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Hummingbird and Butterfly Gardening: Daily Pictures #94

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

March 31, 2012
8:53 AM

Post #9064253

We came from here: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1231839/

Read on to find out about my wonderful day. Here's an Orange-Barred Sulphur cat - one of many I found on my Senna ligustrina.

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

March 31, 2012
9:03 AM

Post #9064260

I went to the Native Plant Society sale in the county just north of me (I live about two miles below the county line). I usually go south because I'm on the north side of Tampa, but today convinced me to branch out in other directions. First, there was the native plant sale. I picked up some Carolina petunias which I've been wanting for a while, and I finally gave in and got a necklace pod after seeing the great hummingbird pics on the forum. Many of the plants I already had so that made me feel pretty good.

On the way there we drove by a couple of nurseries and I wanted to stop at one on the way back. They had lots of flowers I could see from the road. Once we got there, I found they had the Sweetbay Magnolia tree I've been wanting for a while now. Plus, these were 7-8 feel tall so they're decent-sized trees. This tree is the host for the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail although they have been known to use Black Cherry in my yard, as well. I also picked up a Sweet Almond Bush. We had one of these at the museum where I used to volunteer and it attracts lots of butterflies. It also smells wonderful!

But the best news is that while we were waiting for the guy to get a dolly to lift the tree, I was staring at the regular magnolias (Magnolia grandiflora) when I saw a butterfly racing around. I thought it was a skipper but it turned out to be a Great Purple Hairstreak - which I have never seen until today!!!! I was so excited to be able to cross another butterfly off my list. I didn't get the best pictures due to the lighting, but cjeck it out anyway!

Melanie

This message was edited Mar 31, 2012 11:05 AM

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BCH521
Homeworth, OH
(Zone 5b)

March 31, 2012
10:40 AM

Post #9064334

Contests on your liter, and thanks for the new thread. My fingers were getting worn out thinning to the bottom!

AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

March 31, 2012
12:50 PM

Post #9064424

way to go, all around Mellie. Know you've been talking about that tree. And the hairstreak to boot! :D

Someone sent me an almond bush seedling/start last year as an "extra" in a trade, and I am very excited! It's only a couple of inches high, but it looks like a great addition to any butterfly garden.

Have a great weekend all - I am going to post a picture for ID of a very odd cocoon I found outside on my weather station today...

A.
BCH521
Homeworth, OH
(Zone 5b)

March 31, 2012
1:29 PM

Post #9064464

BCH521 wrote:Contests on your liter, and thanks for the new thread. My fingers were getting worn out thinning to the bottom!


Guess I should check my spelling beforei hit send

nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

March 31, 2012
4:47 PM

Post #9064723

Whew...Thanks Melanie for the new thread! lol

AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 1, 2012
2:08 AM

Post #9065120

Had a hard time believing that Court's fancy i-phone couldn't get a decent picture of this critter at close range.

Will have to get some batteries for my own fancy camera so I can take a macro. Can someone ID this from this blur?

It's actually a shiny casing. There's some kind of half circle 'tab' on the abdomen. The cat's 'feet' are actually visible where it is attached to my weather station.

I thought when I saw it that it was a giant bird turd. :D

A.

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lepfarmer
Red Oak, TX

April 1, 2012
5:26 AM

Post #9065183

Amanda:

Either a Viceroy or a Red Spotted Purple pupa.

Dale Clark
Dallas County Lepidopterists' Society
http://www.dallasbutterflies.com

AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 1, 2012
6:52 AM

Post #9065256

Dale - you're good.

I looked at pictures of each and it's a red spotted purple for sure.

Might bring it in for safe keeping? :D

oxo.
A.

now I have to go learn more about them -like where did the cat come from - was it hanging out somewhere overwinter?

This message was edited Apr 1, 2012 8:54 AM

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 1, 2012
12:21 PM

Post #9065628

Ooh...I love Red Spotted Purples. I get them occasionally on my cherry tree. I would definitely bring it in and watch it eclose.

Melanie

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

April 1, 2012
12:55 PM

Post #9065669

Thank you Melanie for the new thread for the new year. Amanda, neat find, thanks Dale for the identification of the cat. Melanie, you're a wealth of information for fellow butterfly enthusiasts. Thank you for being you.

Yesterday I went on a wilderness hike with DH and friends. I was so fortunate to have found so many buterflies out there in the wild. I was delighted. Here are a few of them.

#1; Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Buckeyes.

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

April 1, 2012
2:15 PM

Post #9065751

#2 Zebra Swallowtails and Eastern Swallowtails puddling;

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 1, 2012
4:09 PM

Post #9065838

Aww shucks...thanks! I just try to spread the butterfly love where I can.

Love the puddling picture! I so rarely see them doing that in my area. Of course, our soil is just beach sand mostly, so I don't know how much salt content they would get out of it.

Melanie
jmorth
Divernon, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 1, 2012
9:34 PM

Post #9066234

Super swallowtail puddling pic; I've only seen Sulphurs doing it.

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

April 2, 2012
5:23 AM

Post #9066421

Ditto on the puddling. I've seen a bunch of them, some brushfoots, etc, but never a swallowtail. I think it might be another really good year for Red Admirals, like two years ago. I saw a group of three "dog fighting" at tree tops yesterday.

I've got to get some Brew going!!!!

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 2, 2012
5:54 AM

Post #9066456

I have to add my own puddling picture of Tiger Swallowtails and one Spicebush ST. I took this while on vacation in WV last year. I was surprised to see them puddling like this, too!

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AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 2, 2012
5:55 AM

Post #9066461

You already know I'm silly so I can tell you when I see a spider or ant in the house I put a drop of water in front of it and it always stops to drink. :D

What's the best way to set up a puddling station for the butterflies in the garden?

AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 2, 2012
5:56 AM

Post #9066464

Cross post - another awesome picture of puddling pretties!

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 2, 2012
9:56 AM

Post #9066860

Dad was planting the new plants today while I supervised. I saw something flying around my Black Cherry (Prunus serotina) tree. I looked up and there was a Red-Spotted Purple laying eggs at the very top of the tree. I was a little bummed that I couldn't get to the eggs but happy to know the RSPs are still using my tree. I so rarely see them since they prefer rotting fruit and sap over flowers. Other than that, I saw the usual Gulf Frit, the Monarch, Cloudless Sulphur, and one of the Duskywings that would not stay still for a moment!

Melanie

AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 2, 2012
5:35 PM

Post #9067436

It's encouraging to hear everyone having lots of sightings.

For me, we released the 4th BST today. Otherwise no sightings of winged creatures.

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 3, 2012
12:23 PM

Post #9068329

I was out watering the new plants and saw two Cloudless Sulphurs really fighting over the porterweed!

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 3, 2012
12:24 PM

Post #9068331

Also, two of the three Monarchs we released today.

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 3, 2012
12:26 PM

Post #9068333

And finally, an old Gulf Frit was hanging out on the strawflower.

Melanie

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nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

April 3, 2012
12:28 PM

Post #9068336

Saw my first Red Admiral for 2012 this morning!

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

April 3, 2012
1:26 PM

Post #9068395

yay Nanny.

Amanda, I tried one year to put in a puddling station with no results. I had mixed in soil with some road salt and gatorade, etc. I also have a pond so had hoped to see some there. Nothing really. Though the red admirals land on the stones at dusk to warm up. And the cabbage whites lay eggs on the watercress. I think I"ll put an area of sand in the end of that pond or something.

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6a)

April 4, 2012
12:18 PM

Post #9069755

There are red admirals everywhere in my backyard,I've ben seeing them for two weeks or so .There are a few others of the cabbage moth species,I dont' seem to remember right now what the species name is,the male and female are white and yellow.

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 6, 2012
12:48 PM

Post #9072073

Happy Birthday AmandaEsq!

Melanie

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6a)

April 6, 2012
2:22 PM

Post #9072209

A couple of RED ADMIRALS

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TexasPuddyPrint

TexasPuddyPrint
Edinburg, TX

April 6, 2012
6:46 PM

Post #9072533

Great puddling photos! It is always awesome to see those big ones puddling. We get the small blues and sulphurs most of the time but they are not as breathtaking as the big swallowtails and such!

We've been hit with gobs and gobs and gobs of lysides, checkered whites and red admirals!!! I see the front grills of vehicles literally covered with them :o(

Of course the guayacan, pepper weed and stinging nettle and pellitory are growing rampant everywhere so that explains the butterfly explosion :o)

Work has been crazy for me...working long hours with no time to get outside and take photos. Glad I can look forward to the weekend...hopefully won't get any call-outs!!!!

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 7, 2012
10:58 AM

Post #9073127

My house is covered in Monarchs! Mom released 10 yesterday and 6 today and I think they're all swarming my yard. I just went out to water the new plants and there are Monarchs just everywhere. It's kind of neat. I bet my neighbors think I'm some kind of butterfly magnet...or butterfly magnate, LOL! Here's one of many that was attracted to the porterweed.

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 7, 2012
11:01 AM

Post #9073131

And I saw my first Phaeon Crescent of the year. I had wondered where these guys had been hiding. I usually see bunches of them in my neighbors' yard because two of them have more frogfruit (their host plant) than grass. Hooray for my neighbors' lawn deficiency! Although, I have Fiery Skippers due to my St. Augustine grass so I suppose some grasses are needed. Anyway, enjoy the picture!

Melanie

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juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6a)

April 7, 2012
11:25 AM

Post #9073161

And, ENJOY ING PHOTOS WE ARE!!!, Thanks bunches,three or four years ago I had 52 different visiting.I wish I had a camera with a zoom, It's coning for the future.

And again, thank you for the pics

yakmon

yakmon
Portland, TX
(Zone 9b)

April 7, 2012
11:27 AM

Post #9073165

Nice Pics Melanie.

