Let it Grow: Mother Nature provides free entertainment

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 27, 2006

There are so many things that folks don&8217;t pay attention to when they are outdoors.

Mother Nature provides us with so much free entertainment and when we notice it, we enjoy it.

Have you ever watched butterfly caterpillars devour the leaves of parsley or the fronds on fennel? Every year I plant these two herbs because I enjoy watching the caterpillars turn into butterflies.

The other day, while walking through my garden, I spotted two American Anoles mating. I thought, &8220;Well, you don&8217;t get to see that everyday.&8221;

These little lizards, sometimes mistakenly called chameleons, change colors from a bluish green to brown to dark charcoal. When they get angry and are ready to run off another anole from their territory, they&8217;ll have a dark charcoal blotch appear on their jaw area. Anoles are basically good-natured creatures that eat a lot of insects.

This year there has been a baby boom in my neighborhood. Lots and lots of chipmunks are entertaining to watch, however they are extremely destructive to your garden.

Personally, I don&8217;t want these little creatures poisoned. You could trap them and release them elsewhere, but that would be passing the problem along to someone else. I know a better solution.

I have the neighborhood kids bring me medium to large non-poisonous snakes and I pay the kids for them. I then release them in my back yard to help control the rodents.

Mother Nature surprised me again a few days ago. I was relaxing on the deck, watching the birds come to the feeders and bird baths, when a large hawk that I had not noticed swooped down from a near by tree limb and grabbed one of those little chipmunks in his talons.

All of the finches and songbirds scattered and I believe I heard that hawk say as he flew away, &8220;lunch.&8221;

Who needs to spend $20 at the movie theater when there&8217;s plenty of free entertainment in your own garden?

I was just told by a friend that movies have gone up in price since the last time I went.

Thanks, Mother Nature.

For more on these and other gardening tips listen to Home Grown Tomatoes Saturday mornings from 6-8 on 101.1 FM, The Source and log on to http://HGTradio.net