Sunday, July 9, 2017

Butterflies, Bumblebees, Berries, and a Project Review...

I made a butterfly house.  Not because I think a butterfly will use it, but because my husband gave me a square table leg that he had made an error on.  He knew I would come with something to use it for.  I made a roof, a bottom, and cut entry holes.  I  read it needs a branch inside for them to sit on, so I stuffed one in there before I nailed it shut.  I'm using stain leftover from our picnic table project.  I am pretty certain it will be like the butterfly feeder that has yet to be touched by any insect, much less a butterfly.  Still it is better than just gathering dust in the barn.

My poor husband never knows what I am up to.  Today I got everything set and then asked him to come hold a ladder.  Before he knew what was happening, I was shimmying up the ladder with a very awkward and heavy bat house and juggling his lovely power drill.  I managed to prop everything into place and voila..... a bat house.   I love to sit outside in the evenings and watch my one bat eat insects.  There used to be two, but now I'm down to one.  I cannot see inside the bat house to know if it is working, but hopefully I will see an increase in bats.

I also tried my square foot stamps and am extremely pleased with them.  I used them to replant my lettuce, spinach, and carrots.  To make the indents I stood on it and that worked perfectly.  I am very happy to report that everything I planted is coming up.  I did take some yellow paint and labeled the templates.  Not the nicest handwriting, but at least I don't have to look up what template for what plants.
I had every intention of replacing the bird house in my red yellow bed.  It only had birds once in the 15 years we have been here.  It has big gaps and isn't well made.   I don't remember where I got it.   As I was removing the screw that holds the house down, I heard a buzzing.  It seems my old bird house has tenants.  A family of bumblebees.  Yikes... I was out of there.  After things calmed down, I tried to put the screw back in.  This has proven unsuccessful as they were quite agitated.  I tried to get my husband to do it, but he is smarter than I am.

I didn't just spend the weekend trying to evict bees.  I did some serious berry picking.  I found lots of wildlife from friendly caterpillars to not so friendly robins.  I picked gooseberries, wild strawberries, Juneberries, currents,  and nanking cherries.  I love picking berries.  It is my way of meditating.  I did pretty good with the Juneberries and gooseberries.  Unfortunately, it will take years before I get enough wild strawberries to make jam.  As you can see below, they aren't very big.

 It was a busy weekend.  They go way too fast.  I'm not sure what other projects I will work on this summer.  Probably a lot of wine and jam making in my near future.  I used my chamomile to make some hair detangler.  This is much needed since I have taken the top and doors off of my Jeep.  

What are you harvesting?  What are you doing with your harvest?  Have you ever seen a butterfly use a butterfly house?  Have you ever seen a nest of bumblebees?  Hope you had a wonderful Fourth of July and wishing you a great week.


  1. We are harvesting lots of berries too and peas, beans and cabbage.

    Maybe the butterflies around you have plenty of natural food. The bees will be good allies unlike the any that crawled up my trouser leg biting me a it travelled.

  2. Oh, how I miss those Western gooseberries. We have thousands and thousands of gooseberry bushes in our woods, but their fruit is about the size of a seed bead. Did you do a post on your foot stamps? I'd be curious to read it.

  3. Picked my first tomato today. Lettuce and greens have bolted.I think I would let the bees stay.

  4. Bonnie,
    You are busy! You are also the only person I have heard of that likes bats. Enjoy the fruits and berries of your labor.

    I didn't plant a garden this summer. Between the drought and getting hailed out last summer, I did't have the heart to do it. I miss my garden. I will share that I got one rhubarb harvest. I've been watering the rhubarb every day and it is not growing.

    Getting a much needed shower this evening! I hope it is more than .17", our biggest rain for over a month.


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