The Frits are coming! They finally found my passiflora. It is amazing how fast they can eat a plant.

Russell

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 8, 2012
10:40 AM

Post #9074195

I saw a Painted Lady while releasing a Monarch but of course by the time I got my camera she was gone. I did manage to catch a couple of pictures though. A Cloudless Sulphur was enjoying my "Black and Blue" Salvia and the Duskywings (probably Horace's Duskywings) were enjoying the Spanish needles.

Melanie

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 8, 2012
11:10 AM

Post #9074215

Painted Lady came back!

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AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 9, 2012
6:00 PM

Post #9076237

greets all and thanks for the bday wishes. cmputr kybrd broken and using it "on-screen." Ha!

mellie i envy you as butterfly magnate!

already sounds like a better year for Leps!

more later...
A.

AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 10, 2012
9:53 AM

Post #9077044

need ID to find larval host

it's about an inch long.

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lepfarmer
Red Oak, TX

April 10, 2012
11:55 AM

Post #9077182

Amanda:
Just got your phone message, but it was too late to catch you. This is most definitely NOT a Zebra Swallowtail caterpillar, so no need for Pawpaw leaves. It's a moth -- most likely the Copper Underwing (Amphipyra pyramidoides) or something related to it. According to Dave Wagner's excellent book "Caterpillars of the Eastern United States", they eat all sorts of things: apple, basswood, blueberry, cherry, chestnut, currant, grape, greenbrier, hawthorn, hickory, lilac, maple, oak, poplar, raspberry, Virginia Creeper, etc...

Hope this helps.

Dale Clark
Dallas County Lepidopterists' Society
http://www.dallasbutterflies.com

AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 10, 2012
1:26 PM

Post #9077280

aw Dale, a girl can hope. ;)


gave me an excuse to visit the native plant garden I used to tend and get paw paw and wax myrtle cuttings and runners from a spicebush!!!

so thankful that critter passed by today.

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 12, 2012
12:03 PM

Post #9079825

Well, I was out watering the plants and it was the usual suspects. About five Monarchs, two Cloudless Sulphurs. the Duskywings, and some skippers. I think they were Fiery Skippers. Also, the eggs are starting to hatch on the milkweed; I saw two tiny Monarch cats. Here's a pic of the skipper I saw; there were at least two of them flying around.

Melanie

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VA_Wild_Rose
Fredericksburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

April 12, 2012
4:33 PM

Post #9080091

I hope someone can answer this question for me...

Are hummers attracted to Mandevilla?

I saw a beautiful new variety at my HD today... But since I have such limited space (6x12 apt balcony), I have to limit my spring/summer purchases.

Thanks in advance!
Have a blessed evening!

Karen
burn_2007
Grand-Falls, NB
(Zone 4a)

April 13, 2012
5:13 PM

Post #9081481

Wild Rose, They have come to mine, but have a hard time to get to the nectar inside. It wasn't as popular as Asarina vine. http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/272297/

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 14, 2012
10:32 AM

Post #9082157

Whew! Melanie went to the University of South Florida Botanical Gardens Spring Plant Sale today and I am TIRED! For those who don't know, I have fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome so normal stuff is hard for me. So I rest up for things I really want to do - like plant sales! I don't get to garden as much anymore, but I live with my parents and they both help me out. Today, Mom came with me to help lug the cart around as we filled it with our favorite plants. I always stop by the Bromeliad Guild booth first, then Mom has to visit the African Violet Society. Good deals all around!

There were also lots of butterflies around - you bring that many plant vendors into one small space and the butterflies go nuts! The gardens also feature a butterfly garden (not as good as mine, in my opinion, LOL). Of course, there were the usual Gulf Fritillaries. This one looked rather nice on a Mexican Sunflower.

The Monarchs were around as well. Glad to know they're not all swarming my house!

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 14, 2012
10:37 AM

Post #9082165

I stopped by the butterfly garden in between shopping and saw a Red Admiral and a Cassius Blue.

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 14, 2012
10:44 AM

Post #9082168

I was looking at host plants trying to see if I could jack some caterpillars (naughty Melanie) when a Zebra Longwing flew by me. I always feel like I have to have proof of what I see so I finally got a bad picture of one. I must have stood for about 5 minutes waiting for this guy to land. He went for the milkweed nectar this time. I also had a Spicebush nearby so I snapped him, as well.

Speaking of Spicebushes...there's one vendor I don't like much because he sells overpriced hybridized passiflora and looks at you like you're crazy if you ask about the native varieties. But I wandered through his booth anyway just to see what else he had. And he had a Sassafras tree! I'd been looking for a Red Bay tree for my Spicebushies, but I know Sassafras works just as well. Dad taught me what sassafras looks like when we were in WV (I'm on the very southern border of its growth range in FL so I don't see it in the wild) and I went crazy looking for caterpillars. Found some, too! Hooray for Spicebushies!

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 14, 2012
10:52 AM

Post #9082174

So I now have to figure out where to plant another tree. My Sweetbay Magnolia is doing just great in the side yard where it's a little wetter. Let's hope the Tiger STs find it soon!

I came home and did a tour of the yard. There was a Gulf Frit cat eating too close to my passiflora flowers, a Clouded Sulphur cat (yellow form) since my Senna has not stopped blooming since November (really!).

This morning I saw two big Monarch cats when I left but I couldn't find them when I came home. I'll keep looking. I also released two more Monarchs so I'm up to a bazillion now. Well, maybe three dozen or so. So far this is a great butterfly season!

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 14, 2012
10:56 AM

Post #9082185

By the way, when I bought the sassafras tree the guy told me not to make too much tea out of it and I said I wanted it for Spicebush caterpillars. He said not many people knew about that and I just thought, "I know what all my caterpillars need!" A butterfly garden just isn't whole unless you have host plants.

I also had a few stowaways (cough...Melanie catnapped them...cough) in the form of two Polydamas cats. Maybe I can get my own colony back like I used to have. I hardly saw any last year but again with this mild winter things are definitely progressing at a faster rate than normal.

Melanie

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

April 14, 2012
11:11 AM

Post #9082200

Mellie,
So glad you're having good time with your butterfly gardening! Outstanding pix!

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 14, 2012
1:17 PM

Post #9082360

My day just got better. I went outside again to try and find those Monarch cats (found one) and there was a Queen on my milkweed! She's a little ragged but hanging in there. Booyah!

Melanie

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jmorth
Divernon, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 14, 2012
6:41 PM

Post #9082718

Red Admiral today -->

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 14, 2012
10:29 PM

Post #9082919

Woo hoo! I won second place in the invasive species photo contest in the bug category. I entered a picture of a Cabbage White. Thanks to those who voted!

Melanie

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

April 15, 2012
7:47 AM

Post #9083159

Congrats Mellie for winning on the invasive species photo contest. All the pics. are lovely everyone. I'm pleased to share with all my Polyphemus (sp?) moth that I noticed this morning in the garden.

"Can you see me?" said the beautiful moth. lol I hope I see the beauty and NOT the birds or the lizard in the garden.

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jmorth
Divernon, IL
(Zone 5b)

April 15, 2012
9:23 AM

Post #9083267

Congratulations Mellie. I had a couple entries over there as well, but in the invasive plants category; even so, both pics featured monarchs.

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6a)

April 15, 2012
9:58 AM

Post #9083301

A silver spotted skipper;



congrats' millie;and that is a nice photo you entered.

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nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

April 15, 2012
11:32 AM

Post #9083429

Congrats on Second Place Melanie!!

I saw a Silver Spotted Skipper this morning! Did get a photo of it but did get some of this Question Mark. And a Red Admiral...in fact there seemed to be several of these around and a Painted Lady!

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yakmon

yakmon
Portland, TX
(Zone 9b)

April 15, 2012
12:34 PM

Post #9083519

I caught this GF depositing eggs on and around my passiflora...this one missed the mark by a bit. She even tried to lay eggs on my camera!

We pulled 7 large GF cats off the Passionflower and 2 monarchs from the MW and brought them inside 2 days ago, they have all changed form before our eyes. I found a few more cats today, but they turned out to be moth cats, and they can escape my hatchery, so they went back outside. Everything is getting munched in the garden, but that's why we plant what we plant, I guess!

Russell



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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

April 15, 2012
4:19 PM

Post #9083805

okay, I've a question please. Which butterfly/moth lays egg on oak please?. Russell, that's so wild with the GF trying to deposit egg on your camera. lol

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

April 15, 2012
5:18 PM

Post #9083858

I think Red-spotted purple use Oak.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

April 16, 2012
4:59 AM

Post #9084290

Thanks Marna, hubby and I took a 4 miles hike on a nature trail nearby yesterday. I harvested an oak seedling with a rolled up leave. I guess there is some tenant inside. I'll keep watch and see. Also I saw many beech leaves rolled up. I guess they maybe some sort of moth's caterpillars?

The nature walk was enchanting. We saw a newly eclosed SBST as evident by its wings were still soft. There were a gazillion Sassafras sapplings.

The trails are full of these beautiful Mountain Laurels in blooms.

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

April 16, 2012
5:02 AM

Post #9084296

Hope this pix is better?

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lepfarmer
Red Oak, TX

April 16, 2012
5:24 AM

Post #9084316

Lily_love:

Literally hundreds (many hundreds) of species of lepidoptera use various types of oaks. Most are moths, but there are a good number of butterflies as well. Numerous spreadwing skippers: Juvenal's Duskywing, Horace's Duskywing, Brizo Duskywing. Hairstreaks, too: Oak Hairstreak, Red Banded Hairstreak, White-M Hairstreak, Banded Hairstreak, to name a few.

