You're thinking, "Didn't he just post a picture of a butterfly on a hydrangea two days ago?" Well, yes, I did. But it was a different butterfly and a different hydrangea, so I'm calling it justifiable.
Dave and I have both marveled at the number of peacock butterflies, like the one above, that we've seen this year. There were two of them in our garden yesterday at the same time, even. Maybe our dry spring was good for them?
Dave is considering a couple of gardening ideas, including digging out the area around the bird bath to expand the flower bed. "I need a project," he proclaimed yesterday. I think he's feeling a little stir-crazy. I told him to go for it. He's also wanted to install a water feature for ages, and I'm cool with that as long as it's a small one -- like a basin with a little solar-powered fountain, or something like that. I don't want to have to haul some concrete installation if and when we eventually move.
Here was my own project yesterday:
Remember the gigantic borage plant that appeared in the pot with our passionflower vine? Well, of course it set seed, and now we have seedlings coming up in the same pot and in surrounding pots. We can't really have that because they'll take over, so I removed some seedlings and potted them up on their own. When they get slightly larger I'll move them to the wildflower area in the back of the garden, where they can run rampant. (We have a lot of what we call borage back there already, but it's really green alkanet, which is related but not the same plant.)
Here's a cool insect I found on Saturday while walking back from the Heath with Olga. It's a speckled bush cricket. It clearly didn't get the memo that its natural camouflage only works if it's sitting on a green plant.
Yesterday was my mom's 83rd birthday. The staff at the retirement center where she lives set up a Zoom call so my brother and I, and our families, could sing her "Happy Birthday" and chat with her a bit. Singing over Zoom never works very well, and the call was a bit chaotic -- my nieces were making balloon animals at the same time -- so I'm not sure my mom could really follow what was going on. But she smiled and laughed and seemed happy with her cake.
I'm continuing on with Mark Doty's book about Walt Whitman. I was struck yesterday by these very germane words, quoted in the book, from Whitman's preface to "Leaves of Grass" (1856):
This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem...