Friday, July 26, 2019

Critters in the Garden Salad Bar

We have been keeping a low profile recently while waiting out a prolonged spell of awfully hot and humid weather. With not much going on perhaps an update on critters and other things in the garden might tide us over until something more exciting comes along.
 Here is one of the twin Bambi's after a rainstorm.
 The self-seeded dill was very prolific this year but it does make for a pretty contrast with the salvia and ageratum.
 Nine days later and the Bambi ears seem to have grown rapidly!
 Every year I am resigned to finding these on my tomato plants. Up to now I thought they were the tomato hookworm but I happened to be looking in my garden book and discover that they are actually the tobacco hookworm. Tomato hookworm have only white stripes and a black hook while this one has black outlining the white stripes and a red hook. Both are found on tomato plants which they defoliate at a rapid pace. Although I did pick off seven of these critters on this day I might just as well have left them there as my plants are not doing well at all this year. Very little fruit has gown and that which has is barely ripening.
 This was the only almost-red regular sized tomato I had seen until one day I looked out the window and did not see it. Closer inspection revealed that some critter thought it was theirs to devour and was rude enough to leave the remains laying there for me to find.
 One critter that is very welcome in the garden is the swallowtail butterfly and this has been a banner year for them with dozens and dozens of them each day lately. Sadly I have yet to see a monarch butterfly this year.
 In this instance there were three fawns all here together - one is unseen behind the bush, one thinks it is unseen under the bush and the most bold is perhaps the ringleader.
 I am not sure what this critter is but it is taking lessons from the swallowtail and hanging out on the coneflowers.
 On the deck I have a purple and green scheme going on this year.
 More from the deck plant-pots. Ordinarily there would by now be hummingbirds investigating the flowers but we are only seeing one lonely hummer this season to date.

 Another swallowtail.
 Bees also like the coneflowers.
 Coneflowers at sundown.
Wait, which way should I run?

Sunday, July 7, 2019

A July 4th Hometown Celebration

As the July 4th extended weekend comes to a close I thought I'd share some images from our hometown celebration. While there are a number of events we tend to focus on the main street parade and a quick wander through the family activities after the parade.

 The Brownie troop started the parade this year.
 They were followed by the old Post Office truck with special guest Spiderman riding along.
 The Great Falls Garden Club ladies had a wonderful entry this year and won the award for "Best Neighbor Float".
The garden club ladies.

 It's always fun to see the old vehicles that seem to lurk in various garages only to come out on special occasions like this.
 Trying to watch and photograph a parade is challenging and enjoyable. You see lots of wonderful sights but invariably there is someone in the way. However, sometimes even that works out and makes for a more unique shot.
 Do you have lawn mowers in your July 4th parade?
What we do have is lots and lots of candy. I think the children go home with more candy from the July 4th parade than they do at Halloween. This friendly fellow had just tossed two big handfuls of candy out.

 The crew from the Great Falls Creamery were likely very grateful they did not need to wear the cowheads this year - the day was a very steamy 90+ degrees with high humidity. Half an hour or so after the parade finished it started to rain. The Great Falls Creamery won the award for "Best Mini Float".
Out of cow costume but still in business attire, these two collected the trophy on behalf of the team.
 Dad on the bike with the children. I think he was challenged trying to ride a straight line at a low speed.
 The day is organized by the very hard working volunteers from Celebrate Great Falls and their float came near to the end of the parade. They deserve special thanks for this wonderful effort.
 After the parade there are activities for the children. For those of us with no children it is still fun to watch the little ones step up and have a try.
At the end of the day these parade goers were ready for a good long nap. It was time to go home and put away all the decorations until next year. I hope you enjoyed the parade!