While the garden has mixed results this year, one thing we have been able to grow is butterflies.
The girl has always wanted to get one of those kits where you order caterpillars in the mail and watch the miracle of transformation in the comfort of your own home. I try to avoid such things opting for viewing creatures in their natural state as much as possible.
We decided to plant a butterfly garden. Our local mega-nursery puts all their plants on sale at 50% off at the beginning of the summer. We went and bought a bunch of milkweed plants in hopes of attracting a few monarchs.
Turns out, we didn't need to attract them. As we were standing in line at the checkout desk, my observant little one noticed a very small caterpillar down near the roots of one of the plants. We even found a few more when we got them home. As you can well imagine, not all the plants made it into the yard. We kept 2 back to set up our butterfly habitat in the living room. We successfully hatched two Monarch butterflies. It was every bit as exciting as she hoped it would be.
It was so exciting that when we found the bounty of black winged swallowtail caterpillars munching on my parsley, we brought them in and started afresh with our butterfly project. We have three plump and juicy and very pretty caterpillars happily munching on flat-leafed parsley.
As if the Butterfly Project wasn't enough, we also have a little bowl of tadpoles. We have already released one. Despite the fact that we have had nearly endless rain for over a week, we actually got these guys from the neighborhood nursery. They have several ponds full of tadpoles and offered them to anyone willing to take them. Never ones to turn away free creatures, we came home with a cup full of them.
Speaking of rain, oh. my. goodness. We were in drought condition a couple of weeks ago. We have already gotten more rain in the first week of July than we usually get in the whole month of July. It started with Alex. He was way south of here, but he spread those rain bands wide and we benefited from them. Tropical Depression #2 came ashore yesterday, I believe. That brought even more rain. I'm not really complaining ... yet. We needed the rain so badly and it has really dropped the temperatures. But I am about ready for a few days of dry weather.
Did you have a nice 4th? We went up to my uncle's lake house for our usual excitement. although the day started with rain, it cleared up nicely. There was jet-skiing and fireworks and oh, so much food. It was nice to see everyone, too. And sunsets one the lake aren't too shabby.
My boy is away again this week. He'll be back tomorrow. He's camping with the Boy Scouts. I'm trying to get used to not being in contact with him for days at a time. This should be the last time he's away this summer. It's hard growing babies.
While he is away, we have a friend of my daughter's staying with us. Yes, for the whole week. She used to live in the neighborhood, but moved to a Houston suburb last summer. It's not the first time she has stayed with us, but it has been the longest. It has been a great time for my girl. They have so much fun together. But we have both learned how set in our ways we are. Having someone around all the time who doesn't necesarily do things the way you do is ... um ... a learning experience.
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Have a great weekend!