Sunday, September 19, 2010

Smart Cars and Butterflies!

Ohhhhhh I had such a good time Saturday morning! A friend of mine is a member of the DFW Smart Car club and invited me to be her
"navigator" for the Smart Car Butterfly Rally! (no, I will not share with you how many times we got lost!) This is Sheri, and her car "June Bug." Have you ever seen anything so cute! The Smart Car club was teaming with Texas Discovery Gardens to provide scholarships for children to participate in some of their programs.
"All sponsorships benefit Texas Discovery Gardens’ 2010-2011 education programs by giving our community’s under served youth a day of environmental learning. These programs teach math in nature, the study of botany and insects, the science of soil, composting and how to lead “greener” lives in the real world through direct, hands-on experiences. "
About 23 cars participated in the rally. Some were decorated with just a few butterflies..

..while others were decked out completely in their butterfly finery! But of course,
"June Bug" was the hit of the show. As we drove from one end of Dallas to the other, heads turned and everyone waved. We went to butterfly gardens, farmers markets and community gardens. Unfortunately there was not enough time to stop and take pictures, but we did enjoy passing by and seeing all the various gardens. The two projects that impressed me the most were the butterfly garden at White Rock Lake's Bath House Cultural Center (created by Dallas Master Gardeners!) and the Lake Highlands Community Garden. This community garden is big. The gardeners incorporate organic and water wise gardening principals and I will tell you the plants were lush and healthy. Very impressive!
After the rally we headed back to the Texas Discovery Garden to the Butterfly Conserva-tory.
We were each given a little sack that contained a live butterfly (raised at the discovery center). On a count of 3...we all opened our sack and let our butterflies go. Mine sat on my finger a while, then I moved her to a leaf to get her strength. Before long she was flying with the other butterflies. If I was a butterfly, think I would enjoy living here!
Sheri, thank you so much for such a wonderful morning-and for such a good cause! Our children are the future. I was very happy to support the Texas Discovery Garden as they educate these future caregivers of our world!

"We have not inherited the earth from our fathers, we are borrowing it from our children.
(Native American Saying)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Just couldn't help myself!

Ok--so it's 95 degrees outside...I am at Home Depot...and what do I do???
Well, of course--I buy asters...

..and mums!

Please hurry fall!!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Late Summer and the Pond

I sat on the patio early this Labor Day morning enjoying a cup of coffee and slightly cooler temps, listening to the peaceful sound of the pond. We built our pond about 11 or 12 years ago. It added the perfect touch to our little backyard. We used a red pump as our source for recirculating the water back into the pond. We like the nice sound it created, plus although a lot smaller, the pump reminded us of camping in Colorado and pumping water at the campsite. However, the past 2 years, the pump has been slowing down and collecting so much algae we are cleaning it out way too often, so, we have been thinking it may be time to retire the old pump and create a small waterfall.
Just a thought that I ponder as I sit this morning. I am also thinking what a good idea it was to plant yellow cosmos around the back of the pond. Those flowers love sun, and are really drought tolerant. They should re-seed too! There is another reason I am enjoying the pond this early you notice anything missing? The net! Because of heron problems, we had to net our pond last year. But last month we noticed we never see heron anymore. Back in the spring we could just stand outside and watch them fly by-- so many! Now I don't think the problem is over--oh no! We have discovered the heron fly over in late winter/early spring during their nesting season. Then when the temperatures start to heat up, I'd say late June, they seem to go somewhere else.
I don't miss them either! I want to protect my fish, but I also watched the dragon flies trying to get to the water these hot summer days, and was very torn on what to do. We keep the net close by just in case, but for now the pond is open for the birds, bees and butterflies (plus dragonflies) to enjoy.
If we decide to build a small waterfall, the pump will not be thrown away--it will just be disconnected and sit beside the pond. I don't want to lose the character of that old pump. It will always be a reminder of the first years of the pond and all the hard work hubby did in designing and building it. I so love my little pond!