Thursday, July 03, 2008

First frogs of the year take up residence in the pond. A pair of juvenile green frogs migrated from one of the local ponds or seasonal wetlands to bask in the shade of a potted cypress in the feeder pool.

Swamp Milkweed is just about ready to pop. I can't say enough about this native perrenial. The colorful flowers draw butterflies, bees, and other pollinators, the large leaves give shelter to tree frogs, the sap is the requisite of the monarch caterpillar, which is rapidly losing ground due to habitat loss and the destruction of what most people see as a simple weed. While its deep tap roots make it difficult to transplant and nearly impossible to divide, it's easilly propagated from seed and needs very little care besides the occasional watering during the dry season.

Just behind the Swamp Milkweed are its asclepias cousins Common Milkweed and Butterfly weed. Both are very beneficial to both the butterfly population, and in specific to the monarch population. Marsh mallow is coming up like mad, only to be eaten by deer and a seemingly exploding cottontail population. Have had to put a mesh fence around the vegetable garden just to keep them out (they have the wooded lot and the 30'X12' native garden all to themselves).

Has been in the 80's this past week, with only a few very light spots of drizzle. Hopefully we don't have a draught this summer as we did last year.

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