Greg and I spent the month of June in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida, on "Baby Watch." Connor finally decided to join us about 10 days ago, arriving safely but with a whole lot of uproar. Greg and I stuck around Florida for a week or so, getting him and his parents snuggled in a bit, then we hightailed it back here to Clearwater for a bittersweet fortnight to be spent doing a final cleanup and clearout here, culminating in a total packup and moveout.
Because of Baby Watch, we've literally been gone for over a month. We've had a great couple mowing our lawn for us, once a week, but otherwise the yard has been on its own during that time. No weeding (during all of April and May, too, to be honest), no watering, no transplanting, no nothing. So I had no idea what I was going to find when we got back, especially as wet as the weather was for much of May.
The front flower garden is full, but not very floriferous, a common problem for this bed at this time of year. The rain has made everything very tall this summer, which is a little overwhelming. The daylilies bloomed while we were gone, as did the butterfly milkweed. The lanceleaf coreopsis and the pink evening primrose were just beginning when we left; they are completely done now, but the Echinacea is still blooming nicely.
The back courtyard was where I started a bit of work this morning, weeding away with a will until I accidentally backed into a healthy poison ivy plant I hadn't noticed. I tried to go on, but it was hard to concentrate while worrying about how much oil I had on my bare legs, so I gave up and went in to take a shower. Nine hours later, I can report that the shower, with large amounts of soap vigorously applied, did the trick - no itchy rashes anywhere, at least not yet.
So there's lots of work to do this week. On the plus side, the weather is supposed to be reasonable, with one or two days in the 70s. On the negative side, I managed to put out my back very thoroughly yesterday afternoon. On the plus side, as long as I sit in straight chairs or directly on the ground and move slowly and carefully, I can get some work done. On the negative side, our air conditioner wasn't working correctly when we got home. On the positive side, we broke down and called Bob Stith Heating and Plumbing and they came to fix it today, despite the holiday. Cool temperatures in the house is a BIG positive!
I'll leave you with several more positives from our walkabout yesterday....
First, a tiger swallowtail nectaring at the wavy-leaf thistle (Cirsium undulatum) in the lagoon. (Yes, the lagoon needs to be mowed, but we won't think about that right now.)