Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Where Did It Go?



This for me is the season of life that some call the "sandwich generation". Sandwiched between children and aging parents. I still have two children living at home and this year has been a year of sickness and poor health for our three remaining parents. Thankfully everyone is on the mend and I am finally able to spend more time at home. I've spent the majority of both spring and summer sitting in doctor offices, hospitals and the nursing home, and I'm wondering just where did the gardening season go.

The weather has been lovely the last few days and I've spent some much needed time in my very neglected yard. It has been a strange summer here in more ways than one. The butterfly sightings are few and far between. Usually by this time of year I have American Painted Ladies all over the place. They are completely absent. So are the black swallowtails. I have seen a buckeye, a few monarchs, a couple of pearl crescents and several cabbage whites; that's about it.


Another strange thing this year is that poison ivy has been growing all over the place. We've never had it here before. I am highly allergic to it and had to proceed with great caution to remove it. With skin completely covered, I shoveled this into a bag that my husband held open for me. As soon as we finished we trashed the gloves and changed clothes. I'm beginning to itch just looking at it again!

I am hoping that I will be able to make up for lost time in the garden now that the weather is cooling. I have so much to do!

20 comments:

Deborah at Kilbourne Grove said...

I know what you mean about lost time. My garden is at our weekend house and it has rained almost every weekend that we were able to visit. The garden is 3/4 of an acre of lawn (4 hours to cut) and with all that rain there has been no time off from it. I have not been able to proceed on any of my projects that I have planned for this year. Oh well, isn't a gardeners motto, "there is always next year".

Pam/Digging said...

I've had several patches of poison ivy popping up too. I figure the birds eat the berries somewhere else and then "deposit" them in the garden when they visit.

Jill-O said...

It's good to hear that your family is on the mend.
I've noticed less butterflies around here this year as well.

flowergardengirl said...

It has been strange here too. Much cooler than last year and some good much needed rain. I'm glad to hear your family is better. I can't tell you how much I understand your lost time feeling. Big hugs to ya.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

There always seems to be little starts of poison ivy in the garden. I have watched birds eat the berries and wonder why they don't get sick.?? I am allergic to it too. Your garden isn't the only one without butterflies. My garden is spookily devoid of many butterflies. It just makes you wonder what happened. They obviously didn't enjoy our cool wet summer.

Lancashire rose said...

The garden is such a healing place and will quickly rejuvenate your spirit. I hope your family keeps sickness at bay over the winter.
I love your collage. Do you have to have software to do that? I'm guessing you do.

The Giraffe Head Tree said...

With you in spirit in regards to being a "sandwich family." You described the last three years of my life. Same here with the butterflies as they've been absent. A few buckeyes and sulphurs until today when a Giant Swallowtail and a Black Swallowtail miraculously showed up. Must be the cooler temps keeping them away. I wonder if those with hotter temps are seeing more butterflies than usual? Good luck with your yard and the icky poison ivy.

Janet said...

I need to get out in my garden...too wet these days. It hasn't rained for two or three days now, but I live in the swampy-est area!!
Poison ivy is a bear to get rid of. Good luck and steer clear of touching it.

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

It's good to know the illnesses have subsided, Robin...I know your dad and your husbands mom have gone through a lot.Sounds like you're doing the right thing w/the poison ivy.Same story on the butterflies, although one day I actually saw 4 tiger swallowtails all over my agastache. I've seen a few other types here and there. I hope you can enjoy your yard and garden before serious cold weather sets in!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

It is good to hear that everyone is on the mend.I had been concerned about you and the family.In our area as well this has been a strange summer.I personally don't mind the cooler temps but the weather is not normal for this time of year.
Blessings,Ruth

Connie said...

So glad to hear things are easing up for you! I know that overwhelmed feeling very well. I had pleurisy and then as result of that ended up with a frozen shoulder, so have been laid up most of the spring and summer. The weeds have gone to seed in my garden and I will have a battle on my hands next year. But I am grateful to be finally coming out on the other side!

JOHNSON, Cotswold Hills, England. said...

Incredible photos - despite our weather here in England, this summer has been good for butterflies: I did a blog recently on them too.

Planning also to do a blog on invasive alien plants so your piece on poison ivy is also apt. Fortunately, we don't have that over here - yet! Johnson

Kathleen said...

It's good to hear everyone is on the mend Robin so you can have some time to yourself and your immediate family. It's been a strange summer here too even tho I haven't had all the illness etc., going on that you have. I feel like I've missed out on the garden also. Too much rain, too many mosquitoes making it not much fun to be outdoors. Hoping for a good fall for all of us. Yuck on the poison ivy. I hope it doesn't show up here!

Vicki's Bit-o-earth said...

Robin~ As always, your photos are beautiful. That sandwich time of life you mention ... I'm there too, and can totally relate. I've wondered many times how it is that a single point in life can be so filled with pride and joy - for my children finishing education and starting their lives ... but also tossed together with tears and sadness - for my parents as they go through aging issues. After much contemplation I've come to the conclusion that, though difficult (to say the least) I'll gladly be a sandwich. I'm glad to hear everyone in your family is on the mend.

We have poison oak here... which, if I am touched by it, I'm off to the doctor instantly for survival (it goes systemic for me). I've never been around poison ivy, but it sounds just as nasty! Vicki

Msrobin said...

The summer fades away so quickly, doesn't it? I'm already in mourning, and it's still hot and sticky! I'm not quite sandwiched yet, my nest is empty, but my parents live far away and are healthy and vibrant. But I know I will live that life eventually. My summer went by quickly with hubby and his healing process, but at least it allowed me to have more time at home while I cared for him.

Ilona said...

my sympathy is with you. The sandwich time proved too much for me and so many important things went by the wayside. It shouldn't be that hard is all I can think.

Ilona said...

...but posted before saying how very lovely all your wonderful photos are!

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

I have also been the meat in the sandwich between parent and children this year. My mom is still in the hospital, but improving. The kids are home sick with a virus, so I can identify with "where did summer go?" Also, I don't have as many butterflies this year either, and I've wondered why. Perhaps the weather.~~Dee

Rose said...

You've managed to capture so many beautiful butterfly photos, Robin! I've noticed, too, that there have been fewer and fewer of them than in previous years. And I've had my share of poison ivy rashes as well. This is one time I get out the heavy duty stuff and spray--just pulling it doesn't seem to work here.

Thank you for your kind comments on my last post, Robin. I'm glad to hear your Dad and Mother-in-law are doing better. As much as I am having trouble adjusting to the "empty nest," I know that being part of the "sandwich" is much more difficult.

Muhammad khabbab said...

good to know your family is doing better now. you have posted some wonderful pics of butterflies.