seriously…

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the morning glories are opening everywhere… and everyday…

as I was looking back in my posts I noticed that the first morning glory of 2018 was on August 8… planting them from seeds early has made a huge difference as the first one this year was June 27;-)…

they look amazing… as I am home all the time I get to enjoy they more than when I worked as they would be closed by the time I got home at the end of the day…

had to giggle when one went right between two of the boards on the bench around the deck… it seriously wanted to get to the other side, lol.. so cute…

umbrella…

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yay, the new umbrella is finally up…

last night my grandson arrived with the four base pieces so we could put it together…

one of the crosspieces on the bottom didn’t fit correctly so he had to take that piece back to the store and have it replaced… happily they had one available…

back home he finished putting it all together and I think it is going to be perfect…

now I will be able to have visitors to the garden at any time of the day… really looking forward to more garden visits…

after supper I tried opening and closing it a few times before he left, lol… let us hope I can remember exactly what to do;-)…

and I did remember this morning;-)… yay…

moving…

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my caterpillars are on the move

there is only one small sized one left on the milkweed… and I have found two new eggs so that is exciting…

my grandson spotted a caterpillar crawling in the lily of the valley, so I am going to lay down on the deck and see if I can find some in their chrysalis stage…

spent quite some time this morning laying on a lounge cushion and lifting leaves in the lily of the valley searching…

eventually I found one chrysalis… I also marked the leaf so I can spot it again…

will need to keep looking…

deck…

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last night I went camping on the deck

instead of putting out the big air mattress, I brought up the lounge chair, put two cushions on it, brought out a quilt, a throw and a pillow and settled down for the night…

the space station was going to be visible at 3:22 a.m. so it seemed like a good idea;-)…

I did wake up around 3, but the sky was covered in clouds so I went back to sleep and when I woke up this morning it was clear again…

as I lay there I could feel the squirrels running over the deck beside me, lol…

such fun;-)…

pinching…

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so, I signed up for a 3-part video course on flowers in the garden… it is from @floretflower on Instagram… they are located in Washington State and have a flower farm and seed business…

yesterday I finally got around to watching the first of the two that I have received so far…

it was all about pinching the plants… this morning I decided to give it a try and it was difficult, because it does feel counter-productive to trim back a plant that is growing nicely… but I did it, and I also removed the flowers on the dahlias and put them into a vase…

it will be interesting to see if it really does double the number of blooms produced…

I will watch and see…

stronger…

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another busy day…

up early, put out all the cushions and had my breakfast in the garden… lots of visits from the house finch couple and the chickadees

went into the pond to clean the pump and filled half a pail with string algae… waterfall is looking better now and the flow is much stronger

then a good friend came over for a garden visit and we had a lovely time… the garden is looking nice and there are still five or six caterpillars to search out on the milkweed…

she had just left when the lawn mowing service (the middle grandson) arrived… we had a visit before he started and just as he was done the chauffeur (oldest grandson) arrived with a new umbrella which will provide shade in the afternoon sun… we couldn’t put it up as we are waiting for the base to arrive…

then, before I knew it, they were all gone and I was back in the peace and quiet;-)…

lots of reading and nature watching for the rest of the day…

obsessed…

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maybe, just maybe, I am obsessed with the Monarchs… I can’t even think of how many times I have gone by the milkweed to check on the caterpillars, lol…

saw more butterflies landing in the plant and maybe leaving eggs;-)…

there are small caterpillars, medium sized caterpillars and large caterpillars…

such fun to see where they are on the plant and how much they have munched through…

both of the biggest caterpillars vanished this morning… I was worried they had fallen off the milkweed because they were in leaves that were bent way over…

wasn’t sure if they were getting ready for the next step, but then found both of them in the lily of the valley… so I put them back on the milkweed…

now that I’ve done some research maybe they were moving on… apparently they can travel up to ten metres away from the milkweed to move to the chrysalish stage…

if they move again I will just search to see where they end up…

molt…

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it was overcast when I got up yesterday morning, but I went out before 7:30 to see what flowers were blooming and what the caterpillars were up to…

there were a bunch of morning glories and two dahlias were almost completely open…

the caterpillars were going through some of their instars… during the caterpillar stage they molt five times…

I was very excited to spot the largest one with the molt left on the leaf… after a while I noticed that another much smaller one went through the process…

this was exciting as I’d never seen this piece of the lifecycle previously…

the remainder of the day was spent quietly as I was not feeling well, so I slept and read in the shade, although I did check out the caterpillars now and again;-)…

siding…

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my grandson and one of his friends came over yesterday afternoon…

they were here to finish trimming the Virginia creeper and put the piece of siding back up…

it was quite the process as a door was put onto the hot tub, then a ladder on top of the door and then one would climb up and remove bits and pieces of the vine… then they worked from the driveway side to finish… once the vines were removed, they had to do some fancy work to get the siding back up and properly attached…

eventually it was all done and the area cleaned up…

we had a laugh as this particular friend had also helped with landscaping work in the front yard a number of years ago;-)… nice to have him back and helping…

it looks much tidier and more spacious now… after they left I finished cleaning the hot tub and filled it with fresh water… it takes an hour to get it to the top…

it took until around noon to heat it up, although I’ve set the temperature at 99℃ to see if that might be a nice temp for cooling down in this very hot spell we are dealing with…