Time For Checkers?

~Confession time! Lately, I’ve been so busy gardening and taking pictures in the garden that I haven’t been knitting, spinning, or sewing. Followers may remember that I have planted flowers to attract hummers and butterflies. It is so exciting when a new bird or butterfly pays a visit. I’ve been trying to remember to have my good camera outside with me at all times, keeping the 55 – 250 mm lens on so I can zoom into the critter. Hurray! Yesterday a new butterfly, Checkered White, visited the yard. It was so polite, remaining on the verbena while I grabbed the camera and shot some photos. I wonder what type of knitting pattern for a shawl could be designed from the pattern on its wings? Don’t you think it looks a bit Art Nouveau?

checkered_white

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A Chance Photograph!

~A photo project I’ve been doing lately is to try and take picture of the butterflies that stop by to visit at my house and other places I’m visiting. You can image that it does take patience. The pictures have been taken with my point-and-shoot Canon using the zoom feature. I have taken a few with my telephoto lens on the Canon Rebel. I just hate having to keep changing lenses on the Rebel. Lucky Curls has two SLR cameras – one for the telephoto and one for the regular lens. Another camera is on our list. These pictures were all taken at Curl’s house when I was there for a visit a few weeks ago.

The Funereal Duskywing greeted me when I got out of my car at Barb’s. It’s been visiting my house too, but won’t stay in one place long enough for me to catch. This was flying around the oak tree. Barb said it has been a common visitor to the oak this summer. This was a “polite” butterfly and stayed in the shade so I didn’t get heat stroke taking the picture.

Running around in 90 degree weather for butterflies was nuts! I’m sure anyone watching would have thought we were going crazy. Skippers are appropriately named since we were skipping all over the front yard trying to get pictures. Look closely at the Woodland Skipper picture and you can see its curled “tongue”.

Capturing a picture of the Marine Blue was a total accident! I was trying to snap a Woodland Skipper. When we went inside to examine the photos, I was in for a treat. I missed the Woodland, but, just by chance, here was a blue. We’d seen the blue flying around, and had even tried to take a picture of one! This tiny, tiny butterfly is one of my favorites.

Hurray, seeing the American Lady means I have seen all of the “Ladies” in North America.  The markings are so distinct. Don’t they look as if they are eyes? That’s the purpose, to scare off predators. Two new life list butterflies: American Lady and Woodland Skipper.

It’s For The Birds!

 STOP!  Don’t throw those bits of yarn from knitting and fluff from spinning.  Put the no-longer-needed-because-it’s-Spring suet holders to use.  I packed mine full of fluff and yarn.  You can see that the birds have been having a great time pulling out the bits and using in their nests.  It’s fun to see a bird with a beak full of fluff!  This was full.  I have it right by the bird feeders.

A beautiful have-to-be-outside day!  You can see the blue skies in the background. 😎  The Texas Privet is abuzz with bees and giving off a heavenly smell.  Too bad it is so MESSY!  The scent is drawing me out! Time for birds, butterflies, and flowers!

And, How Does Your Garden Grow?

Well, today did not turn out at all how I envisioned it would be; dyeing, knitting, and eating bonbons while watching Tom Selleck!  Sigh….. Instead the day was: fix the car’s brakes, do the banking, run other small chores, go to Walmart, etc.  That was the day, left around 9:30 and finally got home around 5.  Did have a small 1/2 hour break when I can home for a breather!  What a day.  It did help immensely that it is another beautiful day; sunny and warm.    I won’t be posting any fabulous knitting items today.  Sorry.

Instead, the small amount of time I was home, I went outside to enjoy the flowers.  My sweet freesias have all bloomed out.  Sadness.  The darn dog ate quite a few of my other favorite plants.  However, I still have enough flowers left to post pictures.  The violet is one of my favorites.  My grandmother adored violets and had violet perfume.  Whenever my violets bloom I feel my grandmother smiling!  My grandparents yard was always a riot of color! My big violets are out front where there is more sun and haven’t bloomed yet, these are my small, “shy” violets!

A surprise visitor to my garden this winter was this cactus!  I don’t have any in my yard, but this popped up in my pea plants.  Thanks to a bird I suppose.  I always have different feeders out for the birds so I get quite a bit of traffic.

 

I LOVE spinners and have them all over the back yard.  Sad to say one wooden spinner that I got in Okinawa was eaten by the dog.  Dang puppy!  The flower with the spinner is the largest monkey flower I have ever seen!  I grow them every year and none have EVER grown this large.

I love the uniqueness of this flower!  It is growing over the back retaining wall.  Grandma always called it Cat’s Claws.  The nursery sells it as Parrot’s Beak.  I’m going with Cat’s Claws, grandma was born in 1896 and gardened for a heck of a long time, she died at age 94, I think she’s right.  The colors are stunning and I want to dye some yarn in this colorway.  Can’t you just visualize the gradient?

I love having birds and butterflies in the yard, so most of the plants are planted to attract them. I don’t put out hummingbird feeders since I have so much salvia and other plants hummingbirds love.  We have a permanent Anna’s Hummingbird who has actually come to drink from the hose while I was holding it.  If I’m out gardening, he’s always close by.  I love it!  Just get rid of the crows who have scared away a lot of my birds.  I’m hoping to do  some natural dyeing this summer when my garden is in full bloom!