, Lord Tennyson)