Archive for July, 2011

An insect view of the garden

Posted by: Heidi

July 18th, 2011 >> Bugs, my garden, Photos

Swallowtail butterfly
“Nature will bear the closest inspection.  She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain.”
~Henry David Thoreau

Inspired by Thoreau, who encouraged close observation and contemplation, I’ve been watching more closely some of the insects that visit or make their home in my garden. Many kinds of insects are beneficial in the garden, like ladybugs and spiders, that are predators of garden pests, and pollinators like bees and butterflies. Not only are these insects helpful for the healthy growth of plants in the garden, watching these little garden dwellers more closely can also be beneficial to the gardener.

Time seems to slow down in the garden. Looking through the eyes of an insect, the past and future seem to contract and all of time exists in the present moment. I spent an hour one sunny afternoon watching the yellow swallowtail butterfly pictured above flutter from flower to flower, pausing frequently to feed on the flower nectar and bask in the sunshine. Not as flamboyant and obvious as the butterflies but quite easy to find when I look for them, many ladybugs also spend time in my garden, usually feasting on the aphids that take a liking to new plant growth. It’s easy to while away an hour watching these busy little bugs.

The butterflies and the ladybugs won’t be in my garden for long and while they are here they remain focused on their own immediate needs of food, water and shelter. They aren’t aware of their beneficial effects in the garden, and are unconcerned about their future. They live in the moment because it is all that they know while we so often stay focused on the past or the future and let the present moments slip away.

“We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever.”
~Carl Sagan

Early summer blooms

Posted by: Heidi

July 3rd, 2011 >> my garden, Photos

I can’t help but smile each time I discover something new blooming in the garden.

“Earth laughs in flowers.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson