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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Stealth Butterfly

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Found a caterpillar eating blossom of my gaillardia. It’s probably a moth, which I think of as stealth butterflies. I spent some time poking around on the web to see if I could find out what exactly it was, but “moth” covers so much ground I wasn’t able to narrow it down. I thought about removing it, but wildlife here has had such a hard time for the last couple of years, I just left it.

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The gulf fritillary larvae are doing pretty well. I moved them from the vine that they’d eaten all the leaves off of to another one.

My garden is really small. I have a long, narrow patio and postage stamp front yard. I used to think of my garden as this little cup of life in the desert of suburbia. Most of the houses around us have yards that are aimed at being the least possible maintenance. But lately I’ve come to realize how much the cup overfloweth. The things that I put in the garden are only a part of what happens there. There are the bees that come and drink the water from my water pot. The birds that come for both food and water. The bugs that eat the plants, the lizards that eat the bugs, the rat bastard squirrel that ate all my macadamia nuts last year.

There are a few who have yard like that in my neighborhood and I wonder how much wildlife depends on these tiny oases. How many creatures pass through every day? I get the feeling that spaces like these are going to be more important at more people are squeezed in and everything else is squeezed out.

Stop here

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I’ve come to the conclusion that the boston ivy that covers most of the patio wall has to go. It’s just too hot for it now. It never really looks good except in early spring. Then the weather heats up all the leaves burn and I’m left with a wall of toast. So I’ve been pulling it down, a few feet at a time. It’s easier on me than trying to do the whole wall at once and it gives the local wildlife a chance to move to a new location. I was out trimming this weekend when I found my stopping point. A mantid egg case. Between that and the fact that the trash was full, a good place to stop.