Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Heat Relief

This has been an August for the record books around here. This native sensitive fern is one of the toughest plants in the garden and it is showing how dry it has been.
Other ferns in the garden are really taking a beating too.
The hostas that I showed you in my last post are the ones that get a bit of water since they are closer to the house. Unfortunately most are further away. This brave little 'Wolverine' still sent up some blooms. I don't know if it will make it or not. I have had hosta come back from the brink before.
On a happier note the bugs have thrived in this heat and lack of moisture. This big ole bumble bee it too big to get far enough into the hosta bloom to get a good drink so it gnaws a hole at the bottom of the bloom to get at it. This is also good for the hummingbirds. They seem to know where the holes are and take full advantage of the bumbles work.
The smaller bumbles like the Tortinias. They fit in there perfectly.
There has been a few Monarchs passing through the garden. They are usually so active I can't seem to get a decent picture of them.
There is evidence that they have been elsewhere in the garden. This is the only Monarch caterpillar I have found. I hope that there are others already in a cocoon somewhere.
I hope you all are getting some fallish relief from the heat and drought, or rainy weather. What ever has beset your garden this long summer.


  1. Glad to see the monarchs, Lisa! Here's hoping you get a good, quenching rain very soon. A lot of areas are abnormally dry, although with the end of August approaching we know there's relief in sight.

  2. My Autumn Fern is toast too Lisa. Man, but it's been hot. We had 30 consecutive days of >90 here. I am so ready for cooler temps. The Monarchs are just now getting here. Hope to snap some soon.

  3. Yes, I agree with you, heat relief

    Even hese small insects like bees, butterflies know the treats!

    They are on their creative mission crawling on the leaves and sucking the honey from the blooms....He..He..

  4. Oh, Lisa, it has been a tough summer for most. Your fern patch is not happy about it. So good to see the monarch and the cat. They do have a way of surviving even when we don't see them. I sure hope you and your garden get some rain relief as well as heat relief soon. Best wishes for that hosta to bounce back.

  5. Wow... and I thought that I've had a tough summer here! I'm amazed at your hosta, throwing up blooms while the leaves die back to the ground. (Maybe that's a survival thing, you think?)

    At least you have a monarch cat... that's so exciting. :)

  6. Lisa girl I have the same problem trying to take pictures of the Monarchs .. they are so skittish !
    YES !! I have so many good insects in the garden it is remarkable : )
    Lots of bumbles for sure .. we are going into a heat wave now .. but we had cool weather and rain to prepare the plants for this one .. hopefully the last .. sorry about your heat and drought .. that sucks .. Autumn is coming though girl .. hang in there ... and .. there is always .. HALLOWEEN to look forward to !! hehehe

  7. What a summer it's been~We finally got rain~10 inches at once in some areas~That seems to be another part of the strange weather patterns this summer. Hoping it falls on your garden now that the summer is ebbing away~ Love the monarch shot and how wonderful to have the cat! gail

  8. Great photo of the Monarch, Lisa! I agree they are so hard to photograph; they never seem to stay still for long. And congrats on the caterpillar! I have lots of swallowtail catts, but I haven't seen a single Monarch catt here.

    So sorry about your ferns; mine are still looking okay, but I think I may have lost a couple of heucheras to this heat.

    I do hope these cooler temperatures stay around--if I didn't have other things to do today, I think I could spend a whole day out in the garden without perspiring:) Now if we'd only get some rain...

  9. Lisa,
    I was just thinking I should do a post of the garden to show how stressed it's been by the heat. Seeing that you are having the same problem I don't feel so bad now. I think I'll still do it. We always show the best of our gardens and rarely show the imperfections. :-)--Randy

  10. Oh my, those poor ferns and hostas. They will come back.. the hosta for sure, but it's been a discouraging summer all over. I cut my heat stressed hosta right to the ground in July and it's coming back up now in some cooler temps.

