First Days of Summer


Spot the monarch caterpillar on the far right, feasting on common milkweed. He wasn’t there this morning, so may have been nabbed by one of the four wren parents currently nesting in the yard. I live smack in the city, a few blocks from downtown South Bend, Indiana, on a standard city lot, with alley. I am always amazed at the wide diversity of wildlife on such a small piece of ground. No one in the neighborhood is much into lawn, so we don’t have a lot of pesticides or lawn chemicals drifting over. Lots of bugs for the wrens, flowers for birds, bees, butterflies and me. Oh, and cherries (Carmine Jewel, dwarf variety).

June has been a busy month with a family graduation, a retirement (Mike), and visits to and from family and friends. We have had wet, cool weather so I am wildly trying to stay on top of the weeds, pick the peas and lettuce and manage the Unity Garden I am garden leader for. My latest project there is a Monarch Waystation, a very cool habitat for butterflies. Yesterday I ventured south of town to Naturally Native Nursery to pick up some native plant species: what an interesting place, and just 6 miles from home.

My exhibit, In Her Domain, at Arrowmont closes next weekend. A special thanks to Angela Caldwell, my fellow exhibitor and to Kelsey Dillow, the coordinator for the exhibit at Arrowmont, for all the energy and collaboration on this exhibit. You can read an interview Kelsey did with the two of us at this link:

I’m between projects at the moment, plan to do some rust dying this week and finish a collaborative tile for a local museum project. I did a one-hour quick visit to Vogue Fabrics in Evanston IL while we were there for the graduation. I am still reeling from the scope of this place, but managed to buy a nice stack of fabrics despite being totally overwhelmed.

I read a great book and highly recommend it: The Overstory, by Richard Powers. Put it on your list!