Hummingbird Hover

The garden has been hoppin.’ Lately I have had reliable visits from monarch butterflies and hummingbirds. They both enjoy the butterfly bush.

I noticed that hummingbird also frequented a purple salvia plant at the back of the yard. In hopes of getting a better picture of it, I gifted the hummingbird (and myself) with two big planters of salvia. Results were immediate.

Rest break! Which may mean it’s a juvenile.

Standing inside behind the patio door, I was able to joyfully observe and photograph it. However I was startled into confusion when the hummingbird appeared directly in front of my face for an extended moment.

With a camera in one hand and iPhone in the other, a blurry Sasquatch/UFO version of this closeup was all I could handle. The hummingbird stayed for what felt like a long time for a wild creature and I’m not sure if I was being rewarded for the flowery treat or assessed for future tactics.

“Stalk”ing

Mostly this post was for my curiosity. I have a small corner devoted to asparagus. Very little is produced possibly because of age, but more likely because of me planting it wrong. However one asparagus crown amazes every time it grows a stalk because the stalks are so big, but it will only grow one at a time.

Out of curiosity, I went back through my photos to track dates. I take a picture every time it grew a stalk because I am always so impressed by the size. (Imagine the possible dick jokes here). So far it has managed 4 stalks this season, averaging 20 days between each stalk.

I tried to do some research about how long it takes for a stalk to grow, but most articles wanted to ramble on about waiting a year for the crowns blah, blah, blah, knew that. I did find a statistic that the stalks grow 2 inches per day so I guess I could reverse engineer that. However I don’t know if that is two inches a day from the start or once it breaks through the ground. Shrug. I got nothin’. Certainly don’t have much asparagus.

Another harvest

Garlic scapes harvest

Savory, concentrated

Edible delight

Yes, you can eat them! Grill them or dice them up and use in dishes. They are straight garlic goodness. I ate one while I worked.

Garlic scapes grow from hard neck varieties of garlic. When I cut them, it signals the plant to use energy on growing the garlic bulb. Left too long, the scapes become hard and chewy but create a pretty corkscrew shape.

Allegedly garlic and plants in that family help keep certain molds away which is why there is some garlic around my roses and throughout my flowerbeds in addition to the garden space.

Ants Can’t Handle the Truth

Despite it being spring AND May, the weather has fluctuated from the 30s to the 60s and back again. As my yard and garden comes back to life, I’ve been making slow attempts at cleaning and bringing things out of their winter state. The temperatures plus the most insane time in the school year has not helped my progress. I’d certainly rather be gardening, but there are 20 gazilliion post-it notes and reminders that need my attention.

During one episode of shuffling around the patio, I rearranged and cleaned some ceramic pots. Days later, when I was briefly back again, I noticed that one pot now had mounds of dirt around its base.

It had been colonized. The pot sitting directly on the ground against my back patio window, practically inviting entrance to the house was full to the brim with ants.

Life lesson: ants cannot handle the responsibility, nay the temptation, of a pot sitting directly on the ground.

It was the only pot on the patio without those apparently crucial ceramic feet lifting it an inch off the ground. When I picked it up, ants poured out of the drainage hole. I rolled it over on its side to decide my next move.

I couldn’t murder them outright. They must serve a purpose in my garden. However I also wanted to use that pot without being swarmed and I did not want them building an addition into my house.

Ultimately I tipped the pot upside down in the garden, revealing hundreds of scurrying bodies and a collection of larvae. Hopefully the next tempting spot to squat will be more appropriate.

Zoom in to be either fascinated or grossed out.

MomBert vs ALL the Animals

Based on what shows up in MomBert’s yard, it seems like she might live in the middle of nowhere. However she only lives on the edge of town backed up to a strip of woods that has more houses on the other side of it. Yet everything from foxes who need a nap to five foot long black snakes blocking the route to the mailbox come to hang out.

So it wasn’t too surprising , but very “SQUEEEE” worthy when fawns showed up in her garden.

I think I would have been the idiot touching it at this point.

Unfortunately, the arrival of fawns coincided with a story my aunt shared about a local woman and her dog being attacked by a protective mother deer.

Meanwhile my sister clearly has bigger problems at her house.

MomBert has outwitted the auto-correct function that tries to save me from swearing by just using an efficient “F.”

Me trying to address my sister’s wax emergency.

Boobs solve the problem. Since then the fawns have returned for additional naps and trapped MomBert in the house at least once by suddenly appearing in the driveway with their mother to eat the branches MomBert had just taken a break from trimming.

However deer in the driveway were not nearly as worrisome as the next visitor.

Yes, that is a bobcat taking a stroll up MomBert’s driveway.

They are native to Ohio and have made enough of a comeback to be off the endangered list. MomBert lives in one of the counties with the most sightings. We all learned that you are supposed to report a sighting online for tracking and/or call the game warden.

This element has been added to the adventure that is walking up her hilly driveway for basic things like the mail, newspaper or the reccycling.

Do not attempt to cuddle bobcats…. or deer…probably.

Is Not Kitty

After being gone for a few days, I had to do a sweep of the perimeter and assess the garden. Somebody broke my super, fancy, thrift store, glass bowl birdbath in half, but otherwise things seemed fine.

I was in the middle of the yard, hands full of replacement birdbath, when I heard someone rustling through the flowerbed by the fence. My Brain was, of course, like “Kitty?”

But is not kitty.

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I put everything down in order to take a picture of the skunk 10 feet away because I’m that asshole. The skunk waddled on under the fence, and I chose to wrap up my backyard activities.

By the time I got back in the house, Is Not Kitty had returned with a friend!

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They dug around underneath the bird feeders and then got drinks! I decided that I could sneak back out to the corner of the garage to get these shots with my camera rather than my phone.

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PRECIOUS!!!!

The next morning around 9 am, they were under the living room windows cleaning up that bird feeder. We were up to three! Three Is Not Kitties who would not pose together or relocate to a point where I did not have to shoot through the window screen.

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My camera bumped the glass. Scary sound!

From this vantage they looked kitten sized, like Kitten Room kitten sized so maybe 3 or more pounds. Even though everyone on Facebook and the receiving end of my text messages were disturbed by the repeated visits, I felt that as long as they were cleaning up excess bird seed then the ants would not take up residence so profusely; and if grubs were for dessert, so be it!

Plus how could I ignore the adorableness? Two of the three decided to have a wrestling match in the hostas…again at a horrible angle for my camera. Just like with the cats, there were flailing limbs, exposed tummies, and shouts of “Mooommmmmmm! Stop it!

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All this action was worth putting the game camera out for a few days. Success!

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Guess who got knocked up!

Me?

Oh, fuck no! I haven’t been on a date since 2006. My situation is basically the condemned Haunted Cavern Ride complete with echoes and cobwebs which in this case works because …..

BERNADETTE GOT PREGNANT!

(Yea, I’m in a weird relationship with my garden spider.)

That saucy minx had a tryst! I bet it was when she moved house. Way to get some, Bernie!

The egg sac appeared today (articles say there might be 3-4 of them) and Bernadette is a hot mess. Her web is tore up from the floor up, and only partially constructed. Also -WARNING TEENAGE GIRLS– her abdomen is all deflated and wrinkly. That body-ody-ody is not what it used to be.

Those curves are no longer kickin’.

In other news, I’m putting my house on the market because that sac could hatch up to a 1000 baby spiders come spring.