Rocks, usually in my head

My sister and I were talking about the things that stress us out. For her it was a big print job at work that she couldn’t finish because the toner cartridge ran out, for me it was rocks. She’s worrying about actual work things that she needs to get done and I’m worrying about moving rocks. That nobody but me cares about and it won’t matter if they never get moved except that I’d get tired of walking around them.

It drives me crazy, the things that get stuck in my head, but I think maybe I’ve hit on a new way to decide job priority. Do you spend a lot of time thinking about it? Get it done and get it out of your head.

Got myself up and outside pretty early both days this weekend. I’m not generally an early riser, but at this time of year it gets too hot to work outside pretty quickly. Got the projects that keep nagging at me done and then poked around doing little things and taking pictures. Lots of insect activity going on this time of year.

At tiny moth, no bigger than my fingernail. Cute.

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There were lots of these little spiderwebs around.

And milkweed bugs.

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Adopted Orchids

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A friend had a bunch of orchids in her house. When the blooms died she didn’t want to throw them away, but didn’t have the right conditions to get them to bloom again so she offered them to me. I took them home and I’m afraid I was not very kind to them initially. I put them out in the atrium and left them. It was a big change in environment and some of them got sunburned leaves. However, most of them managed to survive. I recently noticed, to my surprise, that there were bloom spikes on a couple of them. I’ve only had my orchids bloom in winter before, when the weather is somewhat cooler and damper. At least I don’t feel like quite such a fraud now.

The friend also came up with the idea that I should babysit people’s orchids and give them when they were blooming. Um, no. No market for it, no money in it and in no way do I want to do that. That’s doing all the work and missing all of the fun.

Watching

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Spent a while watching butterflies on Saturday. A big monarch seems to have claimed the yard for her own. At least I think it was a she. She would patrol from one end of the garden to the other and back again, looping around the butterfly milkweed plants to make sure there were no interlopers.

There was also a cabbage butterfly and a couple of what I think were hairstreaks, but I didn’t get close enough to see them clearly.

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The monarch left the smaller butterflies alone, but when a gulf fritillary wandered into the yard it promptly got chased back out again. I think it’s larger size and orange and black colors make it too monarch-like. It was an immediate target.

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I was glad to see a good number of bees. When everyone stopped watering everything the bee population seemed to take a real dive. There were days in the beginning of the year where there’d be only one or two in the front yard and none at all inside the gates. Now there’s a good mix of pollinators, bees, butterflies and hoverflies. It was a good day for bugwatching.

Lack of Larvae

I have these:

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There’s one that I’ve seen patrolling the yard, flitting from one end of the yard to the other, stopping occasionally to lay eggs on the butterfly plant. She chases off any interlopers. Butterfly fights are interesting to watch. They look like leaves caught in a whirlwind. It’s hard to believe they’re battles for territory.

I was hoping for more of these:

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But this is only the second one I’ve seen this season.

Nepenthe

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I am as proud of this plant as almost any in my garden. In the past I have done a wonderful job of killing them. I got this one off of Ebay, intending to put it in my kitchen window with the sarracenia I haven’t yet killed, but it was too big. So I put it in a compote dish that belonged to my mom-in-law. There it has room to drape over the edge. I’ve been watering it regularly with distilled water and have it in bright indirect light. I haven’t been paying much attention to it until this weekend when I noticed it had traps. Not just traps, but kind of large traps, over three inches long. It’s also developing some smaller ones at the base, but they’re smaller and look different. I’m wondering if there are two different varieties in the pot. Sometimes it seems like the best things in my garden happen when I’m not looking.