Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Even though we've had a few chilly days, on the warm days there are lots of butterflies in my yard.

This is a red admiral.  So beautiful!!  Resting on the stone for warmth.

 The butterflies in my yard are bright yellow, orangy yellow, beige, black and orange, orange, and I saw a small white one.  I always feed the flowering plants in my yard with Medina granular organic fertilizer.  I just throw a hand full of fertilizer around the base and roots of the plant.  It is just so special to see butterflies and I want to encourage them as much as I can.  But, I do wonder where all of the different varieties come from, to find my yard.  A few blocks away, there's a Lowes and I always wonder if some of these butterfly eggs and larvae are brought in on their plants.  And, I think they probably blow in with the cold fronts because there are so many varieties that I don't usually see.  Often, when I'm driving down a street, I'll see a butterfly crossing in front of me.  As they find the appropriate place to rest, they will lay eggs on a host plant, producing more beautiful butterflies.

I'm so glad they do find my yard!

Monday, November 19, 2012


For my birthday, my friend gave me a key lime tree.  I got to choose the one I wanted.  So, I went to my favorite nursery, Shades of Green.  They had several trees that had baby key limes all over them.  I was so excited!  They told me it needed to be in a pot, so I could bring it in when the weather was really cold.  I brought it home, got it planted in a large blue and white ceramic pot and it looked so beautiful!!  For a couple of days I watched it and could hardly wait til the key limes got big enough for me to use them in my tea and make limeade.  One morning, I looked out of my kitchen window and there were grackles (big black birds) all over it, eating my key limes.  Ohhhhhh!!  I ran out and chased them off.  A friend suggested snakes would scare them and keep them off of my tree.  So, I went to the dollar store and found some play snakes and put two of them in the branches of my key lime tree.

I'm very happy to say that putting snakes in my key lime tree has TOTALLY worked!  Every couple of days, I change the limbs the snakes are hanging on.  During the hot summer months, there were no blossoms or baby key limes.  Finally, when the weather cooled off, my tree started blooming and producing baby key limes, again.  This second batch is doing really well and they are close to the size when I will be able to pick them.  I check them every day, hoping the squirrels or birds haven't gotten to them, first.

I think they're supposed to be the size of ping pong balls before I can pick them and I can hardly wait!  But, the very first ones, I'm giving to my very generous friend. 
Thank you for my key  lime tree!!

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Lately, I've been so busy with work that I haven't paid much attention to my yard.  Today, when I mowed the yard, I noticed things that have been happening without me.

From my kitchen window, I have seen lots of monarch butterflies fluttering around my eupatorium and butterfly weed.  I always think they're so focused and busy, getting to their Mexico destination, that they just don't have time for reproduction.  But, today, there were several monarch caterpillars on my milkweed and they have almost devoured every single leaf on several stems.  In years past, I've seen one caterpillar at a time, but I found four today and my flower bed is so thick with flowers and weeds, there may be several more that I didn't see.

For years, I've grown butterfly weed, just for the monarch butterflies.  Toward fall, I keep feeding it, so it will have lots of flowers and leaves for the caterpillars.

These caterpillars are big enough that they will stop eating, soon, and start weaving their cocoons.  They need to hurry up with the process because it's going to be getting cold, soon.  As soon as they hatch, I'm sure they'll be heading for their Mexico winter home.

And, I found this little chameleon peeking in the birdhouse, probably looking for insects.

Remember the cage photo that I posted with the squirrel nesting in it?  Well, today I was going to lock it and I shook it and a big rat ran out of it.  I have locked that cage FOR GOOD!!!  No more unwanted nesters!!

So, my yard is mowed and looks so nice.  I really miss being and working in the yard.  Today was a good day!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Yesterday, I visited a friend who has the most wonderful home and property!  She has several flower and vegetable gardens around the property and a small fruit orchard.  She picked and gave me two very large, juicy pomegranates.
This photo is not her home, it is her Poultry Palace!  The chickens roost in here and I took a photo of them out back of the Poultry Palace.

From time to time, I've considered building a poultry palace
but, just haven't decided if I need ONE MORE THING ON MY LIST TO DO!!  It would be so nice to have fresh eggs.
My friend's store is on this property and it's called The French Farmhouse.  She sells wonderful old furniture, mostly from Europe.
Yesterday, I took a photo of one of the pieces.

She said she sees this in a bathroom with a cut out for a sink.  It would be beautiful as a desk, tv table or just about anything you could think of. 
I did enjoy my visit!