Tuesday I worked in the yard ahead of a coming storm. I hurriedly took care of some garden tasks that needed to be done before the rain. Every other year I harvest a layer of pine needles to use as mulch around my hosta plants. Somewhere I read that it deters slugs...I think this might be accurate. The hostas haven't died off yet though, so I bagged up the top layer of needles and set them under the porch for use later in the fall. I was careful not to take to many so the trees get the nutrients they need. I think I've taken too many in the past. I'm much more careful about doing that now. It 's much easier to do this before they get wet and covered up with fall leaves.
I have hopes to grow more greens this winter so I pulled this old frame out of the shed. I'll try to repair it and have it ready to use before the frost/freeze forecasted for later this week.
While I was out in the back of the yard working on this, I looked up and saw five Monarch butterflies on the few sunflowers I have left. It's taken a lot of will power throughout the summer to leave them in the garden when I could envision how pretty they would be in vases around the house. I was tempted to pull them when I realized they were keeping my fall cabbage from getting enough sunlight. I resisted though because I really wanted to leave them out for the birds. I never expected butterflies like this:
I started snapping as many pictures as I could. I take all my pictures with just the phone I carry in my pocket, and I didn't think it would do their beauty justice, but I am pretty pleased with these unedited shots.
They danced around the flowers, pulling away once they realized I was there. I backed away and there they were again. I felt like this little guy was just staring me down. Clearly I moved more than he did!
I am so glad that I left that little source of nourishment out for them on their journey.