So, I'm well into planting flower beds, digging up a lot of sod. One goal is to reduce the amount of grass to mow, and of course to have pretty stuff to look at. Now, I have gotten a lot done, tilling pretty large beds, when the damn moles move in. Tunnels ALL OVER my flower beds and two or three plants killed because their roots are hanging in a mole tunnel. Out to the farm store for a mole trap, a truly serious looking device that might behead a racoon if it ran into the trap. A week or two in place, and no sign of moles....apparently they were exploring and didn't bother going into the lawn because the sod was too tough.
When cabbage worms showed up in the garden, doing some serious damage to brocolli and bruss. sprouts, I spent time picking worms by hand. Next day, just as many worms as before. Nothing blooming, so I dusted with poison on those plants. Gone.
Some good rains, just enough sun, and stuff is really growing. Over the past 20 or so years, I have rarely seen honey bees. Echinaccea have some bug problems, eating some leaves. Now, my echinaccea and squash blossoms are full of bees; seem to be the only plants honey bees are interested in, so no poison there. I'd rather have a few chewed up leaves than to kill honey bees.
My morning routine starts with coffee by the koi pond, whilst I feed the critters and enjoy the sunrise. Got a new tenant in the pond about a month ago....bullfrog, body about 6" long. The koi have spawned but didn't see any signs of fry until I cleaned the filter pit couple of weeks ago and found four babies. Built a cage for them to protect them from larger critters, but I kind of hurried on that at they escaped into the pond. I figured the bullfrog would get them, but I haven't seen him preying on anything. He either hangs at the surface of the pond, watching me while I watch him, or he perks on the stones in the pot of cat tails. If he leaves the pond, he jumps onto the rocky edge and then into the hedges near the pond. If he ate koi eggs or fry, he left enough for a 3rd generation of fish. I assume he finds some yummy bugs under the shrubs.
Sunday, son and grandsons came over to pull some weeds and pick beans. The live nearby, and can bike or walk a nature trail from their house to ours. There is almost always free food to be had when they come over, but it is always a better deal for us :o) Son is good at spotting work opportunities and is good at whatever he fixes. He decided to clean out the basement window wells; just a few leaves. And 8 frogs. Window well is about 4-5' deep, so we rescued the frogs and let them go in the pond. Finished up with a meal of sausage and newly harvested potatoes and beans. Yum.
Took the camera out to the pond this morning, trying to get some good pix of Mr. Frog and the fish. Finished with Mr. Frog and put the lens cap back on the camera. Just settin' there when a BIG bird landed on the garden fence; darn, that's a red tailed hawk! Just as it registered in my brain, he flew over the pond at about 3' and about that far in front of my face! He landed on the fence for a sec, and then took off. Looking for fish? Chipmunks? If a fish goes missing, I'll blame the hawk. He might be around a while if nobody feeds him poisoned chipmunks. Haven't had a heron land yet, but I wouldn't mind too much if it didn't take my prettiest koi. Gold finches have shown interest in the pond lately; when I finish remodeling the ugly pile of rocks that serves as a waterfall and pond aerator, there will be a pool for the birdies to bathe and drink. Haven't had any deer jump the fence, but I think they fill up on hosta plants at my son's house. Deer highway goes between his yard and the neighbor's. Just planted a white and red rose of sharon for the hummers. Don't know what will eat my grapes, but hope they save some for us.
My cucumbers are taking over the planet. Got enough tomatoes about to ripen to make a mess of spaghetti sauce and share with fam. and neighbors. Nice little watermelon about ready. Canteloupe, squash, eggplant, brussel sprouts looking good. Now, if I encourage hubby to eat more veggies, I'll have it made in the shade :o)