Sunday, August 25, 2019

Nature Abounds

I was so excited to see my dill doing so well and then all of a sudden it looked like it was dying off.  I couldn't understand what had happened.  After taking a closer look, I saw it was loaded with caterpillars.  You might think they were Monarch butterfly caterpillars, but remember, they only eat milkweed.  The caterpillars are Eastern Black Swallowtails!  My research showed some discrepancy on the proper name so please correct me if I am wrong.  I am saddened that I don't think there is enough dill left to sustain them and I don't have anything else in the garden they will eat.  I will be sure to plant a LOT of dill next year for them.  

There has been so much awesome wildlife around the garden this year.  Crawdads, toads, frogs, snakes, mice (not good!!), moles, spiders, and more. We recently enjoyed a visit from a yellow garden spider.  Sam freaked out when he said it crawled onto his hand when he went to open one of the chicken pens.  She has been happily camping out next to one of the coops.

Charlotte, our friendly yellow garden spider

Perhaps the most shocking was my recent run-in with our friendly garter snake in one of the chicken pens.  I noticed one day that one of my hens was VERY INTENTLY looking at something.  I walked over to see what was so interesting to find out that she had witnessed a garter snake STUCK in the 1/4" hardware cloth wire.  I have NO IDEA how it even got through that stuff but it was most definitely stuck.  Long story short, when I checked on it a few hours later it was gone so it must have made its way through somehow. I must say the poor chickens were a little shook up for a day or two after this event (notice the pile of feathers on the ground, someone got spooked!).

How in the world did this happen?!!

What critters have you found in your neck of the woods?  Do you have interesting visitors to your garden?  Share some of your most interesting finds!

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