Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Still Here

(above: sunchokes in the park)

Okay, I'm not even going to try to catch up on what was missed since my last post! At least I beat the 3-month mark....This season has actually been quite exciting with new things in the garden. I'm sorry that I haven't been able to share it all. Maybe I will get to some of that over the winter.

So, onward... This is a stand of sunchokes or Jerusalem artichokes in a park we walk through. They do put on an impressive display. You can see a tired Dakota in the foreground (we took a long walk that day). I took the opportunity to smell the flowers and it is true, they do smell a bit like chocolate. Too bad the ones in our yard are not flowering -- they are quite tall though. Maybe I should sneak some of this variety.

(above: sunchokes in the park)

This caterpillar was hanging on the back door. I carefully put it on the ground for a quick photo-op. Is this what they call a "woolly bear"? It sure moved pretty fast. I left it on the kale to make its escape. We have had a large mix of insects in the yard this year.

(above: caterpillar)

(above: caterpillar on kale)

I guess the Monarchs are mostly moving south, but we saw a couple too tired to go anywhere. We were careful not to touch the wings of this one. It few off to the tree tops after a couple photos.

(above: tired Monarch butterfly)

(above: tired Monarch butterfly)

This seems to have been a year for dragonflies -- more to eat the mosquitoes. Here are a couple found resting in the yard. Overhead in the evenings are busy airways with much zig-zagging.

(above: black/blue dragonfly)

(above: red dragonfly)

Finally, I cannot forget our wonderful bees! There have been so many. I think that a few have begun to hibernate near or in the yard, which may explain the increase in activity this year. I also built a bee condo/house and have had many occupants. They sure do love certain flowers. Echinacea seems one favorite, but sunflowers and raspberries have attracted the largest groups.

(above: bumblebee on echinacea)

Well, we are still here in ND and the garden has grown this year. The season is not done and I am hoping to get some vegetables before the fall frosts come.


Roses and Lilacs said...

I had never heard those flowers smelled like chocolate. I can't wait to sniff them;) What a cute red headed caterpillar and I love the photos of the butterfly and dragonflies.

ChrisND said...

Hi Marnie. They do smell nice. I tried to get the caterpillar's mouth end, but it was really fast.

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Gorgeous pictures. I We are just now seeing more butterflies around. They have been scarce around here this summer.

Cheryl said...

Hi Chris....so pleased to hear that you have butterflies and bees in your gardens. Many bloggers have been saddened by the lack of butterflies this year......

It must have been a long walk to tire a dog like Dakota.......

Connie said...

The sunchokes make a lovey hedge. We don't have monarchs here and very few dragonflies. You got some great shots of them!

ChrisND said...

Hey Hocking Hills Gardener...We've seen an average number of butterflies here. Usually that's a couple of Monarchs and a few others through the year. Our location doesn't seem to attract a lot.

ChrisND said...

Hi Cheryl...Yes, I have been happy to have so many bees this year! I might even be converting others in the family (they think bees just sting you).

We took a long walk with backpack and water. She loved it! (The little dog came too, just not in the pic)

ChrisND said...

Hi Connie. I am thinking of a great neglected spot to place a few of our sunchokes after harvest. Sorry you don't have many monarchs and dragonflies -- they are so fun to watch.