Pardon my absence, ladies and gentlemen, but I’ve been busy with a passionate love affair…with science! I am loving my new botany class. Learning the new biology vocabulary has been super intense and now we’re moving into the chemistry. That’s even more intense. Not sure how I’m going to remember all these little atomic formulas but I’m certainly going to try.
Also, our professor set up a few plots on campus for us to garden. We started last Saturday and I got a good feel for what it’s like to start a community garden. It was so uplifting to spend a little time on a beautiful morning all pitching in to turn the soil over and over, sift out the lumps, and pull weeds. We got it ready and next time we’ll do the planting.
All that turning over and perfecting of the soil in preparation for planting has inspired me to do the same to my soil. So many plants have been overcrowded for so long, it’s pretty exhausted and cramped soil. For the rest of the year, I will be removing weeds and plants that need division. The soil will get fluffed and turned, fluffed and turned, fluffed and turned. Next Spring it will be much more receptive to something new. The plants I choose to keep will have more room and grow better. That’s the plan anyways.
Today I found this spectacular tomato hornworm, or Manduca quinquemaculata. Those tomatoes weren’t doing well, so I left it there to enjoy the buffet. Maybe she’ll still be in the backyard later and I’ll get to see her in moth form. They’re about the size of a large hummingbird – quite amazing really.
Right next to the hornworm, I found a Deadly Nightshade plant. This is some seriously exciting news and I will share the photos later when I do a little research. Right next to the Deadly Nightshade, was this garden orb weaver spider, most likely some species of the Argriope genus. They’re common in gardens and are generally quiet and stick to themselves. This one has a broken leg but is still manning the web, although the web itself looks messier than it did a few days ago before she broke her leg. Maybe she got in a fight with a bird and won. Hey, we all have hard times but we keep plugging along weaving our web the best we can right!? Right!