Dale Clark
Dallas County Lepidopterists' Society
http://www.dallasbutterflies.com

AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 16, 2012
7:44 AM

Post #9084526

Last week:

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Crit
Sand Springs (Tulsa), OK
(Zone 7a)

April 16, 2012
10:07 AM

Post #9084727

I saw my first hummer at the feeder yesterday. (4-15-12) I thought I had seen them buzzing around for a few days, but that was my first confirmation.

I have a lot of butterflies already also. We have a lot of red spotted purples here and tons of Oaks!

I was looking for my recipe for Butterfly Brew that has the banana's and beer in it, but can't locate it. Does anyone have this they could give me? You can post it here or d-mail me, which ever you prefer.

THANKS!

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

April 16, 2012
10:28 AM

Post #9084751

The link for the brew is on the forum "sticky".

sunkissed

sunkissed
Winter Springs, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 16, 2012
11:53 AM

Post #9084853

Wow...just love all the butterfly shots. Mellie you have been busy taking great photos. Lily I like the moth, very striking indeed. Yakmon great close up of that egg. jmorth as always you pics make my eyes pop!

I should be taking photos, I sit and just watch all the butterflies and think I need to go inside and get my camera, but I just sit and watch instead. On Saturday April 7th I saw my first hummer of the season, one of my friends that is a gardener was here and we both just giggled like little girls with excitement. I've now seen a hummer every evening at about sunset. This morning I saw one at sunrise.

I haven't seen anything bother my Gulf frit cats or my sulphur cats. But the wasp are back, so keeping an eye on things. I see Monarchs flying all day long but they don't seem to by laying eggs right now, and I haven't had any Monarch cats for well over a couple weeks now. In fact all my milkweed has grown back nicely and even blooming. Getting ready for the next batch. I'm sure I've had at least thirty monarch cats so far this year. I could find some in the Chrysalis stage, but most I think go into a near by Podocarpus hedge and I can't find them, I notice they love to hang around that hedge.after they are butterflies.

I did get one photo of a sulphur chrysalis on my scheffelara plant. I think this is an orange barred sulphur. Taken April 12th.

I'm just glad everyone is enjoying butterflies, moths and caterpillars again. Keep the photos coming, I'll try and work on mine.

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 17, 2012
8:10 AM

Post #9086010

This Spicebush Swallowtail has been nectaring on my plumbagos for the last half hour. There were two of them, both females, so I'm hoping they find my new sassafras tree and leave me some eggs!

Melanie

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Crit
Sand Springs (Tulsa), OK
(Zone 7a)

April 17, 2012
9:35 AM

Post #9086163

Thanks Mrs_Ed

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 17, 2012
10:36 PM

Post #9087062

TPP in So TX posted the reciepe for butterfly brew on the "sticky" ...here is the link to make it easier. http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/p.php?pid=2008615
Also a picture of some I had out this last week. It mostly attracts Ques. Marks, Red Admirals, and Hackberry Emperors here. That said notice the moths find it in the dark also!

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Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 17, 2012
10:50 PM

Post #9087068

This Varg. Fritillary was visiting several days. Numerous Red Admirals and an sulphurs around.

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Crit
Sand Springs (Tulsa), OK
(Zone 7a)

April 18, 2012
7:07 AM

Post #9087313

Thanks Sheila, I got it. Just need to get a beer and I'm ready to go! (beer for the brew, not me. lol)

Loonie1

Loonie1
Rowlett, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 18, 2012
7:26 AM

Post #9087357

I don't have a picture, but my Hercules Club (Zanthoxylum clava-herculis) is in bloom and absolutely covered in Red Admirals. I have never seen so many Red Admirals (and what a change from last year when there seemed to be no butterflies at all).

I noticed that my neighbor's Ash tree has several leaves curled up. What type of caterpillar rolls up Ash leaves? I think it's an Arizona Ash.

Carla

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 18, 2012
12:30 PM

Post #9087724

Saw a Common Buckeye in the yard today. I had a Tiger ST do a fly by while I was watering and Mom spotted a Zebra Longwing IN OUR YARD while on her walk. So things are looking up. I still can't believe the variety I'm seeing so early in the year. Here's the Buckeye...

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 18, 2012
12:32 PM

Post #9087729

In bad news, I was picking up Monarch cats and saw one had died. Then I noticed the bug next to it. Does anyone recognize this bug eating my poor, sweet caterpillar? Don't worry, he met the bottom of my shoe seconds after this picture.

Melanie

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 18, 2012
5:50 PM

Post #9088123

The nice people over in the Bug ID forum said this was an assassin bug nymph. I know assassin bugs, but I'd never seen the nymph stage before so I was confused. Glad I squished him!

Melanie
Crit
Sand Springs (Tulsa), OK
(Zone 7a)

April 18, 2012
6:16 PM

Post #9088151

Great that you found out what it was!

I have had so many BF in my yard this year. What a treat from the lack of last year. I've seen red admiral, painted lady, viceroy or monarch and so many others I don't know the name of.

Saw my second hummingbird, or the same one twice, LOL, today. I need to put up the rest of my feeders as there isn't much to feed on right now.

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 18, 2012
6:34 PM

Post #9088191

I did get to see two Monarch couples flying around today. It's always funny to see them fly while they're attached. Mom said the boy Monarchs have been very bad - she released a girl and not 15 seconds later came a male and knocked her down. Better than the Zebra Longwings though - they break into the pupa and don't even wait for the girl to emerge!

Melanie (Assassin Bug Stomper)

AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 18, 2012
7:15 PM

Post #9088255

Geez Mel that sounds a little rough.

I had a heavy heart today when I found one of my BST emerged today with deformed wings. My bad - it had come detached from its own cords and I tried to rig it back up. I guess I didn't do so well and the wings didn't develop - just happened last week. Just sucks to have gone all that time waiting to come out and have some human stick her fingers into it and screw everything up. O well. That was the 8th to emerge. I don't think there are many more, so I can quit worrying about them and fret about Monarchs and maybe sulfurs again this year.

A.

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 19, 2012
12:59 PM

Post #9089114

Amanda, I've done my fair share of screwing up. I think we all have. I hate when I have that moment where I think, "Why didn't I just let nature take its course?"

My yard was full of the usual suspects this afternoon. Here's a Cassius Blue on Spanish Needles. The Cassius Blue is now protected in Florida due to its similarity to the Miami Blue.

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 19, 2012
1:01 PM

Post #9089118

The usual Gulf Frit on pentas and one of my swarm of Monarchs on milkweed, of course.

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 19, 2012
1:02 PM

Post #9089122

And a frayed Painted Lady. I'm surprised I haven't found any caterpillars, but I guess I haven't been looking that hard either.

Melanie

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Crit
Sand Springs (Tulsa), OK
(Zone 7a)

April 20, 2012
7:20 AM

Post #9089996

I saw the most beautiful Red Admiral perched on my lavender chive blooms yesterday. I thought "geez, why don't you have your camera!" Tried to get my phone out of my pocket, but he didn't stay long enough. I hope he comes back!

I got all the ingredients for Butterfly Brew and am going to mix some of that up today. I saw in a gardening magazine that was at the Dr.'s office that showed to make a butterfly watering hole. (I told the doc upon leaveing I loved that mag, hoping she would tell me 'take it home', but she didn't. I've looked for it and haven't found it anywhere. Anyway, you sink a large plant tray (terra cotta or plastic) making the top even with the soil. Fill it with sand and keep it watered. Then when they are looking for a place to drink, hopefully they will go there as it will have moisture when there aren't any puddles. I'm going to put some brew on top of it too. Hope it works!

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 20, 2012
12:10 PM

Post #9090399

Mom and Dad both spotted a Zebra Longwing today on my jatropha so they're definitely back in the neighborhood! I also saw a Polydamas fly overhead but couldn't get a picture. I did get nice pictures of a Gulf Frit on Tampa Verbena and a Spicebush ST on my pentas.

Melanie

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 21, 2012
11:29 AM

Post #9091716

I went to an orchid open house and the Bromeliad Guild's show and sale today and boy, am I tired! But I got some great plants at great prices so I'm happy. I even picked up 3 small bronze fennel plants for $5 (that's total, not each)! It's getting ready to rain today so the butterflies are being watchful, but I did spot the usual Monarchs and my faithful Duskywings.

Melanie

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yakmon

yakmon
Portland, TX
(Zone 9b)

April 21, 2012
12:32 PM

Post #9091751

A few from today. They seem to enjoy the North wind.

Russell

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nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

April 21, 2012
12:44 PM

Post #9091757

nice to see more and more BF photo here!
Crit
Sand Springs (Tulsa), OK
(Zone 7a)

April 21, 2012
4:29 PM

Post #9092020

I spent 5 hours at the Herbal Affair Festival here in SS. They have something like 100 venders set up booths. I got 4 big grocery bags full of plants. That was my limit. When they all got full (across the bottom!) it was time to go home. But is sure was a good time! I have some nice plants that I've never had to work with now. Prices are really reasonable like mellie said. I think the most I spent on a plant was $4 for a couple Scented Geranium. Chocolate and Mint. I have a citronella and love it! Most were $2-3.

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 21, 2012
5:08 PM

Post #9092084

I went out to pick milkweed and ended up bringing in seven more Monarch cats. It's getting a little ridiculous here. My yard looks like some kind of butterfly sanctuary, which I suppose it is.

Tomorrow I head down to Sarasota for their bromeliad club's show and sale! Three plant sales in two days - can I handle it? More importantly, can my wallet handle it, LOL!

Melanie

AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 22, 2012
8:55 AM

Post #9092734

You poor girls having to trudge back and forth to plant sales. :D

I have our master gardener plant sale on the calendar and nothing else. I go and take home all the "weeds" on the last day. One year they made fun of me my car was so full I could hardly drive.

