Interesting finds

Just a quick post to show you some cool things I've found in the garden and woods lately.

Our watermelon plants are coming up. The variety I planted is called 'Moon and Stars.' I expected to see this pattern on the fruit, but isn't it neat that it's also on the leaves?

I noticed this 'bouquet' of Lysurus mokusin (or Lantern stinkhorns) coming up by the train shed. Click the link for other fun pictures of stinkhorns. The more I learn about these fungi, the more I'm intrigued. This particular kind comes up quite frequently in my garden, on the wood chips.

I found this beautiful caterpillar this morning, not ON the carrots, but near them in another plant (apparently it likes carrots and carrot-like food and blossoms). It's a papilio polyxenes, or Black Swallowtail. I'll be curious to see if it sticks around and pupates.

And finally, while walking with the dog this morning, I found several kinds of ripe plums on wild plum trees. I usually bring home some to eat, but I was feeling generous and gave them to the chickens, who adore any fruit (I've been giving them all the fallen peaches and apples from my trees, and they eat it all up, including the pits). Since I'm a little short on greens in the garden at the moment (although it's nearly time to rip up the peas), I'm feeding the chickens whatever I can find. They do get regular chicken food (grains), but I really prefer to heavily supplement their diet with plant forage. This way, the eggs will have superior nutrition. And, it can only help keep the chickens healthy. Besides, in the wild, they would eat all this stuff.

Tom and I are gearing up for the Urban Farm Tour, which is coming up in two days. I have an insider tip about discount tickets - so if you're on the fence, and need an incentive, leave a comment here and I'll give you the scoop. Meanwhile, regular readers can look for a post about it Saturday night, with pictures! We're extremely excited about having a lot of folks over to look at the garden!