Precious time

tomato plant in back yard

tomato plant in back yard

tiger swollow tail

tiger swallowtail

toad

toad

luna moth

luna moth

The older I get the more I understand how precious time is. Some of my family members love to sleep. I prefer the waking world. The morning, in particular, especially while everyone else is asleep. There are so many options in the morning, many more than there are in the afternoon or evening.
Take the luna moth for an example. It has no mouth. It’s sole purpose, in the adult moth form, is to find a mate, breed, and lay eggs. It only lives as an adult for about 1 week. I have been fortunate this year to have seen three. They are magnificent creatures with their impressive wing span and their unmistakable color.
Another exciting event for us on the homestead this early spring was the courtship of the toads. They were singing their beautiful courtship song for what I thought was a short period of time, perhaps 3-4 days. This, before enticing a mate into the pond for a brief courtship, mating, and many, many eggs. This entire process from song to eggs only lasted, what seemed 2 weeks. We eagerly watched the eggs waiting for the inevitable tadpoles. Which, again, seemed so fast to emerge from their eggs. But, alas, time slowed. We watched and watched, waiting for the tadpoles to grow legs. It seemed for weeks, perhaps months, that the tadpoles just stayed the exact same size. Hummmm, what’s this? Time has really slowed now. The children lost interest, and honestly, I don’t know what happened to the tadpoles. We haven’t seen them in some time now.

If I am cutting up tomatoes and the chickens are free ranging in the back yard,  I will open the kitchen window and just throw the tomato scraps out. So country sounding, huh? But convenient and practical. That’s me!  And low-and-behold, a rouge tomato plant pops up. Good thing for leaving the grass long. I just love these sorts of surprises around our homestead!

You know you have a healthy environment when you have toads.  A photo of a toad  my kids found, handled, and replaced back to the garden. Sometimes we find them as large as my fist. Very impressive!

I picked up an unknown plant from a plant swap at least 5 years ago. I came to know it as Jeruselum artichoke. Apparently grown in the colonial days for their roots, which are used like potatoes, as they are a tubers. I have not tried them yet. Mostly because I have used them in my garden for their amazing gift of attracting butterfly and bees. Bumble bees seem to be more interested than honey bees in the artichoke. It is a sight to behold to see the astonishing amount of bees and butterfly enjoying the flowers. It would be almost criminal for me to cut the flowers to bring into the house, seeing how the winged beauties treasure this flower so. I must share, and I do share, with the creatures that help to make this all possible on my homestead.

tomato love!

tomato love!

Isn’t this really why we gardeners, dabblers, homesteaders, & farmers alike have the passion for growing our own foods?!  I can tell you a heirloom tomato most defineitly hits my top 3 picks for the all-time most treasured foods to grow.

I know it’s the end of summer now and I am just now posting something. But as the title goes, time is precious, and I’ve been in the gardens!

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