MLK Quote

MLK Quote

Nature's Inspiration Movie -- Nature's Inspiration Movie: The photographs in this short video are from award-winning photographer, Ken Jenkins, and they are breathtaking. However, this video is much more than beautiful photographs! Peggy Anderson has compiled beautiful quotations from the likes of Emerson, Thoreau, and many others that truly capture the beauty of nature and solitude. Absolute must watch for nature lovers.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Her Majesty The Monarch or The Viceroy?

My right eye was twitching, and so it was definitely going to be my lucky day...okay, I tend not to believe in such superstitions but I was indeed lucky to behold the sight of such visitors in my garden.

The following pictures were taken through a window. Thus, please pardon all the blurriness. I didn't dare open the window in case it flies away. This is a praying mantis on my garden shade. Did you know that the green praying mantis that is so prevalent all across the USA is not a native insect. It was introduced to the USA in the late nineteenth century, and apparently was quite devastating for the native insect population. Though praying mantis is considered a beneficial insect in the garden but it can be also not quite that beneficial as it eats not only the bad insects but also the good ones.

While observing the mantis, I saw some red fluttering through the corner of my eyes. Is it a cardinal? No, it cannot be as it was a much graceful flight. As I rushed outside, I behold the sight.

Now, is it a Monarch or a Viceroy? Monarch and Viceroy looks exactly same to untrained eyes. I fervently hoped that it was a Monarch as I have so many milkweed in both my front and back yards, and started searching for an answer online. And my searches told that mine was a MONARCH (only if you could see me jumping up and down with joy with a big grin on my face). Apparently, Viceroy has a black horizontal line across its wings as shown in the pictures here and here.

YAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO...after a much long wait, I finally see a Monarch in my garden :-D:-D:-D...this is indeed a very joyous day for me. Where did it come from? How did it find my garden? I live in a densely populated northern NJ, close to such metropolitan areas as Manhattan, Newark, Elizabeth, Jersey City, Hoboken, Bronx, Brooklyn. Yes, there are lots and lots of greeneries everywhere along with woods and forests but there are no milkweeds or butterfly-weeds anywhere as I visit all these places all the time. Garden centers, home-depot, lowes, walmarts -- no one even sells this plant as it is considered an obnoxious weed here. But, still this butterfly found my garden, and was fluttering from one flower to another, and drinking nectar. I hope it was able to nourish its body in its migration from north to south (it must be on its way to Mexico now?). So, I am on top of the moon now.

I am joing the Nature Note's Meme for Monday, October 5, 2015 with Rambling Woods

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Life of Abundance

Today -- September 23, 2015 -- is the first day of Fall (Autumn). Everything is still green; the fall color is yet to arrive in full galore though it has started peeking out from here and there. The temperature fluctuation has started with night temperature dropping to below sixties; day temperatures are hovering between 75--81. The garden is beaming with abundance though there has been, and still continuing, a drought here. A sample shown in the picture below with a big container of pears, greens, okra and peppers.
Every day I go and pick up an abundance of pear, peppers (both hot and sweet), tomatoes, beans, okra and other greens. Like a treasure hunt, I go around digging around the garden and find potatoes. We do not have to buy potatoes until next summer. Sweet acorns, pumpkins and gourds were/are also in good supply this year. Corns are still ripening on plants. And my garden look practically like a forest (well, I'm trying to be nice to me; it looks like a run-down garden with weeds :-P). When my tiny garden wakes up in spring and starts giving, she knows no bound.
Personally this summer has been a year of ups and downs; but my garden has been a sight to behold; fragrance to smell; blooms to enjoy; critters to observe and wonder; sweet fruits to enjoy; and fresh vegetables to nourish our minds and bodies. Neighbors and strangers, walking down the street, complimented on my garden. It's all because I went overboard this year and planted (and still planting) lots of new plants and bulbs, and that will be a topic for another post along with pictures. And the show has not stopped yet. The summer blooming is over. But, now perennial mums, asters, sunchoke flowers, dahlias, roses are stealing the show. Below are pictures of some of the many blooms happening in my garden now.
Sun is bright; air is warm; the overhead canopy is in full-swing; bees are buzzing; birds visiting the feeders, and the life is in full-swing, already ready for all the adventures of that are to unfold in the summer of 2016 in my garden.