Friday, June 27, 2008

Random Things and Sad Family Situation

I was a little concerned that I had not been seeing butterflies. After all, I've filled my gardens with butterfly loving plants including many host plants. A few days ago I went back through my blog archives and saw that it wasn't until July last year that I really began seeing the butterflies. Yesterday morning, while I was outside watering, I saw this butterfly on the parsley. I believe she was laying eggs. Parsley is a host plant for black swallowtail butterflies and I plant it in the butterfly garden just for this purpose.

I've always treated my parsley, as an annual, (it's a biennial), and I clean it out of the garden in the fall. However, last year I didn't get around to pulling it up and surprisingly it survived our winter. It is now in bloom and the insects love it. It seems to be the preferred bloom right now.

I'm not seeing the goldfinches too often anymore. It always delights me to see them. This almost dead maple tree is the favorite perching place for the birds. It's rather nice for me too because there are no leaves to obstruct the view.

I can't believe it this time of year again. I saw the first Japanese beetle yesterday. Today I found one on a purple coneflower at the mailbox. Now, I will have to spend time each morning hand picking these awful bugs off of my trees and plants.

The white hollyhock is simply gorgeous. I've decided that she is definitely a keeper so I'll let her drop seed and hopefully next year I'll have a few more of these beauties.

I walked to one of the neighborhood ponds a few days ago and was surprised at the number of dragonflies. I'm looking forward to going back one evening or on an overcast day and trying to get some better pictures. The sun was pretty bright when I took these.

A few weeks ago I went to a garage sale and found a purple bowling ball for $2.00. I don't think I have to worry about the high winds breaking this gazing ball. I'm not really sure that I like this particular arrangement. Knowing how heavy that thing is, I look at the little guy holding it up, and he just looks like he's straining under all that weight.

This moth was on the patio door.

I thought this was odd. This bee was flying around the patio yesterday, well, he was trying to fly, he was really weighted down and could barely carry his load. I thought it had something like an egg sack but when I downloaded the picture I saw that it was a leaf. Can anyone explain this behavior?

On a really sad note, my husband is now a victim of the bad economy. We were notified yesterday that his job was terminated. He has been in sales in the RV industry for about 20 years, with gas prices and the economy this particular industry is really suffering right now. So many people have lost their jobs and very few, if any, of the RV companies are hiring. For those of you who are inclined, please pray for our family, especially my husband.


Karen said...

Lovely photos Robin.

I'm so sorry to hear about your husband's job my thoughts and prayers are with you and yours.

Rose said...

Such lovely pictures, Robin, especially that beautiful dragonfly. But I'm not so pleased about the Japanese beetle; this means they're probably headed our way, too.
Thanks for the reminder about the parsley; I meant to plant some for the butterflies, but forgot. I wonder if it is too late?
I'm sorry to hear about your husband; I'm afraid with this economy he may soon be joined by many others. My thoughts are with you.

Dave said...

I hope the best for your family and the job situation. I can see where it would be an extremely difficult time for the RV industry.

I wonder if that bee is making a nest of some sort? Great pictures! I've seen a few Japanese beetles around, not too many though thankfully.

Aiyana said...

Great photos as usual. Hope your husband soon finds an even better positionl.

Jane O' said...

I really enjoyed reading about the odds and ends in your garden today. I've also noticed the dragonflies are more plentiful here.
I'm sorry about your husband's job. I understnad completly what you are going through. In Michigan the economy is among the worst in the country. My husband lost his job last year and being the age he is we almost gave up on finding another job, but God was good. Two part time jobs came from unexpected places. We will pray for you and your family.

NCmountainwoman said...

Prayers are already in the air. Such a shame that our economy has gotten to this level.

Daphne Gould said...

Your butterfly is gorgeous. I've had quite a few in the garden already, including some caterpillars. Right now my parsley is in bloom too. I like to pick some for the flower arrangements. My coriander is my main insect attractant right now. It is just buzzing.

I'm so sorry about your husband. I hope he finds something soon.

Barbara said...

The economy is definitely bad. One person at my place of work was given notice today that her job would be terminated at the end of July.

Definitely makes me thankful to be keeping my job.

I will hold your husband in my prayers.

Connie said...

Beautiful photos. I like your new 'gazing ball'.
So sorry to hear about your husband's job, I will pray for your family.

beckie said...

Robin, It's hard to see sometimes. but I believe when one door is closed another is opened. It may take a while and be a strange looking door, but it will be there. In the meantime, you are in my prayers. Your pictures were wonderful! The leaf toting bee, the dragonfly. Glorious. Thank you for sharing them with us.

chey said...

Beautiful photos Robin, and funny little bee. So sorry to hear about your husband's job. Hope everything works out.

Balisha said...

Sorry to hear about your husband's job. I have been wondering how the RV business is doing in these hard times. My first husband was in the same business and we had some rough times in the 70's. You just have to hang in there, support him, and pray for the best outcome. I'll keep you in my prayers too.

Mary said...

Dear Robin,

I hope during this tough time you continue to observe the nature right outside your door and share it with us. It's a wonderful diversion when things get tough.

I'm so sorry about your husband's job. My daughter works at Wachovia Bank Corporate headquarters in Charlotte - we are always aware and afraid of a buyout and more layoffs. It's a bad time.

I will keep your husband in my thoughts and prayers, hoping that a company will grab him and provide a new home...


Your photos keep getting better!

Debbie said...

