Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Butterfly Eggs

We've seen a steady stream of butterflies-- bright orange Gulf fritillary butterflies-- visiting our passion flower vine.

I found a webpage full of helpful information on the subject of these "passion butterflies".  We went out to watch the butterflies (and verify if what I'd read was true), and sure enough, they do lay eggs on the ends of the tendrils!  They go from tendril to tendril, looking for the perfect spot.  If there's already an egg there, they move on to the next tendril. 

There are tons of eggs on that plant, now...

Gulf Fritillary Egg

The Spanish lavender (pinata lavender) is still going strong. After reading that it doesn't like heat and humidity, I wasn't sure how well it would last, but it's flourishing. I've really enjoyed it, this year, and am hopeful that it will survive overwintering in the garage. I plan to try rooting some cuttings, but I don't usually have luck with cuttings...

Spanish Lavender

The white clematis vines are giving us another flush of blooms. :o)


And the roses are blooming...

Pink Roses

The Knock-Out roses really are knock-outs. Bloom after bloom, month after month. (No photos of those, this time...)

Now that the cool weather is finally here (after cruelly teasing us, then deserting us again), we've been trying to get a few things done outdoors.

I've been pulling weeds.  SO MANY WEEDS.  Piles and piles of them.  How did they grow so quickly?!  Particularly the aptly-named gripeweed (a.k.a. chamberbitter, stonebreaker, mimosa weed, Phyllanthus urinaria).  Ugh, that weed.  It's awful and I hate it.  Supposedly, it has all sorts of herbal/medicinal uses, and I've read that it's expensive to buy.  Ha!  If anyone wants some, please, come help yourself. ;o)

Then over the weekend, we took out a rotted fence post and put down a new one, which involved clearing some overgrown grass and pulling/attaching the fencing material.

Also, we started work on the round "stone bed" over the septic tank.  Took out the stones (as many as possible), put down old asphalt shingles to serve as a barrier, and put the stones back on top.  (Lesson: Stones work their way into soil with alarming speed, without some type of barrier in place.  Or at least these did.)  We still need more stones to finish the job, but it's much better already.

So much more to do!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

"Ebola Scare" in Mobile

So, this evening there was an "Ebola scare" in Mobile, i.e. just across the bay, i.e. way too close for comfort.

It turned out NOT to be Ebola (thank goodness).  Just an abundance of caution and a little confusion due to a language barrier, apparently.  Better safe than sorry, as they say-- though you have to wonder, with all these false alarms across the country (and around the world), at what point people will begin to let their guard down. With something this deadly, I hope that won't be an issue, but human nature being what it is...

Even though it seemed likely from the beginning that this case would be ruled out, it was still a bit of a shock to think that It could be so close to home-- and yet, why not?  Of course it could show up practically anywhere, in theory.  Not at all likely, no, but still well within the realm of possibility.

...Gee, I sure am glad we've decided not to restrict travel from West Africa!  Makes so much sense...

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Swedish Politics

If anyone's interested in the current state of the Swedish political scene, Donald sent me this link today:

"Sweden: the new Donald Duck government"

Just one highlight (of many):
Sweden's newly appointed Minister for the Interior, Ardalan Shekarabi, was an illegal immigrant from Iran.  He stayed hidden in the country until a government was elected that would grant him amnesty.  He was convicted of embezzlement from a political youth organization-- and this year the Swedish government has accused him of cheating on his income taxes. 

What a wonderful, upstanding citizen!

Okra? Marijuana? Same Difference!

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. (AP) – A Georgia man says drug suppression officers mistook his okra plants for marijuana.

Dwayne Perry of Cartersville tells WSB-TV that he was awakened by a helicopter flying low over his house Wednesday and then some heavily-armed deputies and a K-9 unit showed up at his door. They were from the Governor’s Task Force for drug suppression and they were out looking for marijuana plants.

What they had seen, apparently, were Perry’s okra plants and a shrub at the end of his house.
Perry says the officers ended up apologizing to him.

Patrol Capt. Kermit Stokes says the plants did have characteristics similar to marijuana.

Perry says people keep asking him about the officers at his house, and he worries that his reputation has been damaged.

...That's just embarrassing-- for the deputies.

My okra didn't do much this year.  Maybe I'll try again next summer.

What with that and the cleome I plan on growing from seed, I'll be at the top of the Most Wanted list...

Friday, October 3, 2014

Luna, Destroyer of Toys

Luna & Toys

I was looking through some photos this morning and came across this one-- then realized that Luna has since sent all of these three toys to the garbage can.

She ate off the feet and one of the ears of the yellow one.  (Garbage can.)

She dislodged the squeaker from the pink one, but we kept it around.  It could still make a very pathetic, wheezy squeak, poor thing.  But then she tore off one of his feet.  (Garbage can.)

The blue one hung on.  Sure, it had some punctures from her puppy-teeth days.  It didn't squeak with quite the same force as in its happier, pre-Luna days, but it was a tough toy.  It could take the abuse. Until she ripped open one of its "bobbles" and proceeded to eat part of it.  (Excuse me, but there's someonething I'd like to introduce you to-- GARBAGE CAN.)

Oh! and she also tore (and tried to eat) part of a squeaker from a soft, fabric skunk toy (not pictured).  I rescued the squeaker bit just in time, and I think it can be repaired.  At least I'll try...

(I should note that all of this carnage happened when she was out of her crate, playing in the house "under supervision".  Yeah, if you're supervising Luna, you're not allowed to turn your back on her for a few minutes at a time, happily imagining that she's playing safely and sweetly...)

So now she's destroyed pretty much every squeaky toy she had.  There's one more that doesn't squeak unless two strong human hands work together (with great determination) to elicit a squeak-- and even that one's on his last leg.  Now she's reduced to hard, rubber jingly balls and Nylabones and KONG toys... and a couple of other rubbery balls that she scorns, for some reason.  There's a really fun, new squeaky toy hiding out of reach, but for now, it's not for the likes of her

How many more months before she's calm enough to not ruin most dog toys?