Everyone’s Aunties

Because I know many of you are waiting on tenterhooks to hear the next installment of the Great Black Swallowtail Adventure, I thought I’d post today’s photo of the biggest of the ‘pillars.  From what I can gather, this one is just about full size which means 1) It’ll be making a cocoon soon and 2) It’ll stop eating our dill.  I’m not kidding when I tell you that half of it is just sticks now.  We still have one little guy in an earlier instar (which is what they call the stages of growth, so the eating will go on for a while longer, at least until they cocoon or a bird gets them.  We have six on this plant alone.  I’m going to get more dill this weekend because if they like it, that’s good enough for me.  The more pollinators we can nurture the happier we both are.

And speaking of nurturing, the story of The Bowl has a new chapter.  What is The Bowl you ask.  Well when we moved here, I was standing on the porch talking to Charles and I noticed a not unattractive brown-glazed pottery bowl sitting upside down atop the pillar that holds up the roof of our front porch.  (There’s a gap.)  Charles pulled it down, I washed it, and figured I’d use it as a cache pot for a plant.  It wasn’t long at all before I realized why it had been left there.
First the mourning doves built a nest up there.  They’re very shy birds, and as soon as they realized there would be people coming and going all the time, they abandoned the nest.  Fortunately they hadn’t laid any eggs yet.  We cleaned the platform off and put the bowl back up.  Then the sparrows nested behind it.  They had more stick-to-itiveness, but still left before there were eggs.  We cleaned that out too and pushed the bowl back.
Did I leave the stove on?
Then a squirrel came along and moved the bowl forward again so he could hide his stash behind it.
As squirrels do, he forgot about it fairly quickly.  Once again we cleaned it out and put the bowl back up.  
Alas, we forgot to turn it upside down.  You know what’s coming, don’t you?  A couple of weeks ago, Glinda was saying goodnight to Meester Jim, and she looked up to see a little squirrel head poking up out of the bowl.  We laughed about it, but I didn’t think anything of it because they do tend to move around a lot.  And then this afternoon I went out to fetch the mail and saw this:
And now I’m wondering if we’re not going to be aunties again.  Eh, they’re welcome as long as they behave themselves, though I think that as soon as we’re sure the thing is empty, it’s going to get put back upside down and wedged into the corner.
In other news, our chard and garlic scapes are nearly ready to eat.  The black krim tomato is doing very well, but I think we need more plants or we’ll be harvesting half a dozen fruits tops this year.  I think we’re going up to Meinke’s or Gethsemane this weekend to get a few more, plus some more herbs.  They’re not doing well  in the strawberry pot.
The roses are doing very well.  Diana is taking over the world, Fred and River are in bloom, Tara has two buds and Mary and Hermia?

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