If You Plant It, They Will Come

I mentioned on a previous post, that I was trying to grow the correct Passion Flower to attract the Gulf Fritillary Butterfly.  I finally got it right.  Several have arrived.

The Butterflies got to work and laid eggs which have already hatched into a new generation.

Even more exciting, I found five Pipe-vine Swallow Tail caterpillars on my Aristolochia fimbriata.

The nurseryman was correct with his advice that the butterflies would come.  The plant is nearly gone, but that was the plan.  I collected some of the seeds for next year’s plants and butterflies.


Bees, Butterflies and Hummingbirds

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Our record breaking Christmas heatwave has encouraged flora and fauna to emerge from their winter rests.  The bees are finishing off a feeder a day.

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Butterflies are feasting on the last of the summer flowers.

Caterpillar eggs are hatching and thankfully the Passion Flower has replenished its leaves for the babies.

Azaleas that are supposed to bloom in March are beginning to open.  A Gardenia has also popped out.

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The Buff-bellied hummingbird is still hanging out in the yard, but is now also using the feeder as the flowers dwindle.  The weather forecast is showing temperatures dropping down to our normal “warm” winter weather with no freezes for awhile.

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My post Christmas plans are to clean out some beds and plant winter annuals while the weather is nice.


Operation: Save the Monarch Caterpillars

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Surprised again by finding Monarch Caterpillars on the Butterfly Weed.

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A female must have passed by and left her eggs.

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There is going to be a cold snap here, not as bad as up north, but none the less cold for the Gulf Coast with temperatures dropping to the 20’s.  I dug up some young Butterfly Weed plants and collected the Caterpillars still hanging on some large leaves.  They rolled up and dropped after being moved.

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Soon the young Caterpillars recovered and climbed up the plants.  They should only have to spend a day or two inside.


Left Behind

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The two Monarch Butterflies that had been fluttering around the garden left a little something behind before they headed south.  This poor baby may not be able to complete its journey, although it made it through the freezing temperatures.  We will keep our fingers crossed for the little caterpillar.


A Caterpillar

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This is the larva of a Black Swallowtail Butterfly.

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The larvae were found on a Bishop’s Flower.

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This one is munching on the flowers after eating most of the leaves.

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The larvae prefer to eat members of the parsley family and are sometimes called “parsley-worms”.

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The top of the chrysalis is anchored  by two silken threads.  Truly amazing.