Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Happy Tasha Tudor Day 2013

 Dear Friends,

We're celebrating the birth of a very special lady, who would have been 98 this year. She continues to inspire us every day, to embrace the simple things in life.

Although we may never have a garden to equal the magnificence of hers, every time we enjoy our flower beds, fresh herbs, and vegetables, we feel a little kinship with Tasha.

And although we may not be able to re-react antique dresses just by giving them a look-over, sewing something by hand is a celebration of the creative spirit that she engenders in us.

 (The following poses we based on this painting by Tasha, although I feel more like a full-rigged ship than a woman young and fair!)~

May you take some time today to enjoy the simple things, like reading a book with someone you love,

 Admiring the beauty of God's creations,


And finding a few surprises along the way!

Blessings to you all,


“Life isn't long enough to do all you could accomplish. And what a privilege even to be alive. In spite of all the pollutions and horrors, how beautiful this world is. Supposing you only saw the stars once every year. Think what you would think. The wonder of it!”

― Tasha Tudor

Thursday, August 15, 2013

More Butterfly Fun

 Dear Friends,

On top of enjoying all the butterflies around our yard, we had the experience last weekend of visiting hundreds of the most beautiful winged creatures in the world at Powell Gardens' Butterfly Festival.

There were Blue Morphos from Peru~

Look at that gorgeous color!

 Giant Atlas Moths from Southeast Asia~

 Tanzanian Sunset Moths from Kenya~

 African Moon Moths~

And many others in the beautiful tropical conservatory devoted to their care.

This case was full of future moths and caterpillars, carefully glued onto boards while awaiting their emergence (can you see my lovely face in the glass?).

We also enjoyed the native butterfly and caterpillar displays, such as these monarch caterpillars on tropical milkweed plants.

I had been wanting to see  a Luna Moth since reading "A Girl of the Limberlost" over 20 years ago, so being able to see three of them was a real treat! Their beautiful green wings and fuzzy white bodies are just beautiful.

After viewing the butterfly displays, we toured some of the gardens and were excited to see turtles not far away. People who have lived in Missouri all their lives probably thought we were a little strange, getting excited over a few terrapins!

Tasha and Evangeline participated in the "caterpillar hunt," which was like a scavenger hunt, but which required locating various species of caterpillars placed in strategic areas of the gardens. Look how intent they are!

All in all, it was a very special experience, and we hope to go back to see the butterflies again before they no longer can be viewed. We left with a tropical milkweed plant for the monarchs, and felt a renewed spirit of desire to help the butterflies and other creatures who make our world such a beautiful place.

May your day be blessed!



Tuesday, August 6, 2013

It's Butterfly Season

Dear Friends,

If you've been following this blog, you'll remember that we were raising up Black Swallowtail caterpillars that had hatched out in our garden. Most of them have successfully pupated now, and we're getting a bumper crop of beautiful butterflies!

 Numbers seven and eight emerged and flew off today, leaving us feeling a little bereft of their companionship after so many weeks of care. Rather like watching one's little ones grow up and develop wings to fly away on their own!

We've been sowing lots more dill and fennel, in hopes that it will be big enough for future caterpillars that "our" butterflies might produce~

The swallowtails aren't the only butterflies we've been enjoying~ the little skippers seem to like our butterfly garden more than anyone else, and we love watching them flit here and there.

The bees have finally started coming in and pollinating our vegetables, thanks to the huge squash blossoms everywhere~

Now we can have even more cucumbers that we don't have to pollinate with a paintbrush! 

Whether Rebecca will share them or not is another story. . .

Soon we'll be getting lots of yummy yellow squash, if we can keep ahead of the squash bugs and vine borers~ A gardener's job is never done!

This is our first year of successfully raising native wildflowers, including this Plains Coreopsis. We have a nursery bed devoted to raising a few perennials that should start blooming next year, and we hope eventually to have our own little business of raising and selling butterfly and bee-friendly natives that are easy to grow. Now to find that elusive farm. . . .

The girls have been busy helping friends get ready for a move, and making hats and scarves for a local homeless shelter. We'll have to share their progress on the next post.

In the meantime, may these last Dog Days of Summer find you doing what you love, as much as you can, and keeping cool the rest of the time! :)