Two Gardens in One Day

Day Fifteen of my Vacation.  I know, I skipped “Day Fourteen”, but that was because yesterday, I did nothing at all.  I slept in, took a shower, had some breakfast and then spent the day in bed or on the sofa just chillaxing with the dogs…

Today, I got up around 6:30 am and was out the door by about 6:45 to head out to Woodland and the community garden.  I wanted to start tilling my plot and planting some of my plants.  I got about ½ of it finished and watered and plan on working the second half tomorrow morning.  The Clematis vines (four different kinds) I’d planted about a week or so ago were still doing well, and one was already sending up tendrils, so that was nice to see.  I got some beans, milkweed , owl clover, allium bulbs, dill, White Brodiaea, quinoa, and sunflowers planted today.

When I was done with my plot, I walked around the garden – which is overrun with weeds in many places – and took some photos of the bugs I came across.  Lots of ladybeetles (in various stages of development), hoverflies, and a Painted Lady caterpillar hanging out on the cheeseweed.  One plot in the garden is splendid-looking at the moment with brilliantly colored sweet peas and irises, so I took a few photos of that, too.

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I also stopped at the WPA Rock Garden and duck pond before going home.  The parking lot was more full than I’d ever seen it and I was worried that the garden would be overrun with screaming ferrets, but thankfully it and the pond were pretty much vacant.  Everyone was at the zoo, Fairytale Town, or at the picnic/softball game across the street.  So, I was able to walk through the garden and around the pond without encountering too many other folks.  I’m always surprised (although I don’t know why, really) how people go through that area and never really SEE anything.  They miss the butterflies and the birds, the mama Mallard duck and her 12 newly hatched ducklings, the Green Heron eating silvery-white fish out of the pond, and the big turtles sunning themselves on the bank…

The mama Mallard had all of her ducklings snuggled down in between some of the rocks on the sunny side of the pond.  The babies were content to snooze there and only stirred when people or other male Mallards came up to annoy them.  I got both still shots and several videos of the babies; they’re so cute when they’re that teeny and fuzzy.  There was also a Belted Kingfisher and a Cormorant flying around near the water’s edge, but neither one held still long enough for me to get any pictures of them.

One of the pond turtles on the bank was huge – its shell maybe 15 inches from head to stern – and it wasn’t easily intimidated.  It kept its eye on me as I walked by and took photos of it, but it held its ground and didn’t duck back into the water like the smaller ones did.  Macho turtle.

The Green Heron was hanging around the enclosures where the water lilies and lotus plants grow.  At one part, the screening from the enclosure hangs down into the water, and some small fish got caught up in there.  So the heron flew over to the spot and just snacked on them until its crop was full.

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