Butterfly, Beans, and Basil

A monarch butterfly has been visiting my garden many days.  Of course, I don’t know if there are different monarchs or it is the same one.  I only see one at a time.

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I was harvesting in my garden when a monarch landed on the clematis vine right by me and stayed there for a while.  Later the monarch landed on the joe pye weed, though I did not get a good picture.

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Earlier this week I saw a black swallowtail caterpillar on the parsley plant – which is a host plant for them.  Once I saw the photo on the computer it looks like there is possibly a smaller caterpillar behind it – the little black thing near it.

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This morning the clearwing moth – hummingbird moth – was sunning itself on the pole bean leaves.

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I pick beans every afternoon.  Here are pole beans.  The one in front is obvious, but I have to push back the leaves and look around for all the beans hiding in the vine.

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Between pole beans and yellow wax beans I pretty much filled an ice cream bucket.  I also found about a dozen strawberries today.  Besides that I am harvesting zucchini and cucumbers.

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On Friday I harvested the basil and made some pesto, which we ate on crackers or bread.  I still have some left and might throw it in my salads this week.

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Heliopsis helianthoides ‘Venus’ – false sunflower.  This came in the mail this spring.  I think I planted it a little early in the unmowed meadow, and I thought it had died.  But then it came back and is looking very pretty.

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We had company this weekend, so it was fun to share the garden.  Black-eyed susans in the background.

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A closer shot of the black-eyed susans and in the background Miscanthus ‘morning light.’  The Russian sage is also plentiful in the yard now.

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The aphids have arrived on the butterfly weed.  That means I need to keep my eyes open for lady bugs, or something else that feed on these guys.

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One morning this week I watched this mourning dove sit with its wings in the air for a while, presumably drying them out.  Sedum in the background.

Update on last weeks flies:  Remember the pictures of the clusters of flies on the asparagus plant last week?  It turns out that all those flies and many others died.  I found dead flies on leaves here and there around the garden.  I am not sure what caused it.  I know that my neighbor uses quite a bit of herbicides near the mulberry tree, so that may have been a problem.  I hate to think of that poison moving through the food chain in the soil.  There might be some other explanation, too.

On a cheerier note, we visited the Lurie gardens at Millennium Park.

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Rattlesnake-master and coneflowers at the Lurie Gardens.

11 thoughts on “Butterfly, Beans, and Basil

    1. We have had a surprisingly cool summer for July in Chicago. When this picture was taken I was in shorts and a tank top, but felt a little cool under the umbrella. Usually this time of year things are starting to turn brown, particularly the grass. But this year we had quite a bit of rain and the temps have been cool, so everything is looking pretty healthy and green.

  1. Murtagh's Meadow

    The little black fellow on your photo of the swallowtail caterpillar is a ladybird (or what I think you call a Ladybug in America) larva. It’ll soon be ready to eat some of those aphids on your butterfly weed. Wonderful garden and wildlife! Keep up good work.

    1. Thanks for helping me to identify the ladybug larva. I knew it looked familiar, but I did not bother to look it up. I knew those aphids would bring in the beneficial insects!

    1. What to do with all the beans! I have frozen a lot and am cooking them, but I am getting behind. I may have to take some to the food pantry. I have not started using bird seed yet. So far the birdbath has been a good source of entertainment, though not as much in the winter.

      1. We like lightly frying them with sesame seed, hemp hearts and soy sauce. Enough to warm but keep them crisp. Never quite the same frozen but beats wasting. Can you trade greens with anyone? It’s tomatoes I am awash in currently!

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