Friday, August 4, 2017

Summer Happenings: Monarchs, Promethea Moths, Art, Family & Friends

It's summer and we love it! Overall, it's been a very cool summer so our winter squash and tomatoes are just sort of sitting in the garden waiting for heat. We will see how much food we get from them this year. We are making a high tunnel and lean-to greenhouse this fall to help with season extension in different ways so next year, we hope, will be easier. We will post here as we progress on these projects.

We are seeing lots of cool nature stuff though, including monarchs - finally! There are lots of little eggs on our milkweed, which is just so dang exciting. Remember the Monarch Tent from last year?


We aren't doing that this year to try and keep disease low, but continue to work to improve their habitat here and work with township officials to safeguard roadside milkweed. Sometimes a little pink flagging and a friendly ask can work magic.


Steve found a fabulous find on our Tulip Poplar - the super beautiful Promethea Moth caterpillar:


We've found 4 on the tree so far and are enjoying watching the leaves disappear knowing they are raising one of the magnificient silkmoths that continues to struggle. (Here's an older article on this topic.)

Want to see a 1.5 minute video on this sweet little tree of ours featuring these caterpillars? Click here.

video

In other nature news, I met on several occasions one of the huge, fabulous Fishing Spiders (Dolomedes tenebrosusin our basement. This one lives primarily in wooded areas and ventures indoors fairly frequently. They eat most anything they can find and subdue.


A Clymene moth (Haploa clymene) was spotted on one of our Red Cedars we recently planted for a wind break. We saw dozens of these many years ago at Swamp Angel Nature Preserve in IN so it was fun to find one again. The caterpillars feed on Eupatorium species, oak, peach and willow and the land grows all those here.


Summer is also a great time for visiting with friends and we are so grateful to everyone who documents since we always manage to forget. We met up with our favorite Art Grange folks to spend the day exploring art (clay/fiber, willow) and nature at an open house in Roseville Ohio. If you are local, make sure you attend in the future...it's a beautiful and inspiring place.


Michelle and I were so charmed we started flying around like butterflies and birds!


The willow sculptures, fences, gates, baskets, etc. are so so cool. Steve is pondering this, of course.


We traveled to see family and friends; family and friends came to see us in Ohio. Life is good. Here's Jennifer's family:


Nope, we aren't twins...two years apart. Love this girl!


We continue to work our native plant nursery (thanks to everyone who has already helped spread these plants out into the world to work their magic!) and soak up all the goodness of life. The insect chorus happening now is one of our most favorite annual events. More soon. Take care everyone.

4 comments:

  1. So good to reconnect with family! You guys do look like twins! Lots of critters are enjoying the habitat you have created. Your place is def one to take much pride in!

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    1. Thanks for your thoughts lady. We are much alike in many ways, we know! :)

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  2. Lovely! The crickets are starting to sing here just this week!

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    1. YES!!!!!! How very, very exciting! :)

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