I don't think I'll have room for that much this year. Maybe I'll go on the first day and see if I can score anything fancy instead. I need some yellows for Max's memory garden - have almost too much white if that's possible! I am looking for some Chrysogonum virginianum (misspelled probably sorry) Green and Gold. It's a low growing native ground cover. I think that will work very nicely because it does shade and will spread.

I released another butterfly yesterday. This variable weather makes it rough for a newly emerged BST I think, but let nature take it's course, as we say. ;)

Have a great day! No pictures, but I did also see a painted lady zig zagging thru the yard yesterday.

A.

p.s. growing bronze fennel from seed this year - Rue too!
lepfarmer
Red Oak, TX

April 22, 2012
9:40 AM

Post #9092776

For those of you in the north Texas/Oklahoma area -- now is the time to put out some rotted fruit if you want to see Mourning Cloaks. There are more on the wing than I can remember seeing in quite some time. No need to mix up any "brew" -- just put out the fruit; just peel a piece back so they can get to the juicy part. Make it easy on yourself. These beauties are not to be missed.

Dale Clark
Dallas County Lepidopterists' Society
http://www.dallasbutterflies.com

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

April 22, 2012
9:42 AM

Post #9092778

Thanks Dale for the tip on the aged fruits for the M.C. I'll keep that in mind with the left-over fruits.
lepfarmer
Red Oak, TX

April 22, 2012
9:56 AM

Post #9092790

Lily_love:

They should be flying now in central Alabama now as well.

Dale

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6a)

April 22, 2012
10:05 AM

Post #9092798

lepfarmer; Usually I only see three or four mourning cloaks during the year. Had seen one during February two years ago while there was snow on the ground.Feeding on a big blue hyacinth it was.

I'm glad there doing well where you are.

yakmon

yakmon
Portland, TX
(Zone 9b)

April 22, 2012
1:37 PM

Post #9093059

More visitors today!

What a great weekend.

Russell

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 22, 2012
1:57 PM

Post #9093093

Great photos! We had a rainy morning (and I was at a Bromeliad sale) and the afternoon has been quite windy so today was not so good for butterflies. But I've still had Monarchs flying around the house as usual. Other than that, I'm still waiting for Giant ST and now my Polydamas ST to emerge. I'll have photos when they do!

Melanie

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6a)

April 22, 2012
3:26 PM

Post #9093186

yakmon; Is that second photo a checkerspot,have only one here that I see from time to time, If it is that is ,IT'S a rare live still for me.A TREAT INDEED!!
And nice photo's OH YEAHHH !!!!!

yakmon

yakmon
Portland, TX
(Zone 9b)

April 22, 2012
4:04 PM

Post #9093236

I think the second one is a phaon crescent. I did see a couple of tropical checkerspots today, but never could get a good photo of them. They were very spooky today for some reason. I didn't notice any of these crescents around last year, but I have several new varieties of flowers around this year and they seem to be attracted to them. They were particularly interested in the coreopsis and coneflower (clasping?)...not sure of the id on the flower in the second picture.

Melanie - looking forward to the ST photos. I haven't seen any GST or BSTs yet, just the pipevines so far...not that I am complaining!

Russell

AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 22, 2012
4:31 PM

Post #9093283

The images are stunning Russell. Thanks for the wonderful colors on this dreary day in the southeast.

A.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

April 22, 2012
4:37 PM

Post #9093295

Boys! Isn't the weather really dreary here in the SE! I saw some Swallowtails and Red spotted purple I think, windy and cooler here. Oh Dale, thank you for the tip. Russell nice photos!
Crit
Sand Springs (Tulsa), OK
(Zone 7a)

April 22, 2012
6:34 PM

Post #9093447

I made up some brew this morning. I have 2 butterfly watering holes that I poured it ove and also a plate hanging in a plant hanger from a tree that I put some on. It wasn't 15 minutes later and I walked by there startling up what I think was a ? or, . The silly thing landed on my chest where I could barely see it but the colors were amazing. Then it flew over to my shoulder. It was just so perfect, no ragged wings or anything. I little while later there was someting on one of the watering holes, but couldn't tell what it was. Didn't want to spook it away. I'm glad they've found it!

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

April 23, 2012
5:03 AM

Post #9093874

Speaking of finding brew… I think there are about 21 Red Admirals here. It's been crazy with them all over the area.

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Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

April 23, 2012
5:07 AM

Post #9093879

Another.

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

April 23, 2012
5:24 AM

Post #9093904

That's one terrific gathering there Mrs. Ed.

AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 23, 2012
5:58 AM

Post #9093954

Wow. I can't imagine having that kind of draw here.

As I'm driving I've noticed common MW on a submerged streambed along one of our major roadways within a mile of my home. Not to mention our Arboretum is less than a mile away. I have some pretty stiff competition. I guess if I poured some beer over a stump with rotten fruit on it there's no telling what kind of crowd might show up. :D
lepfarmer
Red Oak, TX

April 23, 2012
5:04 PM

Post #9095015

Mourning Cloaks are everywhere around the Dallas/Ft. Worth area right now. Snapped this picture after flushing it up from the bananas I had in my bait trap. It settled for basking in the sunlight before slipping off back to the bananas a few minutes later.

Dale Clark
Dallas County Lepidopterists' Society
http://www.dallasbutterflies.com

Thumbnail by lepfarmer
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yakmon

yakmon
Portland, TX
(Zone 9b)

April 23, 2012
6:05 PM

Post #9095111

Beautiful!

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

April 23, 2012
6:44 PM

Post #9095177

Agreed with Russell, it's indeed.
burn_2007
Grand-Falls, NB
(Zone 4a)

April 23, 2012
7:30 PM

Post #9095240

You guys are getting some awesome pretties. I've seen what I believe, was a UFO. ;) It flew by me to fast, that it surprised me. I wasn't expecting it, because it was quite a cold day. I've put some fruits out and will be waiting for it's next visit.
scarletbean
Newport, TN
(Zone 7a)

April 24, 2012
5:50 AM

Post #9095609

What a lovely photo of a lovely butterfly! I am a beginner at identifying many butterflies and now that I am more tuned in, I notice more and more. The dusky rose color of the butterfly in lepfarmers picture is one i have never seen. I wonder if it is possible to see in my area of east TN.? I see many of the blue colored mourning cloak. My Zinnias were quite a popular hangout with butterflies last year. So, I doubled the amount of them and added Cosmos, Liatris and Lantana for this year. Also after learning about host plants, I am offering parsley, dill and Milkweed (Syriaca). Perhaps they will enjoy a fruit plate too.

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

April 24, 2012
6:23 AM

Post #9095671

You're on your way Scarlet!
I love the mourning cloaks. they are so tough for me to photograph unless they are on the bait!

I had a couple of question marks on the brew yesterday too. Still big numbers of the Red Admirals. Crazy.

AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 24, 2012
6:39 AM

Post #9095708

Do you put this concoction in the shade or sun . . . best placement? My luck I'll get nothing but horseflies and rats. :/

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

April 24, 2012
6:52 AM

Post #9095728

Mine is in the sun. I do get flies and bees to. Later in the year it's also common to see those yellow jackets. boo.

Crit
Sand Springs (Tulsa), OK
(Zone 7a)

April 24, 2012
8:18 AM

Post #9095849

More and more butterflies are finding my hanging plate and the butterfly watering holes. I also put some brew on my railing and on some pieces of interesting wood I have set out in my flower bed. I'm so glad to see so many as there were so few last year!

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 24, 2012
9:29 AM

Post #9095928

Great shot of the MC Dale...the lighting was just right to pick up their beautiful coloring.
I just got back from a 4 day cruise and had left a banana in my car and pulled it out when we returned home. I cut it down the middle and took it out on the deck railing and got some action pretty quick. I guess in years past there weren't many around when I tried it. I put it in the brew basket later when I retrieved it.

Crit...save your time and effort with the butterfly puddles unless it is a natural place like a shoreline etc. they don't seem to be attracted. All I have ever drawn with it was mesquitoes!

Amanda...sun or part shade, once they find it there was no difference.
Crit
Sand Springs (Tulsa), OK
(Zone 7a)

April 24, 2012
1:03 PM

Post #9096098

I have had good luck with my 2 puddles. Have had action on both of them as well as my hanging plate. One time I went out this morning I had 5 Red Admirals on the plate and 2 on the puddle in the shade. Trouble with one of them is it is right by the opening to go from the deck to the yard, so usually both the bf's and I get startled. lol Thinking of moving it down a way from where it is.

AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 24, 2012
3:35 PM

Post #9096231

Sheila -

I went out of town a bit to a feed store to get some hay and found that they were selling birds (chickens, ducks, etc.) on consignment.

Aside from the fact that I was pissed off because of the way they were being kept, I found 2 black swallowtails puddling in a spot where droppings had built up and a water container was dripping!

I wondered if I put down some goat poo if I could attract puddlers too.

I have watched yellow jackets, honey bees, and birds of course - all looking for water this past week (before the rains!). I put some bigger rocks in my bird baths/cake pan watering holes so the bugs could have a safe place to land.

Call me crazy - yeah you're all crazy too. :P
Crit
Sand Springs (Tulsa), OK
(Zone 7a)

April 24, 2012
3:56 PM

Post #9096259

Here are a couple pics of my bf puddles. The first one is the plate. It had 4 Red Admirals and a , or ? ... not sure which, on it before I could get the pic snapped.

The next one had another Red Admiral which flew up on the windmill and , or ? feeding that flew. But you can see 3 there.

I'm excited these are working well at my house!

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AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 24, 2012
6:33 PM

Post #9096482

Awesome! :)

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 24, 2012
8:02 PM

Post #9096579

Mom had the sad experience of actually seeing one of the parasitic wasps sting a Monarch cat today. She took off her shoe and killed the wasp and also put the caterpillar out of its misery. She said she almost cried it was so sad. At least she saved more of them from being stung.

