Saint Francis and the … Chipmunk?

If you’re a saint, somewhere someone’s made a statue of you. If you’re Saint Francis, there are a whole lot of statues of you, mostly in gardens, often holding a bowl that gets filled with bird seed. We have an older statue of St. Frank given to us by relatives that was truly lovely in its youth. Sadly, it hasn’t weathered well, probably due to the harsh climate extremes we have here. Currently, its nestled next to an ancient heritage rose bush amidst some daylilies and we like it there.

Apparently, we aren’t the only ones who enjoy St. Frank’s presence. This summer a rather bold chipmunk (is there any other type?) has taken to roosting on St. Frank’s head. Every time I see it there, it makes me laugh. I think it’s because something about it strikes me as a mashup of Chip and Dale with a Disney Davy Crockett Coonskin Cap. Remember those Coonskin caps?

Behold: The St. Frank Chipmunk Cap. In “living” color.

St Frank Chipmunk Hat!

St Frank Chipmunk Hat!

Butterflies!

Red Admiral Butterfly on Boltonia against blue sky

This gorgeous red admiral butterfly couldn’t get enough of the boltonia flowers that have taken over my sunlight garden bed. Between the drought, and a plague of voles, I’m happy I’ve got anything left. If it’s something that attracts butterflies, so much the better. I’ve seen several of the red admirals this last week, as well as lots of smaller butterflies that flit about too much for me to get good photos.

Over the years I’ve tried growing many types of flowers that are supposed to attract butterflies, but it’s the boltonia that they love. Butterfly bushes bring in the butterflies by the dozens as well, but I’ve only ever had one butterfly bush survive our winters, even after mulching each with a foot of leaves. I know some people grow those as annuals, but the summers here are usually too short to do that successfully either.

So here’s to boltonias–and butterflies!

Recipe: Take One Part Nature, and One Part Technology

 Monarch on Gallardia.

As promised, I have lots of photos to poke through and then share. This one is a bit of me experimenting, as the monarch butterfly and flower were dangling over a really ratty looking chunk of concrete. I couldn’t get my camera to blur the background so that it didn’t look icky.

So … I took several versions of the shot anyways, and then played around a bit with my graphics package to delete the skuzzy concrete background.

And … Voila! Now I can share a shot of one lovely monarch butterfly visiting a Gallardia flower.

Technology. Gotta love it.

We Return You To Our Irregularly Scheduled Program…

Alice Had A Bunny, Too.

Ta Da! I’m back blogging. Didn’t mean to disappear since spring. The short explanation: the Universe has been viewing me thusly:

Sniper Target!

‘Nuff said about that.

The owls are fine, we have a very endearing bunny from this year’s gargantuan “crop” of bunnies that we’ve named Dandy, lots of new flowers to enjoy, a woodchuck (!), oodles of chipmunks and squirrels and, thanks to record rainfalls, an insanely huge population of mosquitoes.

Have I mentioned the bats? They are most welcome each evening as they swoop in to feast on the skeeters. We also have the most toads I’ve seen in thirty years, including one that is absolutely humongous who glares at me whenever I poke about in ‘his’ garden beds.

I’ve named him Bartholomew.

Pictures to come.

Daylily Parade

Daylily Collage

Here’s a peek at the daylilies that were blooming in my gardens today. You’ll also see, on the bottom left, the fuzzy little rump of a medium-sized bumblebee that buried itself in a golden-colored bloom just as I snapped the shot. And on the bottom petal of the lavendar and white daylily, if you look carefully you’ll find a tiny little native bee.

What you can’t see: two baby bunnies and a baby chipmunk that were hiding under the foliage. I tried my best to get photos of them, but boy, are they fast-moving little critters! So: close your eyes, look carefully past the flowers and down deep underneath the leaves and… there! There they are!

Adorable, aren’t they?