Insect Porn

You know that picture I posted yesterday, the one with the bee on the peony blossom? Then the closeup of the bee? Well, Kristina at KD Made pointed out that it looked like two bees making more bees. I didn’t really understand what she was saying at first, then I looked a little closer…

Beest with Two Backs, aka Insect Porn

…and yes, I posted a picture of the Bee-st with Two Backs.

I wonder what they were thinking when I leaned in close to take the photo?

We interrupt this blog…

… for some garden photos.

This past weekend, I took a ton of photos of the yard so we could get an idea of when and where we had sun. We have a huge hosta, maybe 4 feet across, that keeps getting sunburned, and we had a plan for creating some shade for it. Of course I didn’t get a great picture of the hosta, but I found several other photos that I just love and I wanted to share them.

This is a close up of the spirea that line our driveway. There are four huge bushes, and Mom cuts them down to the ground once a year.

Spirea

These evening primrose started out as one lonely little flower, grown from a seed that a kind bird deposited. Several years later, we have drifts of the stuff, and have transplanted it to several other locations. It’s so bright and cheery!

Evening Primrose

This peony has been in my mom’s family for at least 80 years. At one point we thought we’d lost it. We lived on my grandparents farm for a few years, and my grandmother lived with a very nice man who had a beautiful wildflower field. When we moved into town, we took the peony with us. Our new yard didn’t have enough sun, so our neighbor kindly planted it in her yard. We moved again a couple of years later, forgetting about the peony. After my grandmother died and her friend moved away, his daughter burned the wildflower garden. My mom was horrified, thinking that the peony had been there. Out of the blue, she got a phone call from the former neighbor, and we brought the poor, twig-like little peony to our current home. The next spring, it came back, small but hardy, and it had five buds. My aunt asked my mom when she thought it would bloom. Mom answered, very definitely, “June 3rd.” Why? Because that was her mother’s birthday. Sure enough, on June 3rd, five blossoms opened, one for each of her children.

Peony Bee

And look at this close up of the bee:

Bee

Finally, I just love the look of white sheets on the line, garden in the fore- and background.

Laundry Day

Garden eek! and quilty goodness

Mom was working in the garden while I was fighting with working on my Neapolitan quilt. She called me up to see the “enormous” caterpillar that she found when she stood up. It was right between where her feet had been, and based on the info I found about it online, it probably dropped out of the tree. It’s called a Polyphemus Moth (or Silkmoth) Caterpillar, and the thing is literally the size of my index finger. We stuck it in a safe spot under the tree, and if we’re lucky it will spin itself a cocoon and next spring it will turn into a beautiful moth with up to a 5″ wingspan. It will live as a moth for just a few days, then die. It doesn’t even eat when it’s a moth!

Mom with caterpillar
Polyphemus Caterpillar 2

I’m alternately fascinated and repulsed by it, because I have a problem with crawlies. Mom was holding the trowel as I took the photos. I’d move to get a better angle, she’d move the trowel toward me, I’d jump back and tell her not to move – it was comical. My problem with crawlies is probably due to my encounter with tent caterpillars when I was about seven. We had a small apple orchard and there was a tent in one of the trees. For those of you unfamiliar with tent caterpillars, they spin a white tent at the intersection of branches in trees, and then eat the leaf buds. The tent is full of caterpillars. Anyway, I was quite the little tree climber, and my dad sent me up into the tree with a stick and instructions to knock it down. I hit it with my first good swing, and hundreds of caterpillars rained down on my head. I freaked out. I don’t like caterpillars to this day.

As for the quilty goodness, I finished quilting the Neapolitan quilt! Woohoo! Once I got started, it went very quickly. I’m still a little shaky on my leaf quilting, and it probably would have been better if I’d slowed down, but I just wanted to get the thing done. The thread was exactly what I’d hoped for, and I have a new favorite quilting thread. The price is sure right – it’s 6000 yards for $10.50! The manufacturer is American & Efird, and they make Signature brand quilting thread. The thread I used wasn’t labeled “Signature” and I think it is their PermaCore line, made for denim. Whatever it is, it worked like a charm! My thread broke only once during the entire quilt, which is pretty good.

So here’s the quilting:

Neapolitan quilting

I pieced the back, and I really like how it turned out. I’ll probably do this more often because it’s pretty in its own right.

Neapolitan back

And – ta da! – here’s the Neapolitan quilt. My own pattern! All that’s left is the binding and finishing the instructions. Then I’ll pop it over to the quilt shop and they’ll start selling the kits and patterns. It may be one of the quilts they’ll have on display at their booth at the Quilt Expo (Madison, WI) in September! If anyone is going to the show, be sure to check out the Loose Threads booth and look for my quilt! (I know, I’m goofy, but it’s exciting!)

Neapolitan

I’ll take better photos for the pattern when the binding is on – I just wanted a quick picture to post rightnow!

Garden success and manual labor

Ugh.

Mom bought half a yard of river rock to augment some of the paths in the garden, and I just couldn’t in good conscience sit at a sewing machine while she hauled and spread rock by herself. So I helped. I shoveled and hauled most of it, and I. Am. Beat.

It looks nice, though.
Rock 1
Rock 2
Rock 3

Before the rock, though, I bought some nice stuff for the garden. Today was a city-wide rummage sale and I looove rummage sales. We’ve been thinking about adding some non-planty stuff to the garden to add color and interest. Painted birdhouses, old chairs or tables, shelves, that sort of stuff. But I’m really cheap (not to mention broke), so I didn’t want to buy pretty new stuff. Rummage sales (and Freecycle) are the way to go! I drove past eighty thousand rummage sales with baby clothes and kids toys and exercise equipment, but I scored at two sales. One had tons of wooden birdhouses and stuff, so I picked up this CD cabinet for $2 and these assorted items for $6.
Bird Box
Rummage Sale Finds

I’m kicking myself for not grabbing something at the other place, though. I got this wicker chair for $3,
Wicker Chair
and if I’d had half a brain I would have bought the wicker loveseat that went with it for $10. TEN DOLLARS. What was I thinking? We went back for it a couple of hours later, but it was already gone. We stopped to check out a wicker chaise at another sale, but she wanted $45. Ha. Not gonna happen.

I’m going to paint all of them items (except the chair) in pretty candy colors – light aqua, apple green, pale watermelon, and light violet.