Melanie

yakmon

yakmon
Portland, TX
(Zone 9b)

April 25, 2012
4:57 AM

Post #9096909

I had my first successful releases the last 2 days - 2 monarchs and 3 gulf fritillaries. I didn't get to see the fritillaries eclose...there are a few left, maybe I will take them to work today and watch them as they open.

Whoever suggested the pop up laundry hamper...thanks! My wife fashioned a top out of mesh fabric and elastic that just works great. She also installed a handy zipper on the side to allow my daughter to reach in...it is a little small for my arm, but definitely a good addition to the design. Happy butterflying.

Russell
Crit
Sand Springs (Tulsa), OK
(Zone 7a)

April 25, 2012
7:13 AM

Post #9097083

Can you give us a picture of that pop up hamper converted?

AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 25, 2012
7:32 AM

Post #9097103

A friend found and gave me a pop up dog crate which will be put to good use! I swear when I saw it I thought it was for laundry, but the side/door says something like "Super Paws". There is mesh fabric on 2 of the 4 sides of the rectangle at least 4' long. Maybe 2' high. The end has a zippered "door" with mesh on it too.

Another score for the butterfly habitat but I will have to find a place to start lining up all these campers. Maybe I need to add on to the tiny playhouse/converted to my "hidey hole" and make a greenhouse/butterfly conservatory. Hmmm! There's a neat idea! :)

yakmon

yakmon
Portland, TX
(Zone 9b)

April 25, 2012
5:17 PM

Post #9097751

Here you go Crit. The only problem with this design is that the frass collects at the bottom, and there is no way to empty it. I bought some black mesh at Walmart and my wife sewed on some elastic and made the top removable...like a shower cap. I might have her make another "shower cap" and cut the bottom out so I can empty the frass. They make a lot of it! I brought this batch in and within 1 day they were all cocoons. All of the rest of the gulf fritillaries eclosed today. Most took 9 days, some took 11 days. Successful releases on all of them. Tally so far in the new hatchery 2 monarchs, 7 fritillaries. I have been looking for BSTs, cloudless sulphurs and buckeyes on the other host plants, but haven't found any yet.

Too cool!

Russell



This message was edited Apr 25, 2012 7:25 PM

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juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6a)

April 25, 2012
5:55 PM

Post #9097781

I'm still enjoying this thread,great pic's and info,folks.The rarest visitor to mine is the great star spangled frittilary ,only I won't see them until july if at all.
burn_2007
Grand-Falls, NB
(Zone 4a)

April 25, 2012
7:36 PM

Post #9097925

The BST chrysalis turned moldy. i had kept it in the garage, it must of been to humid in there for it. But the Polyphemus moth cocoon all look fine. I will move them outside in a shady spot this week and wait. I'm expecting them to eclose at the beginning of June.

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 26, 2012
9:09 AM

Post #9098541

Caught a skipper basking in the sun.

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 26, 2012
9:10 AM

Post #9098544

And the usual duskywings are in the yard.

Melanie

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scarletbean
Newport, TN
(Zone 7a)

April 26, 2012
10:57 AM

Post #9098642

What a morning! heavy rain &wind. Now the sun is out and I just saw a pretty light butterfly with a black spot flutter by.

Not sure if this is the right place for this,but I wonder if anyone has used a pre-planned butterfly/hummer garden? Got any pictures of the finished result or recommendations?
I have a space that i want to fill and want to attract BFs and Hummers as well as add a bird bath.

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 26, 2012
12:39 PM

Post #9098773

Saw a Red-Spotted Purple circling my cherry tree but it's too high up to hope to find catepillars. : (

Scarlet, I would make sure the pre-planned garden includes host plants as well as nectar plants. Too many of them seem nectar-plant heavy to me.

Melanie
Crit
Sand Springs (Tulsa), OK
(Zone 7a)

April 26, 2012
4:46 PM

Post #9099078

I've seen those roll-out strips of seeds that are for bf's and hummers. That is about the best I can do for you. Not much infor here, huh? LOL

I saw a bf, of course did NOT have my camera, that I did not recognize. It was a dusty golden color with dots on the back wings. Kinda plain but really pretty at the same time. Does that make sense?

My yard is just FULL of Red Admirals. They adore the waterholes with the brew on them. Am anxious for more bf's to arrive!
scarletbean
Newport, TN
(Zone 7a)

April 26, 2012
6:10 PM

Post #9099208

Thanks for the input. I will probably end up searching the free plans and then pick and choose what I like best, plant per plant. I am just not good at visualizing the result. I see something pretty and I want it. Design is hard for me. As far as host plants, I have some parsley, dill and milkweed(syriaca) parked in pots. If I find bronze fennel I'd add that. I think it might look nice with cosmos. I had a great Dallas Red lantana last year, but can't find it for sale anywhere. I should have brought it in for winter. It was a favorite for tiger stripes, mourning cloaks and quite a few others. Hummers liked it too. I did get a pretty yellow to rasberry color and a lavender color lantana. I have a maynight salvia,some mixed columbines, pineapple sage, a small major wheeler honeysuckle and hyacinth bean waiting for a spot to grow. Plus the gazillion zinnia seeds saved from last year. Do BF's like marigold? Well any ideas are welcome. Also pics of gardens would be great inspiration. THANX!
Crit
Sand Springs (Tulsa), OK
(Zone 7a)

April 26, 2012
6:16 PM

Post #9099218

Lantana is perenniel here and should be there too. It may still come back to life!
lepfarmer
Red Oak, TX

April 26, 2012
6:51 PM

Post #9099291

Scarlet:

Dont' worry too much about the design of your garden and getting it "right". The butterflies and hummers don't care a bit about how it looks. Just give them the right plants, put the plants in the right area for their needs (sunny plants in the sun, etc.) and sit back and enjoy.

Dale Clark
Dallas County Lepidopterists' Society
http://www.dallasbutterflies.com

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 26, 2012
7:50 PM

Post #9099387

Dale's got it right. I think butterflies tend toward messier gardens that look more natural. I also refrain from pulling weeds they really like; in my case, the ubiquitous Spanish Needles (Bidens spp.). So my garden isn't always pretty but I have more butterflies than anyone else. Caterpillars, too! My latest batch of Monarchs is tearing through the milkweed again.

Melanie

AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 26, 2012
9:03 PM

Post #9099480

Scarlett - send me a dmail. I have a lot of bronze fennel and rue seeds I traded for this season so the bugs could come and eat them. :)
Crit
Sand Springs (Tulsa), OK
(Zone 7a)

April 27, 2012
7:05 AM

Post #9099788

I knew I should of bought some bronze fennel at the Herbal Affair, but I didn't 'cause I have some regular fennel growing from seed.

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 27, 2012
11:06 AM

Post #9100068

This is my first year growing bronze fennel so I'll let everyone know how it goes.

Melanie
scarletbean
Newport, TN
(Zone 7a)

April 27, 2012
12:09 PM

Post #9100152

Is the difference color, or caterpillar type/ preference as far as regular fennel vs. bronze fennel.?
Also, are BF eggs big enough to see?, i have both flat and curled parsley which I inspect regularly, not sure if i am missing eggs.

Saw a BeeYouTeeFull BF today. I think Mourning cloak..Velvet black with iridescent blue on lower wing and pale spotted edge. It was basking on a small rock next to curly parsley, very slowly opening and closing it's wings. Aahhhh..so nice.

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 27, 2012
1:03 PM

Post #9100218

Both types of fennel attract the Eastern Black Swallowtail; it's just a matter of which look you prefer. Butterfly eggs are small, but you can see them. On the parsley you'll see little off-white colored round eggs. They actually kind of stand out because they're not green.

Melanie (who saw a Zebra Longwing playing on my passiflora!)

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

April 27, 2012
4:19 PM

Post #9100437

Lost my bronze fennel that raised several batches of cats. It did well for three or four years, getting about 5 foot tall or more. The regular fennel that makes bulbs for eating stays lower for me anyway.

Red Admirals are on everything this week. I have put out brew also. It doesn't take but a few minutes and they are loaded.

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

April 27, 2012
7:14 PM

Post #9100649

My bronze fennel has actually been a bit of a perennial up here every year. This is my fourth year for it. I'm just amazed. I have five kinds of plants for the black swallowtails and there is really never a "favorite" I think it just depends on what is the healthiest at the time. For the first time last year they used the Rue.

I moved my swamp milkweed last year as it was struggling with the dry summer and the bad aphid infection I had. I lost most of it, but some is coming back.

I'm hearing reports of black swallowtails here, but my 8 chrysalids are still "chillin'". I've not seen them or any larger butterflies. Three question marks, a zillion red admirals and some cabbage whites.

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6a)

April 27, 2012
8:19 PM

Post #9100709

I have bronze and green fennel and get four of the five species of BST's I keep trying with the rue and have always failed to grow it thus far.I'm trying to get the giant SWT's a host plant as they visit the zinnia's.Have some red milkweed ,the native tall, the vine form, and the butterfly weed in orange ,only haven't seen any monarch cats in years now.

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 28, 2012
1:23 PM

Post #9101410

I went to the Green Thumb Festival over in St. Pete today. I was mostly shopping for orchids and bromeliads but I found some Giant Milkweed for sale. I've never seen it for sale before so I was super excited to get some, particularly as I have dozens of hungry cats and am running low on food. In good news, I saw lots of people who had bought tropical milkweed so the Monarchs should have plenty to eat. I even saw a Monarch fly through the park while we were resting and having a drink. I love plant sales!

Melanie

AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 28, 2012
5:33 PM

Post #9101679

Hey ! Sounds like everybody down there is having lots of visitors. I guess it's okay that I don't have any just yet - my stuff growing from seed is still pretty small. I have released 9 BST and have only 1 chrysalis left. It looks healthy. It's just taking its time. :)

Crit - if you need seed for the fennel and/or rue let me know. I wanted the bronze because it looks so striking.

Mrs. Ed? Have you ever had skin irritation handling the rue? I've read that it can cause skin problems and I'm supposed to use caution handling it.

I've got tons of seedlings of both the rue and fennel. It will be my first year growing both. I have a lot of dill volunteers popping up and I'm glad. I saw a tiny sprig of parsley where one of my large plants went to seed last year. It seems odd to be planting so many of the host plants for just one type of butterfly - but I am also growing from seed the senna again. Some Christmas senna and popcorn senna came in the round robin this past winter.

Mellie I have to start more tropical milkweed. I also lost one of my large swamp milkweed plants last year - I can't remember where I posted, but if you remember the stalks started turning black from the ground up - I have never seen anything like it and no one could guess what it might be. Someone suggested some kind of borer? One is outright killed with no new growth. This week one of the plants which looked like it was dead sent up a single shoot when the other plants a foot away are at least 2' high. O well.

I have poke and purple MW growing in other parts of the yard, the A. physocarpus, common MW. I guess that's enough. Just hope to have enough in numbers in case I get hit in August!

Russell and I had a mighty trade - thank you Russell - I am eager to try the seeds - I laughed out loud when I saw the giant packet of Cassia alata seed. I suppose I will be forced to have blooms this year. I have a place in full sun for it this season. Will keep you posted. Thank you so much for everything you sent.

If anyone is interested I still have some of the FL paintbrush seed left. I have about 15 seedlings I started in February and they are still only about 2" high. Maybe it's the cool weather on again off again. I have more seed than I can use - if you see something you'd like off my have list or on my journal send me a Dmail to inquire for seed. ;)

A.

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

April 29, 2012
9:18 AM

Post #9102470

Hey Amanda, No i have never had any skin irritation with the rue. But I have to say that I don't really have to handle it much. I weed around it, but it stays small and I don't really have a need to cut it or anything. I moved the cats on it last year to the parsley. I have tons of that that wintered over. I'll have to fall plant some to live for next year since they are biennials.

I know this is the wrong thread for this, but does anyone have a picture of Verbena Bonariensis seedlings? I'm hoping I'm loaded with them since I had a plant last year.

Really cold her the last few days. No real butterfly sightings. I

yakmon

yakmon
Portland, TX
(Zone 9b)

April 29, 2012
10:40 AM

Post #9102553

You're welcome Amanda. DON'T plant all of those Cassia seeds or you will have a jungle! I have so many seeds from last year, I give everyone a bag like that! I would like to try some of the other types of senna if you get any seeds.

I am also getting cassia seedlings popping up here and there. I pull them up because I already have 2 very large plants. They made it through our mild winter with no problems and they are bigger now than they were last year at this time. They are already beginning to bloom - no flowers yet, but I can see many buds working their way up. So far, today has been slow for BFs. Only one tiny hairstreak on a monarda that just popped up. I swear, I don't know where these things come from, but it is cool having new plants with no effort! I wonder if they were always growing, but I either mowed them down or pulled them up. Same with coreopsis...they are everywhere!

Russell

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AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 29, 2012
11:35 AM

Post #9102614

eeek!

Is that lemon beebalm? (monarda citriodora?). I am trying it from seed. It is so pretty!

I just planted some globe thistle seedlings.

Sorry Mrs Ed - I don't have pictures of seedlings. I grew mine from seed again last year and they're giant now.

nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

April 29, 2012
11:54 AM

Post #9102647

Mrs. Ed, I have some that I am wondering if they are Verbena Bonariensis seedlings too...need to look around on the web I guess! But I am letting them grow...they are either verbena or Iron Weed!!

Loads of Red Admirals and Question Marks right now.

Red Admiral on Allium

This message was edited Apr 29, 2012 2:01 PM

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 29, 2012
12:02 PM

Post #9102662

I'm too tired to chase butterflies today; it's all I can do to feed the Monarch piggies. By the way, they took to the Giant Milkweed just fine after eating Tropical Milkweed their whole lives. Some people say caterpillars won't switch food, but I've never really had that problem.

Loving everyone's pictures!

Melanie

yakmon

yakmon
Portland, TX
(Zone 9b)

April 29, 2012
12:05 PM

Post #9102668

Monarda citriodora is my best guess Amanda. It is very pretty and must spread pretty easily from seeds. I have several large clumps of it growing and they are all blooming. It smells great too.

Russell

scarletbean
Newport, TN
(Zone 7a)

April 29, 2012
12:21 PM

Post #9102691

My neighbors are now talking about me in low whispers when i am walking the dog.." here comes that weird lady...did you see her planting those awful weeds?" tee hee! I'm happily getting all my stuff ready for a summer of butterflies. Its ok, if the neighbors stop talking to me, i have the dog, who is an excellent conversationalist! I got a red pentas..and the pretty purple winky columbine that i got for 75% off is blooming. (amazing what happens when you water a plant!!!)
The red admirals are all over lately. a few whites and 2 tigersripes came to my yard this morning.

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 29, 2012
4:28 PM

Post #9102911

Neighbors are overated.

In weird news, my Dad had stored my extra critter keepers in the butterfly house for winter. Today, my brother was going outside to grill up some steak and he heard some thumping. Apparently, Dad didn't realize there were chrysalises in one of those critter keepers and today a Spicebush ST emerged and wanted out! Makes me want to go Spicebush hunting again; I love those caterpillars!

Melanie

AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 29, 2012
5:27 PM

Post #9102982

Ha ha! That critter musta been pretty big, Melanie!

I found yesterday that the cuttings/runners I took of the Lindera benzoin a few weeks ago have new sprouts, so maybe one day I will have some too.

Crit
Sand Springs (Tulsa), OK
(Zone 7a)

April 30, 2012
11:05 AM

Post #9104024

Yes A., I would love to try some of your fennel and rue. I have some milkweed planted in peat pots, but they are not doing very well. Neither are the 4 o'clocks or morning glories. Sheesh.

My DH tilled a large bed for me along the pool railing and the back fence that I have been wanting since we moved here. We don't have a tiller but a friend of his lent us his. So now I have LOTS of room for new plants! I'm so excited! Not so exciting is that we worked until dark and I could no longer see the roots to pick out of it. I was going to finish doing that today and wouldn't you know it!!!!!! We got 1 1/4" of rain last night. UGH. Murphy's Law I guess, but I can't complain about rain.
scarletbean
Newport, TN
(Zone 7a)

April 30, 2012
2:05 PM

Post #9104281

Crit, don't forget to take some before during and after pictures! I would like to see the progression as you put it together.

There is what i believe is swamp mmilkweed growing about chest high and ready to bloom in the abandoned field by my local gas station. Could this be transplanted? my own seedlings are only about 3 inches high.

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

April 30, 2012
2:08 PM

Post #9104284

Scarlet, I say go for it. I've dug up plenty of stuff on the side of the road and it has done fine. Milkweed tends to be pretty resilient, although I've never grown that particular type.

Melanie

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

April 30, 2012
4:34 PM

Post #9104490

happy to say that swamp milkweed does not have that dreadful tap root like the tuberosas. So chances are good that you'll get it intact. I will say that the root ball is quite think and fibrous, kind of like a hosta. I have one tiny bit that survived my aphids. sigh.

AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 30, 2012
8:08 PM

Post #9104835

I don't remember if I posted about my swamp milkweed last summer succumbing to something that turned the base of the stalks black. One giant plant has not returned. Another giant plant was slow to start and only has one stem coming out of its stump. The third plant came up looking healthy but now the base of the stalks look black. I have another I transplanted into that bed which is much smaller and shows no signs yet.

Is there a lesson to be learned here like the aster yellows virus that afflicted my echinacea last year - can't plant these things close together or they will all fall to some borer or ick in the soil?

I don't know what to do. These were huge plants and in their 4th or 5th year. Last year was the first year they bloomed. :/

A.
BCH521
Homeworth, OH
(Zone 5b)

May 1, 2012
3:08 AM

Post #9105020

scarletbean wrote:Crit, don't forget to take some before during and after pictures! I would like to see the progression as you put it together.

There is what i believe is swamp mmilkweed growing about chest high and ready to bloom in the abandoned field by my local gas station. Could this be transplanted? my own seedlings are only about 3 inches high.


Scarlet, we move them all the time, and they are easy--just make sure they get plenty of water until they're established.
Crit
Sand Springs (Tulsa), OK
(Zone 7a)

May 1, 2012
9:13 AM

Post #9105528

I don't have any 'before' pictures. I thought about it AFTER he started the tilling. lol But I can start taking them now. I just need to remember which thread to post them on! :-)
LEW_TEX
Cleburne, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 2, 2012
8:27 AM

Post #9107069

yakmon wrote:I caught this GF depositing eggs on and around my passiflora...this one missed the mark by a bit. She even tried to lay eggs on my camera!

We pulled 7 large GF cats off the Passionflower and 2 monarchs from the MW and brought them inside 2 days ago, they have all changed form before our eyes. I found a few more cats today, but they turned out to be moth cats, and they can escape my hatchery, so they went back outside. Everything is getting munched in the garden, but that's why we plant what we plant, I guess!

Russell

Russell have question we have passion vine with all stages of G F 's can not find any infomation how long each stage of life last ? Are tell me where to find it.

Thanks LEW-TEX




sunkissed

sunkissed
Winter Springs, FL
(Zone 9b)

May 2, 2012
9:10 AM

Post #9107128

Wow I can't even begin to catch up.
Russell good to see your wonderful photos again. Mrs. Ed the photo of the Red Admirals gathering on the birdbath is a sight! I've never seen that many butterflies at one time...what a great share.

