In addition to all of the crickets making noise outside, I heard one in the house last night. When I woke up this morning, I found Jiminy in the laundry room. He stayed still long enough for me to grab a camera with a macro lens. Afterwards, I helped him find his way back outside to be with his friends.
It rained most of the morning, so I wasn’t able to get out until the afternoon to check out the garden towers on the patio. Between the timed sprinklers and all of the rain while I was in Germany, most of the plants survived. Indeed lots of invasive weeds and vines. I was able to pick the ripe Italian and Cherry tomatoes. I had to discard a bunch of the tomatoes that had rotted. There were some giant cucumbers that I missed before traveling. A number of the hot peppers turned red, so I also picked them. There were flowers blooming on the morning-glory vines growing up the trellis on my chimney.
I’m back from a 10-day trip to Germany. It was hot and dry in Germany, but apparently hot and wet in New Jersey. The grass needs to be mowed, the weeds need to be pulled, and the patio garden cleaned up. Some of the tomatoes are ripe, but others rotted. The tomato leaves are turning yellow (too much water, or need nitrogen fertilizer?). Several of the hot peppers are bright red and ready to be picked. There was one remaining yellow squash, and two white eggplants. The wildflower garden continues to attract butterflies and bees. This was the first female black swallowtail butterfly that I have seen this season. A bumblebee was pollinating the basil flowers. There were several Monarch butterflies feeding on the zinnia wildflowers. I also made a quick trip to the local weekly farmers market. It is smaller than the daily markets I saw at several public squares in Germany.
I finally saw a large butterfly again in my wildflower plot. This time a Tiger Swallowtail. There have been a lot of tiny butterflies and bumblebees, but the Monarch butterflies and the Clearwing Hummingbird moths have stayed away. While checking the garden towers, I saw that one type of caterpillar has pretty much eaten all of my dill plants. I’m glad that I collected and froze some of the dill earlier. A different type of caterpillar pretty much ate all of my kale plants (almost overnight). I pulled all of the remaining kale and put them into a sealed mulch container. I also got several images of this strange (Darth Vader) spider.
Individual images in the slide shows can be viewed here.