Just an update from my previous post. My Swallowtail caterpillar has grown at an amazing rate, it looks pretty different from the last post (middle picture). I am hoping I will be able to see it mature. right now it is still pretty unnoticeable, but when it gets to full size It may get picked off by birds
June 25th, 2018: Life in the garden
Sadly this year, the buzz of bees in my garden has just not been there. I did have the opportunity to shoot mama (or daddy?) wren (?) bringing home a lacewing dinner. If you look closely you can see clear down that little baby’s throat!
I also found an infestation of small caterpillars on my dill and parsley. Doing a bit of image research I found out this will mature to a black swallowtail butterfly (pictured above). It amazes me that I have not seen any butterflies of this type this year, yet these little caterpillars are all over the place! I can’t even see any eggs, but like magic, they show up almost overnight.
I am hoping that as the season progresses the grand-central like activity at my rose garden will build, right now though, it very sad. I have only seen a few bumble bees around the clover and the bee balm
May 27, 2018
In all my years living in NY ( Queens and Westchester) believe it or not, I have NEVER been to the Bronx Botanical Garden. I have gone with the kids to the Bronx Zoo right down the block, but for some reason, I never went to the Gardens. We went to see Georgia O’Keefe in Hawaii exhibit, which I enjoyed and brought back memories of my years in Art School–Compare and contrast, color, form abstracting and interpretation of nature to image all came back as if I were in high school again.
But what I was impressed with the most was the place itself. How did I overlook this gem for all these years? I think the reason is that I look at it now through different eyes. Mature eyes. Eyes of someone who is learning something new. It was amazing to see the conservatory rooms… Africa, the Rain Forest, Hawaii… the trees, the plants the exotic flowers and colors, OMG the colors and the intricate, delicate flowers that look artificial but they aren’t. It was way too much to absorb in one day.
It was the kind of thing that I would have done if an out of town relative or friend came to visit. It was an “Ah-Ha” moment for me. I should be more like a tourist and see my world all over again with fresh eyes. Great show, fun day.
If you have stopped in on my page GardenSpot you can see the progress of my indoor greenhouse. The problem I am having is everything is growing MICRO. I don’t want microgreens, micro-beans, micro-lettuce. I have a great fungi thing going on with the organic raised bed soil I used, I add worm castings, and I have the grow lights lowered to the appropriate height above the plants…And STILL the pak-choi is itty-bitty and bolting to flower. So Sad.
February 11, 2018
Grafedie In The Library has been a learning, growing experience for me over time. At first, I wanted to use this blog as a vehicle to share my reader advisory skills, hoping that I could improve my writing skills in addition to promoting books that we had at my library. That was the intent, and I was perfectly happy blogging in my own little world. My opinions were not controversial, or political or witty so there was no reason for any one particular group of readers, or library user to even notice.
But as time went on, I let go of the Library related posts and concentrated on adding my GardenSpot page and documenting our Hiking trips. Two things that have come to be my passion. This post is just a bit of retrospect, looking back over a few years how I have changed and continue to learn new things. Recently I have been listening to Podcasts. My favorites are on Sustainability, Horticulture and Gardening.
Just a bit of rambling
January 25, 2018: Baker Mountain, Saranac Lake
Good to be back in the ADK! Hiking today was one of those days where the challenge is to keep your nose. 2 degrees with a high of 14. The sky was a clear, cornflower blue (like Crayola) and everything had permafrost ice crystals on it. We chose the trail for its simplicity, and length, no scrambling and round trip over in 3 hrs or thereabouts. We opt not to attempt summiting in winter, rather be safe than sorry. We are not that familiar with the Saranac area trails and so today was expanding our horizons! Well worth the extra distance.
January 26: Cobble Ledge, Wilmington NY
Another day of exploration! Bill read about this trail from our 2014 hiking book, at the time it was “just opened and not thoroughly marked” however, by 2018 the trailhead is marked, and the foot trail clearly visible. It was level 3 mile round trip with a beautiful view of surrounding mountains (never know which is which) and the summit of Whiteface peeking through (look carefully and you can see it). It was still, and silent as we sat and had our coffee and hot cider. It actually felt warm (14 degrees) and so we took in the view and headed back.
Every now and then, we choose to do something touristy. We wanted to take the road up to Whiteface summit, but when we got there, it was closed for the winter.
Instead, we went to High Falls Gorge an old classic Café Souvenir type spot, that supplies yak-tracks and has a 1/2 mile round trip enclosed boardwalk trail that tours the beautiful roaring waterfalls below the Gondolas of Whiteface. The staff there was warm and welcoming. With a cup of coffee and the yak-tracks on our boots, we did the gorge trail (like tourists) and had a great time.
Added signage explaining flora and fauna added to the fun of the path, and for a bit of trivia, we learned that a 20-ton slab of Adirondack Basalt was laid as the corner of the Freedom Tower.
January 27th: Heart Lake Loop
Final full day in the Adirondacks this time around. Overcast, light snow, we took it easy today and decided to do Heart Lake Loop. Easy peasy, just a nice hike, level snow covered and still. Great way to wrap up the vaca.