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My Love of Gardening, and the Visitors it Attracts

From birds to turtles to all manner of bugs; I get plenty of visitors!

By Dawn MurphyPublished 10 months ago 4 min read
(One of the Swallowtail Caterpillars - Credit to Author)

I am an avid gardener. I have always been fascinated with the idea of growing the fruit and veggies I use in meals. I also just loved seeing the fruits of my labor, whether a gloriously juicy cantaloupe or a tall, beautiful flower!

In particular, I have a particular love for container gardening; it’s how I started the hobby in the first place. I had limited space but all the imagination and determination in the world, so I researched to my heart’s content and started getting supplies. Within that first year, I had a wonderful harvest! That introduction to my green thumb continued throughout the years and still continues today.

When we moved to Georgia, I had the grand idea to transition from container gardening to in-ground gardening… Which never yielded anything. Part of the problem was due to how late into the year, and subsequently the gardening season I actually started. There was a lot of chaos going around; unpacking boxes, finding supplies, situating rooms… And that was just the moving part. Setting up the actual garden area itself was another matter, but eventually, I got the ground tilled with the help of my father, sprinkled some compost and fertilizer into the mix, and planted some fall crops. Those crops continue to stay dormant, or outright dead, in the ground.

By this point, I have accepted that this is the world’s way of telling me that I am more suited to be a container gardener. More specifically, a raised-bed gardener! And that is what I have planned for this year and the future. Gathering the supplies and building the raised beds will be a chore and a half, but considering how fast I managed it the first time as a fresh, new, and completely clueless gardener, I think I’ll turn out fine~ I’m good at researching and compiling plans and lists, after all!

Now the joy of raising a beautiful plant from a tiny seed to a bustling beauty full of flower heads, veggies and fruit isn’t the only part of gardening I greatly enjoy. It’s around 95 percent of it, but the remaining 5 percent is the fact that I have gotten more visitors from gardening than I ever have doing anything else. Butterflies, dragonflies, anoles, birds—heck even turtles! Compared to how many of them I see while tending to my garden rather than when I go hiking, camping, swimming, and fishing with my family, it’s not really a contest. Honestly, it’s always a bit of a surprise to see who or what I might see every morning when I go out to water my garden and check on my plants. It’s a pleasant beginning to each day~

This particular day about a year or so ago was the first time I ever got caterpillars, though! There were four of them, and they grew quite fast. If I remember correctly, they were Swallowtail Caterpillars. The beautiful little things appeared on the celery I had growing that year, and thankfully only the celery. Considering I made a mistake with that plant and started it far too early into the year—leading it to harden and bolt when the optimal growing season finally hit—I wasn’t too upset. I was more than happy to leave the celery to my little gardener friends.

I’m a simple person who is easily entertained... I could have watched them all day if I had the time! I was fascinated by them honestly and checked up on them every day when I went out to check on my garden. Eventually, they became cocoons! It was incredible to watch, even though I missed the actual moment they pupated. One day they were caterpillars, the next morning they were little brown cocoons! They were quite chunky and gorged by that time, as expected. I’ve never seen this entire scenario unfold from start to finish before, so I was quite excited about it.

Unfortunately, I never got to see the end result. Before they were able to emerge, they all disappeared. I am sure they were spotted and snatched up by hungry birds. I don’t blame the birds; they need to eat after all. I was disappointed when I realized what happened to the caterpillars, though. I was looking forward to seeing the butterflies come out, but such is life. I’m hoping that I may have the opportunity again one day.

In the end, I was glad I got to see most of the process, and that I got this great picture of one to commemorate the whole scenario!

short storyNature

About the Creator

Dawn Murphy

Hey there!

I'm an animal and nature-loving artist who also loves to write! Here on Vocal, I write about animals, nature, and occasionally mental or physical health. Enjoy my personal experiences and lessons of life told through my weirdness~

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