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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday Blessings

Hi Boys and Girls!

Ahhhh...the joy of Sunday mornings...No, I don't mean sleeping in or even breakfast in bed, although that would be Heaven! I am talking about a cool breeze and taking a walk just as the sun is coming up. That is pretty amazing. We are in the throes of summer and a cool breeze is rare! I put on my walking shoes and sun hat along with my favorite walking music, Mano Chao http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clandestino and took off for my 3-mile walk. It was good.

Upon arriving back home, I noticed how inviting my back yard was. There must have been something in the air this morning. I grabbed my camera to see if I could capture some of the experiences for you!

This little guy is a Bordered Patch butterfly I believe. He is sunning himself on the Mexican Lime tree.http://www.thedauphins.net/bordered_patch_life_cycle_study.html Go to this site and see pictures of the stages of his life. Yup! That caterpillar is all over our yard. Well, I think the butterfly is beautiful.

Another experience was watching the newly hatched Giant Swallowtail. I missed him hatching by a few minutes! Next picture is him drying off. They flutter their wings back and forth slowly so their wings can dry before taking off exploring.
Well, by this time I was on the hunt for more exciting life in my yard. I nearly jumped for joy when I discovered the Garden Spider. Yes, this is his/her name. To think I used to be deathly afraid of spiders! My screams when finding a spider could shatter crystal! But these guys are my friends!

This looks like a male but there must be a female close by. If you have any plants with flowers you will want some of these spiders in your yard. They LOVE grasshoppers. And grasshoppers suck the life out of my roses, turk's cap and even my lavendar! So, I was thrilled to find this guy. For many years we had tons of them in the yard and then they disappeared. We do not spray our yard with pesticides. I don't know why they left, but I am sure glad they are back.

In fact, I was so excited, I got the butterfly net and captured a grasshopper for his breakfast. It is amazing what hate can drive me to do! I held the disgusting, sap-sucking grasshopper by both hind legs and placed him in the web! By the time I picked up my camera, I had missed the show.

That grasshopper was all wrapped up but I could still see him wiggling inside. Oh, I am so sadistic! By the way, this Garden Spider is not harmful to humans. And did you know each evening the male and female eat their web (and whatever is in it) and build a new one in the morning? I read that their web is so strong, it is used as a fishing net in some countries! I can tell you that I have walked into one and did not break it! Creepy.
I could not resist taking a picture of the Mexican Spider Lily in my moonlit garden. I planted this night blooming plant so bats and large moths can have nectar at night. The scent is very attractive to night critters.

Now, doesn't this look delish? When the morning heats up, the blooms fade. http://www.epimediums.net/Catalog/Current/Detail/05563.html
There are so many spider lilies, I could be wrong about this one. So, if anyone knows I am wrong please let me know.
My morning walk around the yard would not be complete without a picture of my side kick, Angie. She loves it outside and does not run away. 
Oh, I must share my dinner with you. It was great and so easy!
I had fresh tomatoes and zucchini from the Farmer's Market here in New Braunfels. http://www.farmersmarketonline.com/fm/NewBraunfelsFarmersMarket.html 
Roberto loves pasta so I wanted to give this a try. You will not believe how good raisins and pecans are when sauteed!
Here is the recipe. Sorry, no picture but find the recipe and picture in Real Simple, July 2010.
The recipe called for walnuts but I substituted pecans. I also added the fresh tomatoes. I think you will like it.
That's all for now. In the meantime, shake your booty for at least 15 minutes each day. Your booty will thank you for it.


  1. Hi Mary, I followed your blog address from an e-mail over here. What great pictures!

    I'm am glad to have found another garden-and-life blog for our area. I blog about writing, gardening and life in the hill country at http://hillcountrymysteries.blogspot.com .

    Kathleen Scott

  2. I have been busy with life and am really behind in blogging. I hope to get back to it while I am visiting my daughter in VA.