Life's Little Moments

By dbifulco

A messy garden

For those of us, like me, who aspire to create a welcoming habitat for all manner of wildlife, a messy garden is a beautiful thing.  I never cut back my garden until spring for two reasons.  One reason can be seen here - many birds, like this American Goldfinch, love eating the seeds from spent flowers.  And not just echinecea, but hyssop, monarda, liatris, rudbeckia and a host of others.  The second reason is that many insects (both adults and larvae) take shelter in the winter in dead plant matter.  So, I regard my messy garden as both a buffet and a nursery/hotel of sorts.  

Today was beautiful, nice after yesterday's rain.  I ended up releasing all 11 monarchs yesterday after the rains moved out, and 4 more today.  I did not have any names to send these off with, so instead just told them that they are flying for people who are gone and missed.  Maybe later I'll do a count to see how many more I have left.  I still have my last 5 caterpillars, although V has started his walkabout.  W is in the 5th and final instar so he'll pupate soon; while X, Y and Z are still 3rd instars, eating like crazy and growing fast.  Not to late to request dedications...

Hoping to join my walking group tomorrow down at the NJ shore which will be a full day.  If I end up going, I won't be back until late afternoon so TT results will be out later than usual.   Stay tuned...


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