Saturday, July 30, 2016

Naughty Norman

This is Norman, our local groundhog.

Norman and I have an agreement.
If he stays out of of the garden, he gets to enjoy an unlimited buffet of clover and other weeds. 

 And boy do I have clover and weeds aplenty for the discerning groundhog appetite!

Good Norman!

Uh, Norman, what are you doing?

Warning, warning! You are in a restricted zone!

Step away from the flower!

Yes, that flower.

Yes, I know it smells delicious.
But so does clover, right?

Uh, what are you doing? Resist the temptation!

Noooo!!  Bad Norman!

Yes, you!  I saw you!
You still have something hanging out of your mouth, for crying out loud.

I still know what you did.

Okay, our agreement now is officially off!

You are a very, very naughty groundhog!

Anyone else get the feeling that my groundhog is developing a little bit of an attitude problem?

He must be taking lessons from the squirrels.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Monarch Sighting!

This weekend we had a Monarch Butterfly sighting at the Red House Garden!

Monarch butterfly on Rose Milkweed
This is a big deal here, as this is only the second Monarch I've seen in the last three years since moving up to Massachusetts.  It's also a cause for celebration, as Monarch numbers have been on the decline in recent years.  We having been fighting against the real possibility that their Great Migration, which encompasses several generations of butterflies and thousands of miles across North America, could face extinction.

Gardeners across America have been planting nectar plants and Milkweed plants, which is what their caterpillars eat, in order to help the butterflies out. We were very optimistic after reports this winter showed that the numbers of Monarchs overwintering in Mexico had increased significantly...

Graph of area covered by the Monarch overwintering population in Mexico
graph by WWF
Unfortunately, an unexpected disaster struck.  In early March, right as the Monarch butterflies were coming out of hibernation, a large winter storm hit Mexico.  Millions of Monarchs were killed.

Thus it gives me great hope to see a Monarch way up here, especially one early in the season.

This one is a female Monarch.

Here's hoping for babies!

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