Anya's an avid bug collector (catch-and-release, mostly), so she availed herself of the sweep net during her visit last weekend. She even rescued a grasshopper from the swimming pool.
Her mom and little brother look on.
Tristan wanted a turn, too.
Checking out the captive.
She caught several kinds of grasshoppers, identifying each one with the help of our insect field guide. Kids really are natural scientists.
We also happened to trap a raccoon, which delighted the kids. Even their mom went along for its release in an undisclosed location. Unfortunately, our trap got a workout this summer: seven groundhogs, two raccoons, and a possum. The raccoons destroyed our corn, and as usual, the groundhogs got our broccoli.
The burgundy amaranth we grew this year drew lots of comments from guests. It's an ancient grain, high in protein. We probably didn't grow enough of it to use as grain, but it is certainly a gorgeous plant.
In front of the amaranth are the zinnias. Lots of people grow zinnias in their garden, we've noticed. Jim's mother often grew them, and last year he insisted on planting some. I've gotten to like them myself. Supposedly the blooms attract pollinators to the garden. In any case, they're beautiful cutting flowers.