I cannot guarantee that the first half of this post will make any sense to those of you readers outside the New England area. I am also going to suggest (mild spoiler) not reading this half during breakfast. But I think we can all agree that Paramount dropped the ball when they chose not to release the Captain America movie on Independence Day weekend, even though it doesn't seem to be hurting the film much.
Fortunately, their unusual promotional partner, Dunkin Donuts, did no such thing, releasing their tie-in specials just in time for July fourth. Now, I've recently been weaning myself off coffee and it's partially because my local Dunkie's has done something wimpy to their brews (in my day, we didn't need flavor shots!) I'd had my Obligatory Coffee Coolatta back at Comicon and would have been done for the summer season... until this ad, starring a dog with a punny name who wants to kill all humans, started running:
As you may know, if there's anything I can't pass up, it's campy patriotism. So I was pretty determined to get my hands on a Dunkin Donuts cup with Captain America's shield on it. But something far more spectacular awaited me inside.
A TRIPLE red white and blue Coolatta.
Now, it wasn't until I had the drink in front of me that I realized it isn't a physics-defying triple-blend of some kind. The three flavors (raspberry, vanilla, cherry) are each separated in their own little compartments. (In hindsight I have no idea how I thought the alternative was supposed to work.) The taste is basically straight-up sugar with some recognizable flavor and loads and loads of food coloring. Same goes for the matching donuts.
Which is to say, shortly after I hit the bottom of this thing, I may have thrown lots of red dye and patriotism up into the lake. That'd be a sincere thumbs-down on the triple-Coolatta then. At least the cup is cool.
So what of the Gardens? Well, we've got Daylilies galore!
I apologize for the blurry picture, but I've been seeing the Oriole and his lady-friend quite often lately.
I also saw a Kingbird sizing me up on a distant lamp-post.
And a Hairy Woodpecker tackling a too-small feeder.
Speaking of birds, I met a couple of cuties at a garden center:
These two fledglings were flopping around one of the center's greenhouses and being cute but cacophonic. I never got a good look at their parents, so if anyone has any idea what species they are, let me know in the comments (best guess is some kind of Icterid). Here's a better look:
And this might be my favorite photograph of a bird I've ever taken. It's a reminder of just how light they really are!
I also saw a bunch of different pollinators in this grove of coneflowers.
Here are some close-ups. Thank goodness I just figured out the Macro feature on my camera. I can see lots of Bumblebees, a Skipper, and a Painted Lady (I think? Little orange spotty butterflies can get confusing.)
A Sphinx Moth fluttering among the annuals. And strongly converging on hummingbirds, like you do when you are a Sphinx Moth. (As much as I hope her babies stay away from my tomatoes, I may have to consider this a "you take the good, you take the bad" aspect of organic gardening. I can begrudge a "hornworm" some tomato leaves as long as it pollinates as an adult.)
Over in the Victory Garden, we've got flowers everywhere! These are on the summer squash.
The peas are also in flower and they've grown quite tall. I think I spot a pod or two in there!
The tomatoes aren't ready yet, but those squash are gorgeous! And as for our greens...
That whole recycled strawberry tub is full of greens (and yellows, oranges, reds, ect.) from our garden. Yes, I finally get to do this:
I just realized that this kind of thing is only okay to brag about because they are plants.
Sketch of the Day!
I should do more of these...
Next week, oh-ho-ho, I have quite the book to review. Until then, enjoy this wonderful essay on the legacy of Harry Potter and this very funny Rifftrax montage: