Kevin and Sara came with me to the Community Garden, this evening. I wanted to check on the crop. And since it is warm, we have to water more frequently. Kevin’s mouth was watering, looking all the tomatoes growing on the vines. Sara wanted to catch and play with a ladybug. I had to advise her to be careful, and make sure it is a ladybug, not an Asian Lady Beetle. These beetles look almost the same as a ladybug, but they are mean and bite. Everything looks great in the garden. I can’t wait for the tomatoes turn red for harvest. I’m still stoked, I’m finally growing tomatoes in Texas. Wally, one of the Church Gardeners, taught me well. I listened, and put it into practice. A lot of the tomatoes will go to the NTX Community Food Pantry; and some I’ll take home. They will be the fruits of my and the other gardeners’ labor. Sara likes the onion, we harvested this evening: “Wow, this onion is big! I can’t wait to eat it. Yummy, yummy!”
Today, I spent most of the day doing some online research for our Summer vacation. This one is a little bit of both: planned and spontaneous. Kevin and I decided to take the kids to a few Utah National Parks, last weekend. When Kevin came home, we debated and planned a little more. And while Kevin booked a cabin, I went outside to capture some photos of this evening’s sunset. My brain began to hurt a little. And the best way to relax is to watch the Sun setting. Now, we are all excited and look forward to hike some trails at the canyons of Utah. 🌄
Our peppers and tomatoes love the warm May weather. And the other vegetables, fruits herbs and flowers (to attract pollinators) like it as well. Yesterday I’ve noticed, we are raising Cabbage White Butterflies inside the greenhouse. I found a couple of empty chrysalis on the Ornamental Kale leaves. No wonder, we have so many flying Cabbage Whites flying around in our garden. Well, I can’t blame them. There is a lot of cabbage to feast on for the caterpillars. And Family Cardinal is happy to get fresh caterpillars for their young. Here are several photos of what’s growing in our raised bed garden in mid-May.
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.