After Saturday's stellar finish to big D's T-Ball season, in which Daddies pitched, trophies were awarded, and parents spent way too long gabbing at the end of the game for the players' liking, our family went out to have lunch at a favorite restaurant. It was one of those "life is good" mornings...
While jogging lightly across the street, my husband nearly collapsed. He managed to drag himself to the sidewalk, clearly in serious pain, with what turned out to be a Grade 3 hamstring strain that put him on crutches. We had to head home immediately and pack it in ice. I called the doctor and looked up information to find out how best to care for him. [My utmost thanks go to the Gulick Family for opening their medical supply shop Saturday afternoon so that I could get him some crutches!] As I said to him at the time (and strangely, he didn't seem to appreciate it) -- we're not 18 anymore.
And my lesson learned for the weekend was taught by a little plant we know and love -- poison ivy. Yet another reminder to use gardening gloves when working in the wildflower garden! (pauses to scratch arm, neck, and back)
The slow-down forced upon us by my husband's injury allowed us to notice an unusual array of wild creatures that visited our place this weekend.
Primo found this cool Striped Hawk Moth on our front porch Saturday evening when we were coming in from a lightning bug catching expedition. It was HUGE -- about the size of his palm. Fortunately for us, it was content to sit still for photos. (If it had moved unexpectedly while I was behind the camera, my son would have been treated to seeing his mother have a heebie-jeebie freakout right there in front of him.) Thank goodness we were spared that performance!
We also had the treat of an equally compliant Eastern Tiger Swallowtail feeding at our butterfly bush on Sunday morning. It is one of my favorite summer butterflies.
Out back in the (poison ivy filled, apparently) wildflower garden, the prairie coreopsis has gone to seed, drawing two pair of goldfinches. When they first arrived, it was difficult to get close to them, but as the weekend wore on, they would let us approach slowly. It was still not close enough for a picture, but at least I could hold the children, one at a time, and let them watch.
And our final visitor, a clearwing hummingbird moth, came to our hot pink petunias out front on Sunday afternoon. We were all out on the front porch patiently watching a summer storm come in, and here came this moth the perfect size, shape, and coloring to mimic a ruby-throated hummingbird. It's wings even blurred when it flew (because they were mostly transparent). The difference was, instead of hovering in midair, it landed inside the blossom to drink. We watched it for a while, just because it was so interesting. Since it seemed content to stay, I thought I would try to snap a picture. But by the time I ran in to get the camera, torrents of rain had arrived and the moth had wisely taken cover.
We sat and enjoyed the storm. My husband and both boys sat on the ledge at the front of the porch, letting their legs dangle out to be drenched by sheets of rain. I was content to sit on our porch swing, getting misted by the wind-driven spray. What had begun as a steamy, uncomfortable Sunday transformed to cool comfort.
In retrospect, it's not so bad that our weekend slowed down from its usual frenetic pace. We lapsed into a much slower, more comfortable rhythm. It was probably the first time in a month that my husband wasn't working at the office or on some project at home. And, uncomfortable itching aside, I was able to sit back and enjoy the amazing variety of creatures who have found nourishment in our garden.
Scratch ... Scratch scratch... Scratch...