Wonderful pictures, Robin. I guess I need to plant some parsley in my garden.

I am sorry to hear about your hubby's job and will for sure be praying for him and your family. Rising gas prices are hitting a lot of people hard in so many areas.

Sherri said...

Love all the photos Robin. You always have such beautiful pics! So sorry to hear about your husbands job-hopefully he will find something real soon. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

Meems said...

Robin: Love the nature in your garden especially the blue dragon fly. There have been an unusual number of them around this year... I keep forgetting to do some research on what it is that attracts them.

I will keep you and your family in prayer... love a BIG God ... just keep looking to Him.
Meems @Hoe&Shovel

Unknown said...

May I join the chorus in expressing sadness at the news of your husband's employment loss. Find comfort in the strength of each other in this time of uncertainty. Godspeed on finding the correct answer to this.

Naturegirl said...

Robin you are looking at your garden with eyes wide open!
Wonderful photos! Good eye! :)NG

Gail said...


The butterflies, bee and dragonfly photos are a delight. I have noticed the Japanese Beetles here, too. The white Hollyhock is fantastic!!

Warmest thoughts for you and your family...and wishes for a new and exciting opportunity to open up for him.


Mother Nature said...

Hope your sad news turns to glad news very soon.

Benjamin Vogt said...

That's tough to have a job that long, and then have to switch gears--but often it's a good thing, I think, it might make him / you both find somethign even better you wouldn't have otherwise seen? I remember seeing on the NBC nightly news a few weeks ago how RV sales are one of the first indication of a significant economic slump.

Anonymous said...

Incredible pictures Robin. My thirst for butterfly pics is insatiable and yours are great.

As, the others I'm also sorry to hear about your husband's job loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you both.

Unknown said...

Oh Robin. I'm so sorry. That's truly scary. Like others have observed, there will be many in this situation. Let's hope that one door closing will permit another to open quickly. I'll keep you all in my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

I think we are all in trouble with this economy and my thoughts are with you. Take comfort in the garden.

Anonymous said...

The bee in your photo is a leaf cutter bee and is using the leaves for a nest. Check out this website for more info

I am so sorry about your husband's job. I know how it was when my husband was downsized. You and your family are in my prayers.

Always Growing

Linda aka Crafty Gardener said...

Beautiful photos Robin. Good thoughts to you husband as he searches for a new job.

The Diva said...

Robin, you and your husband are in my prayers. We have a lot of RV companies here in OK, and I was wondering how badly they were being effected. I am so sorry.~~Dee

joey said...

Our life revolves around automotive and our family business has dwindled throughout this horrific economy. Please know you are not alone and will certainly be be included in my LONG prayer list, Robin. In the meantime, feed your soul in your lovely garden.

Kylee Baumle said...

That's a leaf cutter bee, Robin. He'll use that in his nest. I wrote about them in one of my very first blog posts when I started blogging last year. They love rose leaves! I actually saw one cutting out the circle from a leaf and was amazed at the precision and speed used!

As I mentioned before, Robin, my condolences about your husband losing his job. You and he are definitely in my prayers. I hope he finds something very soon.

Patricia said...

Very lovely photos, Robin. I delight in insect photos, too. That bee carrying a leaf is amazing.

So, so sorry to hear about your husband's job. My husband had worked in the citrus industry for years and with one company in particular for 23 years when the company downsized by firing their most loyal and highest-paid people in upper management. It was devastating for my husband, who was 55 years old at the time. Not an easy age to find new employment in an industry that is no longer hiring. I will certainly keep your whole family in prayer, especially your husband and you, as you make it your job to encourage and build him up. ((((Hugs)))

Thanks for stopping by the creek. Remember Who is your Light in this (temporary) dark place.

Nancy said...

Your photography skills are amazing. You've captured some wonderful photos.

My husband was downsized at the end of 2005 and was looking for work until June of 2007. At the same time, I had had to retire early from teaching due to a disability. It was hard.

Looking for a job will be a full time job in and of itself. Look around for local churches or organizations that may be running a jobs ministry (we were blessed to find one of several here in Houston) or jobs training.

If you'd like to get some feedback on resumes and cover letters, please allow me to help. If you do this search together (your husband and you), your search will be less overwhelming.

Good luck and God Bless.

Anonymous said...

Robin, I'm so sorry to hear about your husband's layoff. I hope he finds a new position very soon.

Sandra said...

Lovely pictures. Will pray for you and your family.

Nancy J. Bond said...

Gas hit $6.42/gal here in Nova Scotia last night. Outrageous! And diesel was even worse. If this keeps up, we're going to start finding empty shelves at the grocers.

I'm so sorry your husband is a victim of these difficult times...I hope he is able to secure suitable employment again soon. I understand what a worry it is.

Your photos are lovely, as always. Before I even read your caption, I smiled at how the little guy seems to be straining to hold up the bowling ball! :)

You are in my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your new camera Robin. You will definitely put it to good use and delight us with the results. So sorry to hear about your husbands job loss. Hopefully his experience as a salesman will translate to another field. I hope he finds another position soon.

Jayne said...

Prayers ascend that your hubby may find something else to do that he loves and soon. Hugs!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Robin your pictures are fantastic. The one with the bee carrying the leaf in to its nest is outstanding. I thought the bowling ball was a gazing ball before I read your narrative to the pictures.

I am so sorry to hear about your husband's position being terminated. What a shock and I am sure it is scary as so many are affected by the slow economy. You and yours will definitely be in my prayers.