Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Surprises In The Garden

One day, as I peeked outside, I noticed tiny wings on one of the flowers growing under my kitchen window. I was pleased to discover that they belonged to a monarch butterfly, one of the most beautiful and graceful visitors to any backyard. It’s not very often I get a glimpse of this adorable critter, so I scrambled for my camera, snapped a few shots through the window, and hoped for the best. Thankfully, some of the pictures didn’t turn out too badly. And thankfully, the camera didn’t capture how dirty my windows really are...

This lovely butterfly started feasting on the Eupatorium ‘phantom’.

And then moved onto Agastache ‘Blue Fortune’, a favourite feeding post for bees, butterflies, and an assortment of other winged creatures.

So, that was one surprise in the garden.

The other surprise was a little beyond my garden, which is a good thing because I don’t think a hot air balloon in one of the flower beds would blend well with the coneflowers.

Apparently, RE/MAX (a real estate organization), was giving free (tethered) hot air balloon rides to the neighbourhood folks. The balloon was located very close to my home, thus the photos.

I didn’t head over to the action and go for a ride (now I regret it), but my daughter and a friend of hers did. They said it was awesome. I bet it was.


  1. Wow, those are some truly amazing sights, Martha, though the monarch is certainly the most beautiful. We have RE/MAX here in the U.S., too, but I've never seen one of those hot-air ballons in person. Pretty cool that they gave free rides!

    By the way, it was really nice to see the picture of your garden as a whole---it's so pretty! I was wondering, what are those bright red flowers? They almost look like coneflowers, but I've never heard of bright red ones.

  2. It's always a delightful pleasure to catch sight of a monarch butterfly. Or a hot air balloon, for that matter. Both are rare enough that sightings are always special!

  3. Aww, he/she stayed so still for you! Gorgeous creature.

    That hot air balloon looks CLOSE! I've been up and down in one, it was pretty cool. I'd like to go on an actual flight one day.

  4. @Beth: Oh, I didn't know RE/MAX was also in the US. I adjusted my post; thanks for mentioning it!

    I will add photos of my garden as a whole at some point. There's still a lot of work to do, but it's coming along. Considering we started from scratch, we've come a long way.

    By the way, that IS a coneflower. Yup, a red one. It's called 'Hot Papaya'. I ran across it last year and just couldn't resist!

    @Debra: I adore monarch butterflies. They are so graceful. As for the hot air balloon, that was a definite first!

    @LaelShine: I regret not walking over to go for a mini ride like my daughter did. Oh, well...maybe they'll do this again at some point. Although, probably not...