Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Bloomin' Tuesday: Sharing the garden with the birds and the butterflies





The life and death struggle between me and the caterpillars goes on. The bottom of the passion vine looks eaten and scraggly but the top part is green and fresh and I have at least 2-3 flowers open every day. This little vine has been one of my biggest successes so far- in spite of the caterpillars!







The caterpillars arrive because of the butterflies- and here is one doing her work for the camera. A few seconds after this picture she flew away, leaving a small yellow egg- ready to hatch a batch of baby caterpillars to wreak further havoc on the vine. I have actually caught this action several times now, with this vine being just outside my office window. It doesn't do much for staying on task when I am working, but oh what a fun distraction!






The baby doves flew the nest the other day, just a short time before a big storm came up and dumped over an inch of rain on my yard. They had been on the ground with Mama, and then flew over into the neighbors yard and I didn't see them again that day. They didn't return to the nest, but I did see one of the babies the next morning among the many birds that congregate at my feeder. After that one time though, neither baby has been around. I hope they have survived all the rain this week. I guess it is better to have them just disappear than to see them dead in the bird eating Cholla.


Since it is Bloomin' Tuesday I thought I'd better include at least one bloomin photo! Here is the Snail Plant from an earlier post. I ended up planting it at the base of my new bird feeder. I hope it has time to get established before winter. Since winter won't show up here in Tucson for a long time, I think it will be alright.








The last week has been one rain after another, and the wild parts of my yard, are wilder still with new weeds popping up all over. I really need to be a full time gardener, with a heavy labor crew in tow, to get things in shape but since it is only me and some help from my son now and then, I try to enjoy the wildness as much as the areas I've brought under control.
The side of my house that my office and bedrooms look onto, has probably gotten the most attention in the last year, and it has gone from only having a few rose bushes planted along the house to plants and flowers everywhere. Most are small yet, but I can close my eyes and picture what it will look like in 5 or 10 years.

The last pictures show the most recent addition to this part of my yard. My son recently built me this bird-feeder from two posts bolted together. It holds two bird feeders, one at the end of each arm. I have been experimenting with placing the various pieces of cactus wood I have collected up against it to give the birds a variety of perching places. The plan is to build a bird hotel on the top, but that hasn't happened yet. I am amazed by the number of birds in my yard now and look forward to welcoming the migrating birds that spend the winter here.
Happy Bloomin' Tuesday everyone!

For more Bloomin' Tuesday posts and to join in yourself visit "Ms Green Thumb Jean's"

12 comments:

Sweetie said...

You certainly are full of knowledge regarding growing beauty in the dessert. All of your pictures are wonderful but my favorite was the shot of the bird.
Sweetie

Dawn said...

Love the dove snuggled into the cactus....
Thanks for stopping in this morning!

Carla said...

I love your bird paradise you've got going! I'm sure it will be incrediable when the snail vine really takes off! What a neat use for cactus wood! I'm sure its going to be VERY entertaining for you in the near future! (mama dove is perfect)

Jean said...

I love your creature pictures! The bird feeder is cool with the cactus wood on it. I enlarged the picture and the wood is certainly interesting. Great post! Jean

Laurie and Chris said...

I have never seen a Snail Plant it looks really pretty.I love all the other pictures also. Happy Bloomin' Tuesday!

PGL said...

You probably will get lots & lots of butterflies since the Passion Flower vine is a host plant for Gulf fritillary, Zebra longwing, and Julia butterflies. Your Snail Vine is very unusual. Happy Bloomin' Tuesday!

Deborah Godin said...

I don't think we get Gulf Frittilaries around here (Point Pelee) despite our southerly climate; that's a beautiful shot!

Suzy said...

I have to check out the Snail plant, that's a new one for me!

Anne Fannie said...

I always like to visit your blog on Blooming Tuesday and see your desert garden. I love the pictures of that butterfly and dove and your snail plant, is that the name of that plant? I have one growing on a old black iron fence and I didn't know the name of it!
Thanks!
Ann

Aiyana said...

Great photos. Lots of interesting info. Even with the extra rain, weeds have not been a problem for me when the temperatures are so high. In early Feb, if we get rain, I have serious problems, but they burn off by June--if I miss any. Your snail vine is coming along. I hope my Queen's Wreath has established enough to come back next year if it succumbs to frost this winter. One never knows ahead of time what will happen!
Aiyana

Sweetie said...

Please stop by for a visit and pick up your award.
Sweetie

Julie said...

Oh, I love your blog too!!! How I wish I lived out west! I love desert plants and ROCKS!!! Your yard makes me so happy just to look at it! :)