Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Seeing Red

We have had the joy of watching a family of cardinals grow this summer. We first noticed the radiant, blazing papa, all red and loud and making his presence known. We named him Kardinal Offishall. Then a more demure female starting visiting our bird feeder, getting ready. Then for a couple of months they took turns visiting the feeder and sitting atop our fence singing their trademark cardinal song. About a week ago we noticed their offspring follow mama as she dive-bombed across the street. From her perch on a high maple, she took off, soaring down towards our hedge. Then, one by one, her babies followed after, calling back and forth to those who needed encouragement. It was a sight worth seeing, and incredibly rewarding.

Also rewarding are the months worth of planting, watering, fertilizing and tending to our first tomato plants. Our giant Italian heirlooms I think needed more soil than our humble containers could provide. They are edible, but have end rot and the plants keep tipping over under their own weight. Their neighbouring zebra heirlooms, however, are faring much better. I think next year we'll plan to use raised beds along the fence, where the sun is best.

Then, last night after I brought the compost and recycling to the curb, a flash of red caught my eye. Down low, at the edge of my periphery, sat a fuzzy little caterpillar, snuggling in for a night's rest. I don't know much about caterpillar identification, but I hope his present, boastful colours indicate he will transform into a proud, colourful butterfly soon. Anyone know?

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