Thursday, October 6, 2016

Diamond in the Rough

The bog project is moving along nicely. Here is the finished hole.

With the liner installed.

Ten bags of this stuff ...

... isn't quite enough.

But it is getting there. As is the garden in the background, with the addition of a layer of compost and the first plants.

We've also installed a rain barrel to help insure the bog stays wet throughout the year.

Net steps are to finish filling the bog with sphagnum peat moss, trim and bury the liner, install a pipe underground from the rain barrel to the bog, and of course add the first plants.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Happy New Year!

Today I didn't have to go to school because it is Rosh Hashanah - the Jewish New Year. (I am off tomorrow too!)

And what a fabulous start to the New Year it was!  At just past 8am, I looked out my kitchen window and saw a finch eating  sunflower seeds.  I thought 'hmmm that finch has a white eye brow.  It's not like the other House Finches.'

No indeed - it was a Purple Finch

I got myself organized and spent the morning doing yard work.  After lunch I planned to continue in the yard, but the sun had come out.  Along with the heat, things were hopping in the garden.

The first thing I saw was this butterfly either a Comma or a Question Mark - the shape of the wings are distinctive, but you need a shot of the underwing to get the identifying 'comma' or 'question mark' mark on the wing.  I quick got the camera, and it was downhill from there.

This was my best photo - no shot of the underwing.

Once I had the camera in hand, the yard work was a thing of the past.  I saw over 10 different butterflies in my garden today.  Here are some....


Red-banded Hair Streak

Pearl Crescent


Red Admiral

Painted Lady

Silver-spotted Skipper

Cabbage White

 Eastern Tailed-blue

Same Butterfly as above with wings open

A very worn and faded Black Swallowtail butterfly

Black Swallowtail Caterpillar - several are still eating my parsley.

I believe this is the last of the Monarch Caterpillars on the swamp milkweed.  It is in the 'J Shape' - tomorrow it will be a chrysalis.  In 9-14 days this will be a Monarch Butterfly and off to Mexico.

Butterflies and caterpillars were not the only things flying and crawling around today.

Many bees were around.  I recently read in Barb Elliot's post on Backyards for Nature, that Bumble Bees can buzz pollinate- "Bumble bees vibrate their wings at specific frequencies to get some species of flowers to release their pollen."  Very cool!

This fly better take care of how close it gets to the Pitcher Plant.

A walk around to the pond and I found other predators.

 a young Bull Frog

a male Meadow Hawk Dragonfly (the females are yellow)

Our resident Northern Water Snake - thanks to my friend Barb for spotting him.

Before Barb came over I was kept company by 
a flock of turkeys that passed through the yard.

A Ruby-throated Hummingbird that is still hanging around

 and this Common Yellow-throated Warbler that dropped in to see what I was doing.

All-in-all it was a tremendous day.  I hope your New Year's Day was a happy one too!

Thanks to Patty Rehn for guest blogging. All words and images copyright Patty Rehn.