This morning, the rain was very welcome. The garden needed it. And it felt good, having a break from the low to mid 90s (32º-35ºC) weather. During the rain, the temperatures reached only the upper mid to upper 60s (18º-20ºC). Now, we get a little bit of sunshine. It feels more muggy in the mid 70s (24º-25ºC).
Four years ago on a Sunday morning in May, I heard a lot of commotion going on in my backyard. A flock of Blue Jays were screaming as loud as they could in the neighbor’s tree. And when these birds begin to be that noisy, there is usually danger close by. It was nesting season for them. When I looked out my patio door, I immediately saw what the issue was in the backyard: We had a Swainson’s Hawk sitting on the fence. It watched the songbirds on the feeders for a little bit, before these birds noticed the big guy and flew off. The Blue Jays, on the other hand, where really nervous and wanted the hawk gone out of their territory. Some jays came over, and began to attack the Swainson’s Hawk by pecking it on the head. The hawk had enough and flew off to nearby field. I can imagine, when half a dozen of little blue “bullies” would pick on me, I’m out of there too. Well, no baby jays for this hawk in our neighborhood that morning. But it looked very majestic sitting on our fence for a few minutes. It also gave me the chance to capture the moment.
For several weeks, a few Cabbage White butterflies show up in my garden. And I know, exactly what their plan is from day one. I have cabbages, cauliflower and kohlrabi growing in my raised beds. This vegetables are the perfect nursery for Cabbage White caterpillars. Once the female laid her eggs, it is only a matter of days until these little boogers hatch and eat their way through my cabbage garden. I have to pick countless amounts of caterpillars off my cabbage leaves almost every day.
But I also get some help from Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal. Every afternoon, I see them picking caterpillars to feed their offspring. It’s great, having natural helpers in our garden. The downside: When Mr. Cardinal finds some juicy Black Swallowtail caterpillars in my parsley and dill, they end up between his beak and later in the baby cardinal tummies as well. UGH! I guess, we have to take the good with the bad.
At this time of the year, when it is nice and warm, lots of little insects love to hang out in my garden. This is a good time for this little jumping spider, to catch itself a meal. While it was climbing up my butterfly weed, I could get a hold of it in front of my lens. I always love, when a jumping spider “poses” for me. So did this one a few years back. ❤
I’m not a big fan of spiders. But I also know, they are very beneficial for our garden environment. Therefore they begin to fascinate me more and more. Katelynn and Sara usually give these garden friends a name, when they stick around longer than a few days.
My garden work seems to pay off. Today, I’ve noticed three ‘maters on our plants. Soon, we will have fresh ripe fruits from the garden in our backyard. I see tomato sandwiches in the future.