Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happy Summer Solstice

Solstice means sun stands still. It is the longest day of the year and the first official day of Summer. It's hard to believe summer has just begun when a couple of weeks ago it was hovering around 100 for a week and now it is cool and rainy, like the spring we barely had.  Speaking of all that, I heard today that the number of U.S. citizens who believe in  global climate change and it being human-induced declined by 17% this year. At the same time, more empirical data contributes towards a positive correlation. Ugh.

Signs of the First Day of Summer: the last of the Thirteen-Year Cicadas or as my foster kiddo says "schicadas". Just when you've become numb to the synchronized bleating wave of the mass of these critters you realize you haven't heard them for a week. This little number showed up in the kiddo's lunchbox brought home from camp. So sad. Bye Bye lil schicada. See your offspring in 13 years....

I feel like the season of rain this year has been tumultuous. I can't even remember a day when it just sprinkled all day long. It seems like every rain has come hard and fast. Just when I see the storm clouds roll in I run out, plant something and take advantage of the free watering.  These wonderful trumpets were calling out Summer Rain to me this morning. I don't know the variety and have long forgotten where I picked these gals up, but they are wonderful. Come closer. Closer. Can you smell how amazing they are? Perhaps try scratching your screen. No?

Some years ago I decided to try some native Catchfly (Silene). Specifically, I was interested in Royal Catchfly, the red one (Silene regia). I had luck getting some to germinate, but I can't remember the story of their demise. I've wanted to grow them again since, but in the meantime Royal's cousin, Starry Catchfly ( Silene stellata) reseeds quietly in my rocky thin soil next to the driveway. She is delicate and modest, but her presence is known. Here she is next to Rigid Goldenrod ( I refuse to acknowledge it's new scientific name as I was so happy with Solidago rigida). I know, whatever.

On the way home from camp today we decided to stop at my mom's place. We checked out the garden and traded talk about this plant or that. I told her I had tiny cucumbers. She said the rain would make em grow fast. How fast is fast? Guess who came home and found out she had overgrown cucumbers and then got mad-itchy arms harvesting them? I think I smell taboulleh for dinner tomorrow...

or not...just eat em crazy raw!

And lastly, I love when I see something take place that you just don't always have the opportunity to see. I caught a Pipevine Swallowtail laying eggs on my Dutchman's Pipevine (Aristolochia tomentosa)! Awesome. That's why I planted it! I'm oh so tempted to raise them in a terrarium so the aforementioned crazy cuke eater can watch them grow, but I also hate messing with nature too. Such a dilemma. Might just have to check on them daily. So...this is the best shot I could get. What you're looking for is the yellow and brown balls clinging to the bottom of the top leaf's stem. So can't wait. It just so happens that Aristolochia means "best childbirth" and that is exactly what I'm waiting for- the birth (ok, hatching) of these lil eggs. 
I'll TRY to remember to catch a shot if I also remember to check on the eggs. It's summer after all. There's a lot growing on. 

1 comment:

Laura said...

That should say "eat them crazy raw" instead of "each". Oops.