There’s always fun and fascinating stuff going on in the garden. There’s been more of all that the last couple days. Above is a picture of one fascinating thing. They are mystery lilies, or naked lady lilies, and the mystery is….where did those come from! The plants come up in the spring, thick blades of stuff that look almost like a daffodil plant. But no flowers. Then they die off in the heat of the summer and they’re gone. But in August, spikes shoot up from the ground, out of nowhere if you didn’t remember those plants in the spring, and these beautiful lilies develop. They last about a week and then they’re gone; the bulbs stay in the ground thru the winter and the whole process will start over in the spring. Amazing.
Another fascinating thing happened yesterday. This has happened every year here but I was working till recently and never got to fully experience it. The jenny wrens had a second clutch in the bird house nearest our house, and the last week or so they have been furiously finding food and bringing it in to their nest of babies. Here’s a not so great picture of one of them, one day recently when I disturbed them by hanging sheets on my clothes line.
Yesterday early in the morning there was a commotion out back, lots of chirping and the wren call of distress. There was also a lot of activity going on between some big plant pots we have behind the patio, and in 3 rose bushes right beside all that. Then in the afternoon as I stood near all that talking to a friend, I understood and started paying more attention to what was going on.
The baby birds had fledged out of the box, or most of them had, cos one kept sticking its face thru the hole in the box! As I listened I could hear a lot of wing activity and more chirping going on in that whole area. If I walked near there, one of the adult birds flew near me and then off a ways and onto the ground: trying to draw me away from where the babies were in between the plant pots and the rose bushes.
This morning, all was quiet out there; no birds to be seen or heard. I’m assuming (and hoping) that they could all fly and she took them possibly up into the woods till they get stronger at flying, and then the whole group will begin their migration.
Another interesting thing happened yesterday. I always grow beans and talk about beans and am fascinated with the process of growing beans, lol. I’ve never before paid attention to one bean pod in particular, but I have been doing that for the last week. Eliza’s purple Thai beans have lots of beans on now, and we are letting two of them on the plants to dry for seeds to take to a special friend. So I’ve been lifting the end of them both to see how they were doing, cos once a bean pod starts to dry, you can lose the seeds quickly.
Yesterday I noticed the bean pods were lighter in weight, literally overnight. The drying process began and then showed itself that quick, and I only noticed it cos I was paying close attention. The pods are now squishy where they were firm before, as the liquid starts to evaporate and dry the beans to form seeds.
Probably the most fascinating thing around here lately that I saw and experienced happened this morning. Eliza and I were “walking the farm” and looking at the beans, when she noticed a cicada shell down low to the ground, and the cicada was just then coming out of it. It’s a process I’ve only ever seen parts of and many never get to see at all, cos you have to be at the right place at the right time.
Some people wouldn’t pay any attention to this happening, but we did: both out there for about an hour, sitting and laying in the grass, cheering the little bug along, taking pictures, and hoping he would make it. The cicada in his flexible shell crawls up out of the ground and splits the back of the shell open, and has a short time to get himself out of it, since the shell soon starts to harden in the air. I’ve found many laying on the ground half way out and dead, that didn’t get out of the shell quick enough.
At first I was taking pictures with my phone and close ups aren’t great.
About half way out.
Out, with wings small, turquoise and almost opaque. They need to sit there and wait for the blood to pump thru their wings to get them filled out and then change color and consistency.
Wings more filled out and changing color, and here you can see the coppery iridescence on his back. They have to just sit there and wait for this process to happen, and they’re vulnerable right then cos they can’t fly yet, and some birds will eat them. At this point I had gone in for my real camera with a macro lens and got some better closeups.
I was fascinated most with his wings, which looked like glass or cellophane as they got more transparent and shiny. Then I was really glad I had gotten the camera instead of the phone.
We started watching about 10 and were there for an hour or so, and not much was happening then for a while cos by that time he was out and just waiting for his wings to finish their process. I checked again several times in the next several hours, and at 1:30 he was still there, and gone by 2. Here he is ready to be a full grown cicada, and back there is the shell he came out of.
Nature, miracles, magic, so many things are out there and happening if you take the time to watch and listen……..and how sad it is when people can’t (don’t) take the time to learn about nature, and they miss these things. I love being so connected to the earth; wouldn’t miss it for the world. I guess it’s all about priorities, and I know where mine are.