Having a yard and a vegetable garden is a lot of work! The vegetable garden is doing all right. The garlic we put in there is growing even though it's apparently the wrong season to plant them. Most of the plants are doing well. Almost all of our peppers are doing well and a few are starting to look like proper pepper plants with flowers and everything.
The hot peppers that are in the greenhouse have aphids again. We had red aphids before and now they're green aphids - the same aphids that are on one of the fruit trees. It flowered in the spring but there's no fruit growing on that tree so we have no idea what kind of fruit grows there. Right now it's growing aphids.
The other tree that hosted the ant's aphid farms has the brown aphids again. Fortunately, the ladybugs (or lady beetles, as some call them here) have shown up and they are having some fine aphid meals. These brown aphids make the leaves curl into spirals when they're eating but now when I check those spirals more often than not there's at least one ladybug in each curled up leaf. The ants seem to be leaving the tree alone now.
This morning while I was making my breakfast I noticed that the lawn I can see from the kitchen (on the one side of the waterfall) was filled with grackles. Ok, maybe not exactly "filled" but there were 10 of them all over the lawn digging things out. One got a worm and took it somewhere else to eat it but I'm wondering what brought all those grackles into the yard. The lawn did just go to seed (it didn't get mowed in time) but I also know that we have grubs under our lawn and I'm wondering if the grackles were eating those. I checked the lawn and it didn't seem to pull out too easily but I'll have to keep an eye on it.
I've also started weeding which is less fun than it sounds. We have two piles of dirt in different places in our yard and they're covered in weeds. Yesterday I pulled out one of those tall thorny thistles (we called them prickles when I was growing up because no matter where you touched them they'd prick you with their thorns) as well as a few other thistles. Honestly, I don't even know what all the weeds are or whether some of them even are weeds. There's some crazy groundcover plant thing growing under the trees on each side of the yard and I can't figure out if they're a weed or supposed to be there.
I love being able to watch the birds and wildlife in the backyard and to see the plants growing and changing. It's soothing to watch nature in action.