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Perennials to Attract Butterflies

There are some early blooming summer perennials that are sure to attract butterflies. Lavender, for example, is a good one. I planted a bed of lavender around my roses and around the Echinacea, and it adds color and fragrance to the area.

Echinacea “White Swan”

Another good perennial to attract butterflies is Echinacea.
Echineacea is also called purple coneflower, but lest you think it’s just boring old purple, it comes in shades of magenta, red, white and yellow. All Echinaceas attract butterflies, and they also attract birds in the fall. They love to nibble on the seeds of the Echinacea.

Red Cardinal Flower

Two other good plants for hummingbirds and butterflies are red cardinal flower, which hummingbirds love, and achillea “Fire King”, a red yarrow that doesn’t mind heat, sun and drought.

Achillea “Fire King”

For more resources on choosing plants to attract wild birds, hummingbirds and butterflies, please see:

What a Weekend!
What a crazy weekend we had. The craziness started last week when our outdoor cat, Whitey, came down with a mystery illness. We honestly thought we were going to lose him, then he seemed to rebound. After one day of health, he fell ill again. This time, we kept him in all week, nursing him with tender loving care. I administered fluids with a syringe, we coaxed him with his favorite foods, let him sleep in bed with us, and generally spoiled him rotten. I’m so happy that our TLC paid off and he was able to leave the “feline hospital” and return to his brothers, where he’s been causing a ruckus, playing sumo wrestler with them, and harassing the crows. In other words, he’s entirely recovered and none of us could figure out what was actually wrong with him in the first place.

On Thursday afternoon, a thunderstorm ripped through the area, and while it wasn’t terribly bad near us, we lost our power around 3:30.  When it hadn’t returned by Friday, we knew something bad was up. It turns out that while things weren’t bad near us, about 20 miles away the storm had tumbled down trees like matchsticks. Neighbors reported that they had to drive on the side of the road to get home from work and get around all the downed power lines. We pretended we were “camping” and made hot dogs on the barbecue grill, cranked up the generator to keep the fridge and freezer running, and read a lot of books. We had a Scrabble tournament and I discovered I’m a darned good player; you can get a lot of mileage out of letters starting with Q, that’s for sure. By Saturday morning at 10, the power was back on. I was very grateful for a hot shower.

But of course, things never work out the way you plan. After we did the dishes, flushed the toilets and cleaned the bathrooms up, I decided to do all the laundry that had piled up. Bad idea. The water intake valves clogged, the machine refused to rinse the clothes, and a load of laundry that should have taken 40 minutes took three hours, making us late for our friend’s Pig Roast.  Nothing like having to pull a washing machine out from the wall and use tweezers to remove delicate filters, praying all the while that you won’t break them, because if you do, you’re left with a soggy load of blue jeans and no outdoor clothes line to dry them, and no easy method of rinsing them.

We had a blast at the Hertzler’s Pig Roast. They raised their own pigs, which is amazing to me. I’m scared of pigs ever since hearing how a local lady was mauled by her own pigs. A sow was overly aggressive protecting her babies and mauled the poor lady, leaving her with huge medical bills and disabilities. No, thank you. Well, I don’t have to care for the pigs! I indulge in a big salad…and ice cream afterwards, of course. Can’t forget the ice cream!

It was great seeing our friends, and by the time we got home, we were wiped out and tired. On Sunday, I received a lovely surprise, however. I had donated bags of cat toys, food and litter to the local SPCA’s shelter donation drive on Saturday. They had a raffle for door prizes and I won one of the prizes!  The ironic thing about it was that the prize turned out to be a basket of DOG treats. If Shadow could laugh, she would!

All in all, it was a great weekend, but definitely one of those weekends where you feel like you need a weekend to recover from your weekend. I did get to weed the vegetable garden, and the beets, onions and potatoes are coming along nicely. We do have some peppers and tomatoes forming; I’m excited by the little tomatoes. Maybe I will beat my dad’s record of having a tomato to pick before the 4th of July!

A few pictures from the weekend…

Shadow says, “Thank you Salty Paws for my dog biscuits! They were yummy!”
Genghis Khan peeking around the hallway.

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