I've tried to get a few snapshots, but they are moving too fast for my old camera.

The orange sulphur has taken flight and I missed any shots of it.
Mostly just black, tiger and giant swallowtails, Gulf Frits and sulphurs here.

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

May 2, 2012
10:00 AM

Post #9107206

LEW-TEX, Gulf Frits are eggs for 3-7 days, caterpillars for about 2-3 weeks with each instar lasting a few days (3-4), they are a chrysalis for about 10-14 days, and a butterfly for about two weeks at most.

Here's another piggy I found munching on the milkweed. I'm beginning to think I'm a Monarch farmer.

Melanie

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yakmon

yakmon
Portland, TX
(Zone 9b)

May 2, 2012
4:41 PM

Post #9107664

Thanks Melanie. LEW, this is my first time bringing these in, so I have a limited sample size. Last year, I didn't have a single caterpillar on the passionflower. All of the GFs I brought inside eclosed by the 11th day, but most were open on the 9th day. I had them in a west-facing window, and I didn't bring them inside until they were very large - all of them made a chrysalis within 1 day of bring them inside.

Enjoy them...they are beautiful. I never did get to see one eclose...always during the work week!

Russell
LEW_TEX
Cleburne, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 2, 2012
7:53 PM

Post #9107915

Thanks guys I looked 2 are 3 different sights told everything but numbers.. We have very large passion vine with lots of eggs with females laying more every day. Cats of all sizes have not seen any chrysalis yet I guess only a matter of time I hope. I'm leaving everything on the vine .

The information I read said they had no predators because they were poisonous but I found one that looked like all fluid had been sucked out of it just outer skin left. Any
idea what might have happen.

Thanks LEW-TEX

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

May 2, 2012
8:35 PM

Post #9107965

LEW-TEX, Frits are bad to get a disease that gives them that drained look you mentioned. It gets worse in captivity so I tend to leave them on the vine, as well. There are also assassin bugs that can drain them and parasitic wasps that can lay eggs in them. So they do have some predators but birds won't eat them since they taste bad/are poisonous.

Melanie

nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

May 3, 2012
8:45 AM

Post #9108513

Saw my first Red-spotted Purple this morning!!

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

May 3, 2012
10:12 AM

Post #9108728

Woo hoo! I love RSPs! I've seen them circling my cherry tree and laying eggs but they're up too high for me to get them.

Dad saw another Monarch caterpillar get stung by a wasp. He said it looked like it hurt the caterpillar. : ( I told him to put it out of its misery and to keep the wasps from becoming adults.

In happier news, I have lots of Monarchs munching away and making chrysalises. Should have some emerging soon.

Melanie
LEW_TEX
Cleburne, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 3, 2012
10:30 AM

Post #9108748

Thanks I plan to leave them on the vine we have a big one about 30' long and real dense I enjoy watching them there.You have been very helpful making it understandable for a beginner.

Thanks LEW-TEX
jmorth
Divernon, IL
(Zone 5b)

May 4, 2012
1:07 AM

Post #9109669

Monarch in Houston

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Crit
Sand Springs (Tulsa), OK
(Zone 7a)

May 4, 2012
2:44 PM

Post #9110483

LEW ... I am sooooooooooo jealous of your passion vine!!!! I want one (or more if they come in more colors than purple). I just have to keep looking 'till I can find one. Can you give us pics of the little guys on the vines?

nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

May 4, 2012
2:47 PM

Post #9110487

Do RSP's prefer a certain type(s) of cherry tree? I had no idea there were so many different ones! lol

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 4, 2012
2:55 PM

Post #9110497

Love your pic of the Monarch on the Mex Flame vine jmorth...guessing that is what it is.

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

May 4, 2012
3:05 PM

Post #9110503

The RSPs will use black cherry (Prunus serotina) as a host plant. I've found them on mine as well as in the wild.

Melanie
burn_2007
Grand-Falls, NB
(Zone 4a)

May 4, 2012
7:09 PM

Post #9110881

You guys are really getting the butterflies this year! Great pics too.
I saw the Red Admiral yesterday and today, and an orange one, not sure if it a Frits or ?Mark or else. It was too fast for me. Not much blooming for them, so they don't waste their time in the yard. The Admiral did stop, on the rotting fruits for a bit.

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TexasPuddyPrint

TexasPuddyPrint
Edinburg, TX

May 4, 2012
9:07 PM

Post #9110999

Awesome photos everyone!!!

I haven't been able to keep up with Dave's Garden. What can I say...work keeps me busy and I love my job!!!

Have had lots of caterpillars lately - by the time I get home work I don't get to see the butterflies but they've obviously been around. Black Swallowtails, Giant Swallowtails, Gulf Frits, Variegated Frits, Queens, Monarchs, Hawkmoths and a variety of grass skippers. I've had no time to raise them though...so I've left them on their own. Will start raising and releasing once my traveling out of town slows down.

Also added another 2500 square feet to my back yard, had it tilled, leveled and fenced. (Uhmmm...I bought it a year ago and just got around to getting that done!) Am now trying to find a landscaper to get 'er done!

Tried to find a local landscaper to design something but everyone that calls themselves a 'landscaper' just wants to mow the lawn! Don't believe what you read in the photobook, yellowpages, newspaper ads or craigs!

Got a referral from a local nursery on an ex-employee that started his own business. Have received a tentative emailed design but need to sit and talk it out and find out how much the monetary damage will be. I met the man when he was working for the nursery - he used to call me to go pick up caterpillars :o) He knows I want to cater to butterflies - it will be his first trek into the butterfly 'larval host' plant type garden. Told him I wanted to compete for yard butterfly counts next year so nectar plants are a must too. I've had the uncommon and rare butterflies show up but want quantity too. I want to work on larval hosts for more uncommons/rarities instead of them just eating on the run. He sounds interested in working together - so let's hope for the best!!!

I've been taking photos so eventually will compile a start to finish for this project...but don't hold your breaths. If anyone remembers my quest for scalloped brick edgers to paint on the Garden Art Forum (Lin Wellford's Painted Garden Art book) - it has taken me almost three years to just buy the dratted brick edgers and base paint them green!!!! LOL!!! It will be another three years before I finally paint the frog designs???


~ Cat

ps...am looking for this raised butterfly shaped garden bed - if anyone knows where I can find it...let me know!


This message was edited May 4, 2012 10:13 PM

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jmorth
Divernon, IL
(Zone 5b)

May 5, 2012
2:50 AM

Post #9111094

Correct on the Mexican Flame Vine Shelia.
Cat, sounds like an ambitious and worthy project.

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

May 5, 2012
11:44 AM

Post #9111549

Well, Mom had the first hummingbird sighting as she walked out the door the other morning. I think they scared each other. I'll have to fill the feeder again. Saw a Buckeye while I was feeding my orchids but he was not in a mood to pose. Other than that, it's been feeding and releasing Monarchs like crazy. I wish the Swallowtails would emerge or get out there and lay some eggs for me!

Melanie

AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

May 5, 2012
6:49 PM

Post #9112002

HA! I feel so behind.

My parsley is puny. I forgot it is biennial. I have a couple of seedlings from last year but soo tiny.

Lots of dill volunteers though.

Also - my swamp MW took a hit last year, but one of 4 that survived has flower buds. Last year I only had a couple of blooms. This is their 4th season I think. Wow! Do I really cater to these plants - I grow them for foliage - someone needs to keep reminding me.

Not much butterfly action here lately. A few red admirals last week, something that looked like a fritillary, cabbage whites, a sulfur here and there. O well. Even if the butterflies don't come, the garden is still a good time.

Cat - that sounds like a lot of fun just waiting to happen. Good luck with your project.
BCH521
Homeworth, OH
(Zone 5b)

May 6, 2012
7:55 AM

Post #9112529

Finally have some time to get some pictures, and plant some more plants.

Questionmark on Hawthorne

Thumbnail by BCH521   Thumbnail by BCH521   Thumbnail by BCH521
Click an image for an enlarged view.

nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

May 6, 2012
8:11 AM

Post #9112544

Dill was taking over my little garden area so I had to try and dig it all out yesterday.

sunkissed

sunkissed
Winter Springs, FL
(Zone 9b)

May 6, 2012
9:35 AM

Post #9112608

Wow there is some action here now...really great shots everybody!
-Sherri
jmorth
Divernon, IL
(Zone 5b)

May 6, 2012
2:39 PM

Post #9112894

Great Spangled Frit

Thumbnail by jmorth
Click the image for an enlarged view.

jmorth
Divernon, IL
(Zone 5b)

May 6, 2012
2:40 PM

Post #9112895

Painted Lady 3

Thumbnail by jmorth
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 6, 2012
5:08 PM

Post #9113048

Good job everyone. I've been out of town for a few days. Came back and had a black swallowtail to release. Hope it was not in the cage long, DH was supposed to be watching out for them.

AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

May 6, 2012
7:31 PM

Post #9113295

Jmorth - what is that pretty blue flower?

jmorth
Divernon, IL
(Zone 5b)

May 6, 2012
11:03 PM

Post #9113443

Chives

AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

May 7, 2012
8:23 AM

Post #9113912

ha ha ha - I planted 4 regular onions in the late winter and they are now blooming pretty white allium flowers. People come into the yard and say oooo what's that! :D

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

May 7, 2012
10:41 AM

Post #9114084

If you wish it, they will come! I said I wanted Swallowtails and now I have them! There was a Giant ST flying around Mom's Meyer Lemon tree yesterday. They never lay eggs on it though. It's like they know it's citrus, but it's not quite right. But I figured I better check the rue today. Sure enough, I found five small cats and three eggs! I'll take pics once they get a little bigger.

Melanie

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 7, 2012
12:42 PM

Post #9114223

Yah Mel! Love those GSTs.

