Sunday, November 1, 2009

Catching Up with the Weather and Fun Things

How do squirrels keep dry? By using their tails as an umbrella, of course! This little guy was probably as tired of the rain as I was. I took this shot through the window. I've been stuck inside a lot these past two months with over twenty inches of rain just in October. We're still under a river flood warning. I'm afraid that those living along bayous and rivers have not seen the worst yet. Thankfully we'll be fine. And thankfully we've got sun now and the forecast for the coming week is nothing but sun, yay!

Catching up with the last two weeks, there have been days here and there with no rain. A couple of weeks ago I went with some members of our Master Gardeners club to a fall plant festival and sale in Mississippi. A terrible storm had blown through our region and the site of the festival just the night before. So it was muddy, muddy, muddy, as you can see from these poor drowned tomatoes. But we still had a great time. The MS Extension Office near Crystal Springs has some really nice display gardens. They have all the latest flowers including SunPatiens, a new variety of impatiens intended for growing in the sun. But I really liked this combo below. It's 'Fireworks' gomphrena and 'Electric Lime' coleus.

And we managed to haul a bunch of plants back!

Finally the monarchs are starting to visit my garden. Having some sun helps.

And other little creatures are about. I think this is what's called a thread-waisted wasp.

And the bumbles are still about. Although I find them sleeping more than they used to (this one was busy however).

Besides working on a planting plan for a butterfly and bird garden that we, the Master Gardeners, are going to install in a parish park (if the soil ever dries out that is), I'm helping my friend fix up a little courtyard at the university. It has some serious issues, most notably a mound that's steeper than it should be and chock full of weeds. Here's a shot of my friend and some students weeding some really tough weeds.

But we found a number of cool looking bugs. Now isn't this one lovely?

Here's an 'after' shot of the mound. We piled newspaper and then pine straw on top and will plant it later. However, we didn't have enough of either to go around so this heavy duty plastic is there temporarily to prevent run-off. Still lots more work to go though!

Okay, so I think I've caught up with my gardening world for the last two weeks. I hope your gardening world is in good shape for this first day of November!


  1. Wow, that caterpillar is great! Also, I'm so amazed by how summery it is there as opposed to here. I love squirrels, but floods, not so much!

  2. I love the squirrel shot, Jean:) Wow, I will stop complaining about the rain we had--almost 9 inches in October, which fell just short of setting a record. But that's nothing compared to your 20 inches! Looks like you've made the best of it, though, and are ready to get back into gardening as soon as the soil dries out. Great to see the Monarchs have made their way South safely!

  3. Jean, The rain has been relentless here, too. Love the bumble shot and the wasp, butterfly and cat shots are stellar. This year I am finally going for the Mater gardener certification!
    They only offer the training once a year, at night on the other side of town, but it seems worth the hassle!
    Thanks for the nudge. gail

  4. Hi Jan, oh what a sweet shot of the little tail umbrella fella! Good deal on the plant sale, looks like an excellent haul. We also attended a cold rainy plant sale at UT recently and saw a display of those gomphrena, minus the coleus which would have already been frosted. Hope to plant some of that next year. Your butterflies and that crazy eyed insect are great, so much sun! We keep telling ourselves...rain is good, rain is good.


  5. I hope you are getting lots of the sun we have been having over the past week. We had plenty of rain too but the garden seems to have dried out very quickly and is ready for it to rain again. Next week they say. The fireworks gomphrena and coleus look wonderful together. It is fun to take a trip with a group of gardeners and to come back with a plant haul. I think we are all the same! Good job on the mound.

  6. That's a great shot of the squirrel. We've had too much rain also, but not nearly as much as you've had. The Gomphena & Coleus combo is so great, I'll have to try that in a container next year. I love fuschia & chartreuse together.

  7. Jan, I am always impressed by your endeavors. That will be a beautiful burm sometime this spring and summer. Love your photo of the caterpillar looking at us.~~Dee

  8. You should be in the light for a bit now after all that rain. Love the hornworm shot and your newly cleaned beds.

  9. Jean, I think your "worm" is a swallowtail butterfly caterpillar. I hope you let it live! I really like that Fireworks Gomphrena ... the sister nursery to the one we visited had it in several plantings this year. I must get some!

    Sorry I've been lax in commenting. My Bloglines feed wasn't showing your new posts!

  10. Cindy, we certainly let it live (away from the mound). It was unlike any swallowtail larvae I've ever seen. What you can't see in the photo is that at the other end it has a horn, just one. More similar to a tomato/tobacco hornworm. So I'm not really sure what it was.


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