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Moving Into Fall…

Posted by mrssmythe on October 8, 2018 in Garden, Seasons, Week in Review |

Well, I would say Fall has truly arrived here in Western Massachusetts. We’re starting to see some beautiful colors, though the warm weather lingers.

And, continued warm weather means continued flowers. My hydrangeas are still putting out blooms…

…and the zinnias remain colorful and are a favorite with the bees.

The salvia has gotten its second wind and is adding some nice color to the beds. Here you see a jagged ambush bug on one of the blossoms. Have you ever seen a jagged ambush bug?

I hadn’t seen any until this year. Turns out they’re great for aphid control, but they also have a reputation for attacking other, more welcome garden visitors; namely, butterflies. I’m hoping the ambush bugs in my garden will be  more discriminating and leave the butterflies alone. There are certainly enough aphids to keep them busy.

And, speaking of butterflies…here’s an American Copper I spotted today while on a walk. Sadly, it was not in my garden. Rather, it was in a Main Street garden I admire very much and frequently pass.

If I ever meet the garden’s owner, I’m going to ask him or her what sort of daisy this is. It was loaded with bees and butterflies. It’s not the sort of Shasta Daisy I have, because bees largely ignore mine.

Also spotted on my walk…these late season roses:

Aren’t they lovely?

And, one other noteworthy spotting on today’s walk…this wild spiny cucumber vine:

Are they edible, you ask? Sadly, they are not. But they are a lot of fun to look at, and this is what one of them looks like “undressed”.

A bit like loofahs, aren’t they? Fascinating!

From the dining room table, hoping your autumn walks are yielding similar intriguing treasures,

Mrs. Smythe


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A Beautiful End to Summer

Posted by mrssmythe on September 21, 2018 in Chickens, Garden, Hiking, Out & About, Pollinators, Week in Review |

Time in the garden is extra sweet these days knowing that our first freeze is just around the corner. Many of the flowers are putting out a final show before the cold descends, the clematis among them. The pond lily is particularly pretty right now. And, though the zinnias are looking a little worn – […]

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Hike to Whale Rock

Posted by mrssmythe on September 13, 2018 in Hiking, Out & About |

We’re trying to do more hiking as a family this Fall. There are so many places to hike near us, and it’s always a treat to get out of doors and into the woods for a while. This past Saturday, we drove about fifteen minutes east to get to the Thayer Brook Conservation Area. As […]

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This Week’s Garden Visitors

Posted by mrssmythe on September 10, 2018 in Critters, Garden |

Here’s something I’ve never seen…a chicken’s egg laid in weather so hot, it became hard boiled. That gives you an idea of the extreme heat we’ve had this year. Not non-stop heat, thankfully, but enough to make me glad to see the return of cooler temperatures. The garden hasn’t seemed to mind the heat too […]

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Dinosaur State Park

Posted by mrssmythe on September 2, 2018 in Out & About |

CPT A has had the last two weeks off, and though we haven’t taken a traditional family vacation this year, we have spent time exploring spots in the local area that had somehow previously escaped our attention. One of those areas was Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill, Connecticut. That’s my hand in front of […]

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