Second BST emerged today.

Thumbnail by Mrs_Ed
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

May 7, 2012
5:44 PM

Post #9114703

Congrats Mrs. Ed. Such beautiful pic. of the lovely BST! I saw one today, but I give on trying to accurately i.d. this 'purdy'. lol Let's me guess, a tiger?

Thumbnail by Lily_love
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 7, 2012
6:09 PM

Post #9114760

Lily...you have a Pipevine ST there!! Got any pipevine around? If so check it out. They lay eggs on the stems of the foliage. I got to raise a few last week or so, they are in chrysalis now and I have some more cats on my pipevine plants now.

Thumbnail by Sheila_FW
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

May 7, 2012
6:13 PM

Post #9114766

Oh me oh my!!! Sheila you aren't kidding? That would be a lifer for me! Unfortunately I don't have to native pipevine in the garden. Wished I did. Now I'll have to go shop for the native hostplant. Thank you. I would love to get some more of those pretty butterflies.

editted for typo.

This message was edited May 7, 2012 7:35 PM

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 7, 2012
6:21 PM

Post #9114776

There are two pipevines that nurseries sell around here that we found out are too toxic for the pipevine ST...they are ok for the Polydamas in southern US without problem. I will go get the links.

Here you go... http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/942/
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/56130/


This message was edited May 7, 2012 7:59 PM
BCH521
Homeworth, OH
(Zone 5b)

May 7, 2012
6:55 PM

Post #9114876

Sheila_FW wrote:Lily...you have a Pipevine ST there!! Got any pipevine around? If so check it out. They lay eggs on the stems of the foliage. I got to raise a few last week or so, they are in chrysalis now and I have some more cats on my pipevine plants now.


Beautiful cats!

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 7, 2012
7:01 PM

Post #9114886

They are definately neat looking cats. Had these a week ago, now in chrysalis.

Thumbnail by Sheila_FW
Click the image for an enlarged view.

AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

May 7, 2012
7:34 PM

Post #9114945

Hey there - I have been trying to germinate some A. elegans seeds for MONTHs now.

I am going to break down and purchase, probably from Mailordernatives. Always pleased with the products:

http://www.mailordernatives.com/servlet/Categories?category=Butterfly Larval Plants

A.

TexasPuddyPrint

TexasPuddyPrint
Edinburg, TX

May 7, 2012
9:33 PM

Post #9115077

I've had A. elegans growing for the past three or four years with nothing making use of it. One vine climbed up the light pole and covered the transformer :o). I cut it back several times then just dug it up. Have it stuck in a pot and I clip it back to keep it from taking over the yard. Will be moving it back into the ground in a few months now that I added that extra footage to the backyard. Hoping the polydamas will use it?!

As for trying to germinate seeds...I had seedlings come up from fallen seed - gobs at a time but since I potted it nothing on the ground anymore.

~ Cat

AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

May 8, 2012
6:33 AM

Post #9115345

I saw a cool cat at the tip of a wild grape vine hanging over my fence from the neighbor's yard. Of course I have no camera, but surely it is SOMETHING. Dale will laugh at me the next time I post a photo and call him in a panic over some insignificant MOTH or tent caterpillar. :D

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 8, 2012
8:08 AM

Post #9115522

I will not ever plant A. Elegans or A Gigantea here because of the DEATH of the caterpillars when they eat it. We don't get Polydamas this far up to use it. I would encourage you to do some checking in your areas before trying it. I know in Flordia and far So Texas the polys use it.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

May 8, 2012
8:40 AM

Post #9115594

Thank you Sheila for the helpful info. Keeping my eyes out for more butterflies in the garden today.

nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

May 8, 2012
9:42 AM

Post #9115760

I have been seeing sooo many Mourning Cloaks this year...I can't believe it!! I have also seen a couple TST flying by so it looks like this year will be much better than last year!!

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

May 8, 2012
9:55 AM

Post #9115779

Ooooh, Sheila, even Elegan pipevine is toxic to our Pipevines butterflies? I've learnt in the past that Gigantea is, but Elegan TOO?

AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

May 8, 2012
11:16 AM

Post #9115877


I guess I'm ignorant - tell me - which pipevine I am supposed to plant for larval host?

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

May 8, 2012
11:24 AM

Post #9115887

I use A. trilobata for my caterpillars. It's safe for both kinds although I've never attracted Pipevine STs at my house. They're kind of rare around here.

Melanie

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

May 8, 2012
11:48 AM

Post #9115907

Dad was so proud to have chased this Zebra Longwing around and finally get a shot of it that I'm posting it here. It was flying around the garage until Dad shooed it out.

Melanie

Thumbnail by mellielong
Click the image for an enlarged view.

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6a)

May 8, 2012
1:07 PM

Post #9116003

I was watching a monarch this morning,it looked like it was considering laying eggs on the green milkweed. Guess I will find that out later.
lepfarmer
Red Oak, TX

May 9, 2012
5:52 AM

Post #9116876

Howdy Amanda:

By all means post pictures of the caterpillar. I will never laugh at moth caterpillars. To me moths are every bit as important and interesting as butterflies. It's funny -- every time I'm giving a talk somewhere, someone in the audience will ask a question about some caterpillar eating something in their yard and ask "is this some butterfly caterpillar I should leave alone or is it something that I can..." and then they trail off and don't finish their sentence. Basically they're wanting the okay to kill it. Moths get such a bad reputation, and in most cases it's undeserved. After all, they're just butterflies of the night.

Dale Clark
Dallas County Lepidopterists' Society
http://www.dallasbutterflies.com

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

May 9, 2012
6:17 AM

Post #9116930

Well stated Dale,
Quoting: ... After all, they're just butterflies of the night.
Some of the moths are stunningly beautiful! They're underappreciated by most IMHO.

AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

May 9, 2012
1:14 PM

Post #9117484

Yeah, dead batteries in the camera so no pictures.

You need not worry or wonder what happens to bugs in my gardens. No pesticides, no squishing or squashing, except maybe a mosquito now and then, and a lifeguard on duty at every bird bath in case any buggy needs saving. Who can say the value of a life?

I have made a wonderful observation of honey bees - they propel themselves thru the water on their backs with their wings while their body is curled upwards with head out of water - I suppose eventually they propel themselves to safety. I have seen this at least 3x this spring in my main bird bath, so I have placed some large white quartz stones in there so everybody can pull themselves out when the lifeguard goes off duty. Of course, those 3 have received stern warnings, and I haven't seen them since.

Have a great day everybody - heavy rain here this afternoon and only cabbage whites to report this morning. Did I mention I had an actual hummer sighting yesterday so the feeders were filled fresh immediately.

A.

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

May 9, 2012
1:29 PM

Post #9117497

That reminds me, I need to fill my feeder. Dad released two Monarchs for me while I was at the movies and then I released three more. I've got a pretty bad parasite and OE problem. Dad's been going around spraying all the wasps he sees and as soon as this batch of Monarchs is done I'm going to clean the tank with vinegar. I had to throw out a lot of chrysalises and a few butterflies that didn't make it. That always bums me out but at least I had quite a few healthy ones.

The Giant STs are hatching and getting slightly bigger. They're happily munching on rue. Pictures once they get old enough, LOL!

Melanie

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

May 9, 2012
5:19 PM

Post #9117738

I guess I'll start a new thread, as this is over 200.

Let's go here:
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1257230/
Crit
Sand Springs (Tulsa), OK
(Zone 7a)

May 10, 2012
12:14 PM

Post #9118705

I got some pics of a Morning Cloak that had been flying around my yard. I caught it "asleep" on my patio chair and took a couple pics. Then it flew over and landed on one of the kids chairs and spread it's wings for me. Just like it was posing. I need to get it downloaded from my camera.

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 11, 2012
5:24 AM

Post #9119492

LOL! Glad you got some good shots...please share.
quaqbe
Stirling, NJ
(Zone 6a)

May 11, 2012
3:32 PM

Post #9120197

I am so jealous, y'all have such a large selection of B'flies. I try so hard to do plants that attract BF and hummers. Has any one heard of the green sand for a bfy puddle? I got the beer receipe but how about the green sand for elecotrolties and minerals? I have a pond and lost all my frogs last year but the hummers and bflys are already around even though I do not have the varity that y'all seem to have...I guess Jersey is not a prime spot. R there any Jesey growers out there? everyone seems to be from TX or FL or some other nice warm spots

Help is much appreciated..

AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

May 11, 2012
7:52 PM

Post #9120462

Welcome quaqbe:

There's a new thread started here for page 95:

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1257230/

Patti and Shelia - everybody? ...
cindylove
Lewisville, TX
(Zone 7b)

May 24, 2012
8:53 AM

Post #9136536

Hello, I am new to this thread but an avid butterfly "watcher" & I do have a garden that attracts bf's!
Quaqbe, I use Texas green sand a lot & I have not found it to attract bf's to puddle. I haven't given up though as things can change year to year. I used regular sand last year with no success at all, so that is why I changed over this year. Hope this helps.

AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

May 25, 2012
6:11 PM

Post #9138745

Hi Cindy:

Thanks for your observations on texas green sand.

Please join us on our new discussion thread:

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1257230/

Thanks!

You cannot post until you register, login and subscribe.


Other Hummingbird and Butterfly Gardening Threads you might be interested in:

SubjectThread StarterRepliesLast Post
save the butterflies!!!!!! eyesoftexas 1 Mar 19, 2010 10:18 PM
Gulf Frittilary Caterpillar busy_bee_or 8 Sep 21, 2007 6:11 PM
University of Florida butterfly exhibit Night_Bloom 9 Apr 12, 2007 9:24 PM
What am I? konkreteblond 26 Jul 1, 2007 10:51 PM
What are these on my milkweed? margaran 31 May 1, 2009 7:26 PM


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