07 September 2010

Critters' Annual Labor Day Picnic

Like last year, I spent Labor Day weekend laboring in the gardens, preparing them for fall. This year as last, weather was perfect for working outdoors clearing out dying vegetables past their prime, cutting back flowers fried by the summer, coaxing remaining plants into a few more weeks of bloom, and transplanting to fulfill the grand master plan. (Really, there is no master plan.) Also like years past, a few critters stopped in for their own Labor Day picnic.

The praying mantis arrived in the early morning and waited for a meal to happen by on the foundation wall. Bumblebees preferred to dine at the sunflowers and cosmos at the picnic, delaying my maintenance work on the cosmos to the evening.

Butterflies prefer zinnias. Your highness the monarch arrived and joined several yellow swallowtails and one black swallowtail chowing down. One yellow swallowtail looked like its wings had been chow.

A summer cicada tried his trapeze act on my deck cable railing. Newcomers noshed on the Mexican Zinnias. Several of these brown butterflies (or moths?) never before seen had six eyeballs tattooed onto its wings. An internet search revealed it as a Junonia coenia or common buckeye. You can't hide from the internet!

Garden Calendar:
  • Blooming: pink cosmos, canna, nasturtium, mexican zinnia, zinnia, sunflower, rose, rudbeckia, spiderwort, cleome, salvia
  • Harvested: 2 peppers, 2 tomatoes, 1 cucumber
  • Planted: lettuce, spinach, radish