Wow! The last day of May comes to an end, and so does the Meteorological Spring. Tomorrow begins the Meteorological Summer. In 20 more days begins the Astronomical Summer, which is also called the Summer Solstice. The days will get shorter, and the nights become longer. (For my followers in the Southern Hemisphere, it is the opposite way. 😉 )
This morning, I purchased some flowers, peppers and parsley from the nursery. Since I always run out of fresh parsley, I had to get another plant while I’m waiting for the seeds to grow. When I looked at the parsley plant, I’ve noticed I had a Black Swallowtail caterpillar munching on a leaf. I don’t mind taking the caterpillar home with me. Now, my parsley will go for the wildlife, again. This evening, I’ll look for a wasting basket to transfer the Black Swallowtail caterpillar over to my dill plant. I don’t want Mr. Cardinal knocking on the door for this particular kind of food. There are still plenty of other goodies for the Cardinal Family in my garden. I have to cover the plant up to protect the Black Swallowtail, until it turns into a chrysalis. Then I can bring it into my greenhouse to become a beautiful butterfly. Once it is ready for the outdoors, the girls and I will name it and release it into the wild.
Summer is coming early to North Texas this year. Since a couple of months, there are several big sunflower plants growing in my first raised bed. I’m still not sure, if these are self-seeders from the previous season, or a critter left some seeds of the Common Sunflowers from a nearby field in my bed. The chances are great, that some of the seeds I’ve been sowing haven’t produced last year. And now, we have some big shading plants standing tall in the Community Garden. They produce a lot of smaller heads. But they look very pretty and are very nice pollinator attractors (honey bees, bumble bees, butterflies and even hummingbirds). The birds will be happy to have fresh sunflower seeds in late Summer, again.
Early May, Kevin told me that a couple of Mockingbirds were building a nest in our Photinia. After we cut the bush back to a tree, it seems to attract birds to build nest in it again. (There was a Cardinal nest earlier in the year. But a critter must have gotten to the eggs. The shells were scattered under the Photinia shortly after Mrs. Cardinal laid them.) Over the weeks, I watched the mockers come to their nest. First they checked on their eggs, and then they brought worms and bugs to the baby bird nursery. I always liked it, when the adult birds picked up these pesky June bugs out of my yard. That’s a few less fat bugs buzzing around my head, when I want to have a drink on my porch in the evenings.
Today, I heard a lot of cheeping in my frontyard. Chewbacca must have heard it, too. He looked out the front door. And there was Mr. and Mrs. Mockingbird causing a ruckus, because the cat sat by the door. That got my attention. I walked out on the front porch. Hm, no noisy little cheep. The adult Mockingbirds watched every move I made in the frontyard. Still nothing! In this heat, I decided it was better to go back into the house. A little bit later, I heard a high-pitched “Cheeeep, cheeeep, cheeeep”, again. This time, the adult bird flew over to the Texas Sage. I went outside, looked in the bush and saw a precious little fluff ball. Awww, it’s a beautiful little fledgling. Since the Northern Mockingbird is the Texas State Bird, I have to be very careful around it. But this little guy/girl made my heart melt.
The last couple of days, I could harvest several jalapeños out of my Community Garden bed and our home raised bed. This is very exciting. It’s the first season, I have success with them. The “secret” of my jalapeño success is very simple. I did the same thing with the pepper plants, what I did with my tomato plants: Digging a deep hole, adding some banana peels, egg shells, Epsom salt, expended shale, cornstarch and worm castings, and then dropping the plants deep into the soil seems to be the recipe for growing great peppers.
Technically, we don’t have a Full Moon until 9:20 a.m. CDT (3:20 p.m. UTC). But by that time, the Moon is long set in North Texas. So here is the almost-Full Moon of May 2018. 😉
Names: Flower Moon, Milk Moon, Planting Moon, Merry Moon
Nature is in full bloom and the fertility and abundance of the world is felt everywhere. Earth is celebrating the joyful and playful aspects of life with fresh green leaves, roses and birdsong. The May Full Moon is about romance, joy and fun. It’s a time to celebrate our partners, our friends and our families. It is time to get out into nature. It is time to splurge a little and have some fun. (www.naturesuburban.com)
“At its core, the nobility and the majesty of Memorial Day can be found in the story of ordinary Americans who become extraordinary for the most simple of reasons: They loved their country so deeply, so profoundly, that they were willing to give their lives to keep it safe and free.”
President Barack Obama, Memorial Day 2010
Kevin installed the pool and filled it up, yesterday. Three hours later, Sara jumped in the cool water. This year, we set the pool up before Memorial Day. Usually we do it on the weekend, after school ended. But By we supposed to have temperatures reaching the 3 digits by mid-week. What could be better than cooling off in the pool after a long day in school?! I can’t wait to stick my tootsies in the water.
Five weeks ago, I planted a couple of bee balm plants in our Hummingbird/Butterfly Garden. And this morning, we’ve got rewarded with a beautiful blossom. On the other plant, I saw a few more buds, which should begin to bloom soon. This is so exciting. After trying to grow bee balm for a few years, we have success this year.
When I looked at my garden from my patio door, I saw one of the lilies blooming in the flower raised bed. Before the thunderstorm came in, I took my camera and captured this beauty. I was very lucky. Moments after the photo-taking, a strong cool wind blew in from the NW and then it started to lightning and thundering. It was time to go back into the house.