Archive | June 2014

INVASION OF THE CICADAS

cicada/branch/2014

 

When my husband and I took a walk a couple of weeks ago alongside some woods near our house, we heard an eerie, shrill chorus that one could imagine coming from outer space aliens. Insects having diaphanous wings and red, bulging eyes covered the trees. Lucky us! It’s our year to host the seventeen year cicadas.

Our cicadas have spent the last seventeen years deep in the ground feeding on the sap of tree roots. A couple of weeks ago, these nymphs dug their way out of the ground and climbed onto tree trunks. Within an hour of latching onto the bark, they molted out of their exoskeletons and emerged with a new pair of wings. This is when the noise began. The male cicadas rubbed shell-like drums against their abdomens to produce a deafening mating call. During their noisiest time, mid-morning to mid-afternoon, these sounds reach from 85- 90 decibels which is comparable to a lawn mower.

cicada 2014

The adult cicada lives for six weeks during which it mates, lays eggs on tree twigs, and dies. About six weeks after the adult dies, the newly hatched nymphs will move from the trees to burrow into the ground and remain for seventeen years.

I’m not particularly fond of these creatures…they creep me out. Raccoons, skunks, turkeys, crows, and even our cat will eat them. Well, Kitty only ate one, and she wrinkled up her nose at the crunch. She might eat another one if I pour cream of mushroom soup over it.

The invasion of the cicadas is another reminder to me that Nature is not only beautiful and fascinating, but also strange, very strange.

 

Happy Gardening!orange lily

DON’T JUST SMELL THE ROSES, TAKE A PICTURE OF THEM

AceHardware Rose

This is a wonderful time of year for flowers. It’s not too cold and it’s not too hot, and so with a little watering, flowers thrive. The peonies and irises are just now past their peak at our place, but the clematis, roses, and day lilies are in full bloom. Snipping a few bouquets to adorn the dining room table and fill the house with sweet perfume is one of the great joys of summer and what we miss so much in the winter. But when you’re admiring your favorite flower, don’t forget to take a photograph of it. When the snow is blowing in January, you’ll be so glad you did.

A couple of years ago, I took a photograph of every flower that bloomed inside and outside our house. I had photographs of theClematis amaryllis blooming indoors in January and the crocus blooming outside in March and ended the year with hardy mums in October and poinsettias in December. That project taught me a valuable lesson about beauty. I found that the ordinary is actually quite extra-ordinary. Roses and Oriental lilies may have show-stopper elegance, but take a close-up photograph of a marigold or a plain old sunflower and see their subtle loveliness. It’s made me appreciate what all flowers have to offer and realize what a miracle each one is.

Take a photograph of the miracles growing in your garden and enjoy them for more than one season.

 

 sunflowers