Tag Archive | pond

Full On Summer

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Today the garden is full of yellows, oranges and greens, and full of buzzing bees. Summer is a full on ride, roller coaster or tilt-a-whirl, it’s hard to know; reeling through colors and days so full.

July arrivals in the garden, the variously colored Ratibida, or Mexican Hats, and an unusual, fast bee that flies with its tip up.

July arrivals in the garden, the variously colored Ratibida, or Mexican Hats, and an unusual, fast bee that flies with its tip up.

At first I blamed the damn deer for demolishing one of my Roma tomatoes, until I looked closer. Love the little manatee hands.

At first I blamed the damn deer for demolishing one of my Roma tomatoes, until I looked closer. Love the little manatee hands.

Why do you think they call it Hornworm?

Why do you think they call it Hornworm?

Little solitary bees work the tomato blossoms diligently.

Little solitary bees work the tomato blossoms diligently.

And at last, overnight, one of the Early Girls begins to ripen.

And at last, overnight, one of the Early Girls begins to ripen.

The new raised bed in the south yard grows squashes from Earth Friendly Farm.

The new raised bed in the south yard grows squashes from Earth Friendly Farm.

I transplanted them into walls-o-water, then implemented a trick I learned at a dinner party recently: keep the walls on longer than you'd think you need to, and turn them down into collars, to hold water better and protect the plants from wind.

I transplanted them into walls-o-water, then implemented a trick I learned at a dinner party recently: keep the walls on longer than you’d think you need to, and turn them down into collars, to hold water better and protect the plants from wind.

All the squashes are thriving.

All the squashes are thriving.

One of three visiting catahoulas, Jupiter, Last Son of Sundog, with Raven's birthday bunny, still remarkably intact six weeks later.

One of three visiting catahoulas, Jupiter, Last Son of Sundog, romps with Raven’s birthday bunny, still remarkably intact six weeks later.

I could not figure out what these tiny green beads were that the ants were so busy around. Husks of tiny beetles! What's up with that?

I could not figure out what these tiny green beads were that the ants were so busy around, scattered in clusters along the path through the woods. Husks of tiny beetles! What’s up with that?

Dragonflies are zipping all over the pond.

Dragonflies are zipping all over the pond.

 

Life and Death on the High Pond

Amy-the-Fish, Finn, and a Progeny circle like sharks a moth stranded in the pond.

Amy-the-Fish, Finn, and a Progeny circle like sharks a moth stranded in the pond. Pollen speckles the surface.

I know better than to intervene in a natural contest between predator and prey. Just last week I read about the public outcry when a baby eaglet died in the nest on a live webcam stream, and the complications that ensued from a previous attempt to fix the broken wing of another webcam raptor baby. The more we are able to see the more there is not to like, sometimes. Rarely do I try to save prey from predator when I have the chance, even a baby bunny from one of my dogs because by the time I know about it it’s usually too late for the bunny.

Amy-the-Fish is fierce in her determination to capture this morsel.

Amy-the-Fish is fierce in her determination to capture this morsel.

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More fish enter the fray as the moth continues to barely escape their snapping jaws.

More fish enter the fray as the moth continues to barely escape their snapping jaws.

This time I think for sure the moth is toast.

This time I think for sure the moth is toast.

And it manages to climb onto a rush.

And it manages to climb onto a rush.

It’s been a fascinating five minutes for me, frustrating for Amy-the-Fish and her friends, and no doubt terrifying for the moth. At this point I figure I am merely an agent of the moth’s destiny when I dip in a finger and lift it to the safety of a sagebrush well away from the water. Sometimes you just have to do what you can.

 

Sunday, September 2

Thinning carrots I came across this preying mantis who scuttled away from my hand just a few inches.

We took a media fast during our five day silent meditation retreat over the long weekend, eschewing TV, radio, and the internet. But I did several Camera Meditations in the garden, and gleaned from them that it is mating season in the insect world. Also, Summer has unequivocally turned the corner into Fall. Just in the last five days, mornings have become cool enough for a vest, and bedtime cool enough for silkies. Doors and windows can be left open all day, not closed up systematically to keep out hot breeze.

Then I discovered that it wasn’t one mantis scurrying, she had a small male clinging to her back, entwined in a fertile embrace.

The more I use this new lens, the more wonder I find in the garden.

Down at the pond a dragonfly laid eggs on cattails.

This depth of field on this lens is so shallow I can’t get in focus both the head and the tail at the same time. Note the ovipositors at the tip of the tail.

As she laid eggs, I followed her for awhile, then sat back to review my shots. So I missed the real show: the bright blue male flew in, swooped her up, and flew off with her. I heard, as I was looking down at my camera screen, a staccato commotion in the rushes, and looked up to see the linked dragonflies rise from the pond surface and zip up into a juniper tree, where I couldn’t follow. By stepping out of the present moment to look at a screen, I missed the best shot of real life.

 

 

 

 

Sunday, June 17, late morning

The first daylilies bloomed down by the pond, joining Coreopsis, Callirhoe, silver sage, geranium, blue avena, and mingled penstemons. The Bombay wall is all but finished.

From the other direction, looking southeast along the Bombay Wall, cardinal flowers bloom crimson; columbine blossoms red and white before the marble tombstone of the little doctor vincent. meow.

Amythefish and Finn, startled from their lair under lily leaves, circle the first pink tethered blossoms in the bottom pond.

Golden elder’s fragrant wafting fans, panicles of tiny white flowers, bring a special memory, a smile. Bees are busy in the hive and out, crowding the doorway, building comb so close to the window now they’re curving it forward. Irrigation water on the mesa is over, finished. Fields that got no water at all this year are thin and brown. Alfalfa blooms sparsely elsewhere. The first and only hay crops of the season are falling, field by field, beneath the blades and swathers.