  11. The caterpillar makes your garden very Alice in WOnderland like! I like it.
    Sorry for the drought, it is always painful to see those plants fade away.
    Re birds in Australia, I'll post about them soon, but I did not see as many as I would have liked... sigh... must go back! :-)

  12. Hi Lisa.....I hate to see ferns so dried out. Poor hosta looks like it has seen it's last day but you are right, plants are amazing and often return. I do hope so.

    Love your bees, butterflies and especially the monarch caterpillar, I think they are just too pretty......

    After a lovely day I am now listening to torrential rain on the conservatory roof. It is awful, cannot hear myself think.
    Sending some your way.......

  13. Hottest Summer on record for us too Lisa. It has been so nice to get relief from the heat, turn off the air for a while and open up the windows :-)

  14. I am ready for some heat relief too, Lisa. We had so much rain in June and then nothing in August. Our grass looks terrible and so many of my plants are stressed from lack of water too. Hopefully they will still come back next year.

    I'm glad it was a little cooler today.

  15. At least the nights are getting cooler here. I hope it is a sign of cooler weather to come.

  16. Oh those poor ferns! I hope they bounce back. And the hosta too. Poor brave little thing throwing up blooms like that.
    I have yet to find a monarch cat but I did manage to photograph one yesterday on the butterfly bush. There were 2 black swallowtails as well and the three were dancing together. It was great fun to see.
    I enjoyed seeing your wrens and the other recent posts. Yes, I have the same pink anemone blooming and nothing on my whites yet. Don't the bees love the anemones? Me too...the blooms are so elegant standing among those pretty buds!

  17. My motherinlaw says nothing will kill hostas!!
    I was fascinated by the bee story. I had no idea they did that.
    And what plant is the caterpillar on?
    Our weather is much cooler. I have a flannel shirt on today which makes me happy happy!

  18. You still have some nice blooms for the critters though. Thanks for your visit.

  19. Lovely post though sad for the drought you are experiencing. I find too that butterflies and other insects do seem to enjoy the dryness. Great photos of the Monarch and caterpillar. Wonderfully placed too. Wishing you rain pouring down soon. ;>)

  20. I love the caterpillar shot. Your garden sure has suffered from the heat and the dryness. I hope rain comes for you.

  21. Poor ferns! But I am convinced they will come back next Spring in full freshness. I do hope for your garden that you'll get some rain soon. It's a pity that I cannot send you some of ours that we actually have.

  22. Hi Lisa, it is sorrowful to see the plants suffering but seeing the butterflies always makes my heart sing. Yin and yang. Hope you get some rain relief soon. I see on the weather channel there is a system heading your way! :-)
    ps, thanks for the butterfly ID. I think you have identified that one for me before and I always forget! HA

  23. Dear Lisa,
    It has been so hot and dry here too. We did get a cool down and some much needed rain. I see more rain is in the forecast for next week. I water very little. The newly planted get one year of attention!
    Lots of cats here too. It has been a great August for the bugs!
    Monarchs are coming to the cosmos. I think migration may have begun.
    Hope you get rain soon. I love the way the bees and Hummers work together....I never mind a few holes in the hosta blooms! It has been a hot and humid summer. I too am looking forward to Autumn gardening.
    Stay cool. Sending rain.

  24. Hi Lisa, I didn't realize that sensitive ferns were native, cool. Also happy to see all the butterflies in your garden. It's been cool overnight here the last few nights, but I bet we'll have a few more scorcher days before fall settles in.

  25. OMG - that poor Hosta! Truly pathetic. I feel for you. Your garden looks sadder than mine.
    I think your big bees are mason bees. They don't fit in the Hosta flowers, so they poke a hole through the outside to get at the nectar.

  26. August was hotter than normal here too. We've finally receive weather that's a little cooler -- and rain, too. Both were very welcome.

    Around here we often have carpenter bees that engage in "nectar robbing". They usually make a neat little slit behind the flower, though it still shortens the life of the bloom.


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