• 02Aug

    My gardens are pretty much on auto-pilot right now, but I do try and spend some time each day just enjoying.

    I have a monarch that visits me daily – either these butterflies are naturally pretty sweet or the word has gotten around that I’m a friend. She flutters around my head quite a bit. I like to think it’s a she, and she’s laying lots of eggs on the host plants I grow. It won’t be long until one day I’ll look, and my butterfly weed will be crawling with monarch cats.

    I also have a yellow swallowtail, a HUGE one. Now I’ve forgotten if it’s the yellow or black swallowtail that uses parsley and dill as the host plant. I have lots of both plants ready for them. Another swallowtail uses the spice bush as its host plant, so I planted a tiny spice bush, but I believe it died. That particular caterpillar has a big face on its head, just colorings that look like a face. The first time I saw a picture, I thought it was a cartoon…it’s that goofy looking.

    http://www.images.on.ca/JayC/images/Spicebush_Swallowtail_larva.jpg

    Now that I’m a suburbanite instead of a country girl, that means the pets stay indoors. So now I can have bird feeders, and that’s a lot of enjoyment for me. I never understood my grandmother and mom watching the birds like they did, but I get it now. They’re pretty and they entertain. And the cats just love watching them through the window.

    There’s been this bird visiting, and turns out (after much googling) that it’s a bald cardinal. Apparently it has mites and it scratched its head feathers off. Or it’s some kind of molting thing. The first time I saw this bird, I thought it looked kind of sick, and now it’s looking better. But with a big black bald head.

    My aunt in St. Louis has an albino cardinal that comes around every summer.

    On the garden side of things, eggplants are about ready to pick, and I’ve been picking peppers, both hot and sweet. For now, just tossing them into the freezer for later. Frozen peppers are great for stir fry or various recipes.

    Yellow squash is still coming in, so we tried this recipe for yellow squash patties. They were kind of good!

    I also ordered a copy of “Please To The Table,” a Russian cookbook that Yulinka recommended. I’m anxious to get it and try to make black bread. I miss that bread! It’s sour and good. I also hope to find a good Russian recipe for golubtsi, stuffed cabbage rolls. Totally different from what I knew, as it uses sour cream. I learned that recipe from ladies at the Russian Orthodox church in Royalton, Illinois. But now I’ve misplaced it and can’t seem to get it right from memory.

    I also haven’t made borscht in a long time and have a craving for it. Next year I might even grow some beets to honor the borscht.

    Filed under: Organic Gardening

    Posted: August 2, 2009 at 7:05 pm

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