Monday, August 20, 2012

A Meadowhawk

Around about 4:00 in the afternoon, after Kodi has eaten his supper, the two of us head outside for a walk about the yard. Actually Kodi usually settles into a comfortable spot on the lawn. He just likes to be outside. As do I.

I emerge from the garage with small clippers and a harvest basket. This is my favorite time to walk through the vegetable garden. I check for ripe tomatoes, green beans, okra, eggplant. The top third of the bean plants were nipped by a deer again so the bean harvest has slowed dramatically. About once a week I find a giant hornworm munching on one of the tomatoes, and pause briefly to extract him from his camouflaged perch to which he does not return. Each day I fill my harvest basket. Today it was several handfuls of fresh basil, for pesto, along with San Marzano and garden peach tomatoes and a pint of sun golds and cherry tomatoes.

Once the garden is checked and ripe veggies are harvested I move on to Japanese beetle patrol. Their numbers have eased a bit, but not nearly enough. Interestingly I find them in four distinct places in the yard -- on our highbush blueberries, on some wild raspberries and on a single large stalk of goldenrod at the edge of the backyard, and on the hazelnut bush. I assume they give off pheromones to attract one another. Sometimes I find a pile of 8 or more beetles on one leaf.

This afternoon, as I checked the blueberries for beetles, I noticed a dragonfly--a meadowhawk--perched on one bush. I walked within three inches of this meadow beauty and it did not budge. Presumably it was waiting very patiently for an insect of the right size to fly by, or it was just resting in the afternoon sun. What an afternoon delight.

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