15. October 2011 · 1 comment · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , ,

I took these pictures while on a run on Wednesday morning.  I need to learn more about some of these flowers, but these are around a stop sign on a nearby street corner.

I took these with my iPhone camera, and several of the pictures were zoomed in and didn’t turn out so well.


Morning glories climbing up the stop sign…the first ones I’d seen all season.  I’m sure they’re around, I hadn’t paid attention, though.

Not sure what these are, if anyone has any ideas, please feel free to comment.

A gulf fritillary butterfly.  They’re everywhere around here right now…so pretty.

07. June 2011 · Comments Off on Black Swallowtail Butterflies! · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: ,

On May 30th I saw a black swallowtail butterfly flitting around my herb garden.  A familiar sight, we’d seen many of them when we lived on the east coast of Florida, North Carolina, Nebraska and now again we’re greeted.

I knew what she was doing — laying eggs!  The next day I scoured the herbs for evidence of eggs, but I couldn’t find any.  Apparently I wasn’t looking hard enough.

Today, 7 days later, my dill and parsley are covered in the telltale bird-poop-looking caterpillars!  I counted at least 8 of them out there chowing down.  I don’t think they’ll last very long…I saw some caterpillars a few weeks ago and I’m guessing bluebirds got to them.  While they start out looking like bird poop to deceive predators, but at a certain point they molt out of the poop-skin and end up with more bold stripes.  This is usually when a bird or larger bug will swoop down and get them.

13. August 2009 · Comments Off on Some Summer Color to Enjoy! · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , ,

First I thought I’d share some of our new friends in the garden.

From 2009 08 11 BlackSwallowtailCaterpillars
From 2009 08 11 BlackSwallowtailCaterpillars
From 2009 08 11 BlackSwallowtailCaterpillars

Go ahead…say it….

[Blog reader gets up from computer and does a heebie-jeebie dance] “EEEEEWWWWWW!!!!! Stop! Make it go awayyyyyyyyyy!”

For my friends from Florida, not sure how many of you gals realized that I had quite the butterfly garden going in my backyard.

I had planted dill in my herb garden here, not for caterpillar food, but for people food. Dave and I enjoy lemon-dill seasoned fish throughout the summer (although I haven’t made it quite yet this summer). And now that the caterpillars have attacked my dill, not sure whether we’re going to have much dill left by the end of the week.

These are black swallowtail caterpillars, and I currently have about 20 of them, in various stages of their lives, munching away at my carrot tops, parsley and dill. I don’t mind…butterflies are a good thing, and you have to start with very hungry caterpillars to get more butterflies.

The boys are fascinated by this, and every day they’ve been checking on their progress. It’ll be interesting to see if the caterpillars form their chrysalises nearby. I propped some sticks up at the base of the dill/parsley/carrot plants.

And now for something completely different. I thought you might enjoy this slideshow of my summer flowers. I’ve never had prettier flowers, but I have to admit things are getting a bit sloppy in the front yard. I ought to trim things back, but the goldfinches are having a blast with those sunflowers and I’d have to cut it all down before they’ve eaten their fill. Enjoy!

22. January 2008 · 1 comment · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: ,

In this cold weather, I was thinking fondly about the butterfly garden I had planted in my backyard in Florida. I planted most of the stuff in July 2003, after my summer veggie crop croaked from either baking to death in the hot FL sun or rotting to death from torrential FL rains.

But these plants flourished all winter long and by spring 2004, we had several species visiting us. I’d run outside with my HP Photosmart and go snap-happy. This was a great camera for outdoor 16x zoom.

One of my neighbors, who was homeschooling her kids, brought her 9-year-old son over to observe the life cycles in fall 2004. A great science lesson! I wish Jacob was a little older so he could appreciate them more — he enjoyed naming several of the caterpillars after his Thomas and Friends engines!

From 2003 10 13 Bu…

This is a white peacock butterfly on a butterfly bush.

From 2003 10 13 Bu…

Gulf Fritillary on a pink lantana.

From 2003 10 13 Bu…

Monarch on a milkweed.

From 2003 10 13 Bu…

Black Swallowtail caterpillar on a dill plant.

From 2003 10 13 Bu…

Black Swallowtail on parsley.

From 2003 10 13 Bu…

Very young black swallowtail larva on flatleaf parsley. Darwin at work — it looks like bird poop, doesn’t it?

From 2003 10 13 Bu…

Monarch caterpillar on a milkweed. Darwin at work again: the larva’s mouth is on the right side in this picture, but the long antennae-looking appendages on the left are meant to trick predators.

From 2003 10 13 Bu…

Gulf fritillary caterpillar feasting on my purple passion vine.

From 2003 10 13 Bu…

This is the entire passion vine plant that the Gulf Fritillary caterpillars were eating. I think this was taken on December 14, 2004…the sun would only directly hit the right side of the vines, so that’s where the caterpillars would congregate. Consequently, the right side of the plant looks less lush than the right — it got devoured on the right side!

From 2003 10 13 Bu…

By the way, this is the same plant from October 13, 2003. It was about a foot tall when planted in July 2003.