Thursday, July 22, 2021

Thursday afternoon

It's a typical late-July day in South Carolina. Hot and humid, with hazy skies that are especially thick looking today because (believe it or not) smoke in the atmosphere from the wildfires 3000 miles away has reached us. Except for a quick early morning walk with George, watering the garden, and a late afternoon dash to the grocery store (in the un-air conditioned truck, ugh!) I've been hibernating in the house with the a/c most of the day.

While outside watering the garden this morning, I saw a beautiful and new-to-me butterfly. I believe it was a Red-Spotted Purple, and I wanted to get a picture of it to show you. Instead, here's an image I found online:

    
                                                Limenitis arthemis astyanax

I had plenty of opportunity to take a picture of my particular specimen, but I decided to spare you. He was perched on top of a giant pile of dog turds and was not moving.* Apparently this is a thing butterflies do sometimes. But anyway, you're welcome. 

In other garden news, today I harvested my 80th individual tomato! I've only had a gram scale to weigh them with (don't ask) so I haven't totaled up the number of ounces or pounds, but I believe I've had at least 40 pounds of tomatoes. As soon as the season ends I'll total everything up, but in the meantime it's 80 fruits, approximately 40 pounds and counting. Most of my plants are still growing and setting fruit. This is almost unheard of in this area. 

Another 1+ pound Mr. Stripey.  


Mr. Stripey, sliced. I love the colors. It's a mild, sweet tomato.


Mr. Stripey and a couple of others are taller than me, now.




And my bananas! Have I mentioned that my bananas are blowing up? They're also taller than me these days.





Last but not least, I had to share a picture of Marco for all his fans out there. Here he is posing beside one of the bananas. He had just flown a circle around the porch and landed there. If we didn't have screen to stop him, I assure you he'd be out in the wild right now. 

*Doesn't this seem like some sort of allegory for all of Life?


47 comments:

  1. That tomato is amazing. Butterflies and dog turds. Who'd have thunk it? Yes, it seems quite a fitting allegory of MY life at present. :D

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    1. Hi Debby! I hope your life is more butterfly and less dog turd when everything balances out....!

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  2. Thanks for not sharing a photo of dog poop. I see enough of it in my backyard. We're having yet another noisy thunderstorm--the kind that tortures Franklin and Penelope.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Poor puppies! Can your vet give you something for them to have on hand during storms? I used to have a cocker spaniel that was frantic with fear during thunderstorms...it was always stressful when they happened.

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  3. You must bottle your gardener magic and send it around to us!

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  4. Marco looks so pleased with himself and his kingdom!
    You certainly have tomato talent! WOW! Ours are still ridiculously small and hard and green. Your bananas are gorgeous too! such an exotic looking plant (we live in hemlocks around here- not exotic)Beautiful home and thanks for zero dog turds in photos.

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    1. Thanks for the nice comments, Linda Sue! Honestly, I have more tomato LUCK than TALENT. :) I hope yours come along and start producing for you soon!

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  5. That sliced Tomato looks wonderful, just how I like them. No slushy pips inside, just good solid flesh. Well done. Say Hi to Marco for me.

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    1. Yes, the texture was perfect. Meaty and juicy without being watery or seed-y. Thanks, Cro! I just told Marco you said "hi"!

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  6. You're the Tomato Queen! And thanks for the Curated Image of that beautiful butterfly from the internet instead of the Real Life image. Yes, it's an allegory for Life, LOL!

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    1. Tomato Queen is a title I will gladly wear!

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  7. You never would have heard the end of it had you not shared Marco's picture!!!! Just hear the screeching. The butterfly is gorgeous!!!! It's getting rare to see butterflies like yester year with all the pesticide sprays gradually killing them. It's a earthly treat to see one these days.

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    1. I know! Pesticides are just awful--for the bees and the butterflies, and probably everything else, too. That's why we don't have a nice lawn. Grass is so wasteful and requires too many chemicals to keep it weed free and bright green.

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  8. Your garden is amazing! You are quite the talented gardener! Thank you for showing us Marco. He always brightens my day!

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    1. Marco made up a new name for me this morning--he called me "Babyfer" a couple of times. :) I guess he combined Jennifer and Baby and that's what he came up with.

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  9. Marco is the perfect model, always posing with his best side to the camera (he only has best sides when it comes to looks anyway).
    I believe that smoke from the wildfires - we get dust from the Sahara every now and then even though it is on another continent.

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    1. Marco has gotten so much natural sunlight this spring and summer by spending time on the porch that his feather condition is excellent. He probably looks better this year than he ever has. Even my friend Martina remarked on how bright his feathers were the other day--she hadn't seen him in awhile.

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  10. Butterflies can be very obstinate. My tomatoes plants failed miserably, I suspect because my yard has been inundated with rain. Mr. Stripey does look tasty. And Marco does look rather regal, doesn't he?

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    1. Too much rain is worse than too little. I'm sorry you've had a bad season! Marco is a little prince. At least he thinks so!

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  11. We have had quite a few tomatoes from our plants, though we are nowhere near 80!!!
    That that tomato looks dee-ish!
    We do have some peppers sprouting so I may make fresh salsa!

    Pretty butterfly, and thanks for the, um, "turd-less", image.

    Marco looks perfectly at home there! And gorgeous!

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    1. The Mr. Stripeys have been wonderful! You should definitely make fresh salsa. I'm surprised at how good it is, and how easy it was to make. Totally worth the trouble.

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  12. Well I am sure that I have never eaten a stripey tomato. It looks...interesting! What did Marco do to become a prisoner serving a life sentence? SET MARCO FREE!

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    1. Trust me, sometimes the urge to SET MARCO FREE is almost overwhelming. He can be a very, very naughty bird!

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  13. That tomato is gorgeous! I can almost taste the sweetness. Nothing beats home-grown tomatoes. I wish you had gotten a shot of the butterfly on the turd. What a contrast! Marco is a god!

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  14. Marco looks as pleased and proud as if he had planted all of that bounty and the bananas himself!
    You should be so proud, Jennifer, of what you have accomplished this summer.

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    1. This comment warmed my heart. Thank you Mary.

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  15. You are doing a great job with your garden! I think all the time you took to prepare and feed the soil made a big difference. Do you add Miracle Grow or anything like that while things are growing? Your plants are so lush and large! Well done!

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    1. The only fertilizer I've used is a sprinkle of Garden Tone around the base of all the plants once a month. It really seems to be relatively good soil at this house!

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  16. Congrats on the successful garden! That's a lot of tomatoes! Will your bananas have fruit, do you think? Or are they meant to be ornamental? I laughed at the butterfly on the dog turds. That WOULD present a photographic challenge. LOL

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    1. The bananas were dug out of the ground in a friends garden and given to us in two pots--one was supposed to be ornamental and the other was supposed to be fruit bearing. I have no idea if we'll get any fruit but I would love it if we did!

      The butterfly was being SO STILL, too! Usually when they're on the flowers they flutter around too much to take good photos, but I could have taken all I wanted of this one! Haha!

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  17. Those tomatoes look delicious. Do you have to plant those banana plants every year? I am guessing the frost kills them?

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    1. We were given the bananas last year in pots, and all the green leaves died off over the winter. We kept the pots on our porch and somehow the plants survived, and then I planted them in the yard this spring. We'll see if they survive the upcoming winter in the ground. I'm thinking they will, but will die back to ground and have to resprout next spring.

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  18. dang, I missed a dog poop shot? crap

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  19. Your garden is to DIE for! That's fantastic! I love the way you used the bananas by the house; your house is cool and has excellent modern lines that those plants are going to set off perfectly. Nice job. Mr. Stripey is a great selection, and yours are clearly happy as can be - and hyoooje! Well grown! (Wouldn'ta minded the poop with a butterfly on it; and the parrot looks like a happy little guy. handsome too!)

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad you think our house is cool...it may have modern lines, but it was built in 1956! We love older homes and ours suits us. I've been pleased with my garden this year. It's the first one I've had at this house even though we moved in almost three years ago.

      Marco is a feisty little guy with a BIG attitude!

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  20. Marco is quite a star, thank goodness for your screens. Mr. Stripey is very pretty when sliced, all those colors.

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  21. The one time I was in SC I have never felt so hot/humid. It may have been the Amazon
    Oh! I would pay dearly for these tomatoes !

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  22. Forty pounds of tomatoes, that's an amazing harvest. The only thing I'm harvesting is baby oak trees, which are popping up all over our front lawn. I can only assume some bird is burying the acorns in the lawn when I'm not looking....

    Marco is a real beauty.

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  23. Astonishing fruits - our efforts are always so paltry in comparison. I do like your Marco - or at least I think I do. Do they get very attached to their keepers?

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