Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunday Safari

A Red Spotted Purple
dried her wings in the Twisting Willow.

Many butterflies are emerging.

The lavender is ready for harvest.
It is early this year.
I am pleased to have lavender drying for winter use.

A Spring Azure laid her egg
on top of one of the blooms.

I did not know the Spring Azure
laid her eggs in lavender.

I have been watching for her caterpillar to emerge.

Today I saw this very small caterpillar
on the lavender stem.
It looks different than the photographs in my field guide.

I spend lots of time studying the wildlife
in my backyard.
I am interested in the relationship
 of  flora and fauna
and people.

I want to know the names of the butterflies
and which plants they need as hosts for their eggs.

The Monarchs are in need.
Their host plant, milkweed, is being eradicated.
The Monarchs need home gardeners to plant for them.

There are many different types of milkweed.
I think all of them are beautiful.

Marigolds are easy flowers to grow.
I  direct sow my saved seeds every spring.
Wonderful annuals for the butterflies.

We have two old garden ponds, both need re-working.
We will wait again this year until the Dragonflies are finished using them.
Perhaps the Autumn would be a good time.
Is there ever a good time to leave the garden?

All of my May decorations are packed up.
June's darlings are set out.
This is the unofficial opening weekend of Summer.

Tadpoles are swimming in vernal pools,
large ruts made by a careless driver.
We saw the ruts while on a morning hike.
Vernal pools are necessary however they are made.
Perhaps I need to make vernal pools in my gardens.

I struggle to provide habitat.
Learning each bug and bird and what their needs are
 has taken me a very long time.
Planting native and providing water
 is the best I can do.

In the long twilight we have been taking our walk
and watching the Fire Flies.

We have been planning our hikes

our walks

and our drives.
We are going west June first.

                                                           There will be birds to identify
and many bugs.

In Yellowstone and the Salt Flats of Utah
 I want to see the field markings
for different bacteria.

Microbes are my new love.

I am packing the picnic basket.

I will keep a travel journal.

I am bringing my knitting
and my smile.

Enjoy this amazing artist.

Have a happy June.
See you in July.


Cheryl said...

Dear Sherry....a wonderful post. How much do I like the egg on the lavender....beyond words. So very beautiful. I have many caterpillars in my garden. Some I cannot identify.

I have milkweed seedlings in my gardens. Rose sent seeds.....I grew them alongside the marigolds.
Of course, their are no monarchs here but my native butterflies will love them.
The marigolds are all in bloom.....50 plants dotted around the garden.
It is wonderful to have grown them from your seeds.....

My garden is full of life and blooms.....

Enjoy your safely, and have much fun. I will think of you often.

I shall miss you on safari.....I shall miss you.....

Lisa at Greenbow said...

That little caterpillar may be the first instar of your Spring Azure. What fantastic macro shots.

I want to go. WHINE... I do wish you the best.

Juliet said...

That Monarch butterfly on the marigolds is just stunning. I grow marigolds from seed every year too, and milkweeds are on my list for my new garden - I love orange flowers, and if they attract butterflies, all the better!

Have a lovely holiday! I'll miss you.

Barb said...

Seeing the world through your eyes and your camera lens is inspiring, Sherry. I would never have imagined how a butterfly egg looks - like an amber pearl! Thank you for showing me this. You are going to have an amazing trip and make many discoveries. Record them all and share! Stay safe and healthy.

Deb {Posted From} Home said...

Have a wonderful adventure Sherry!

Randy Emmitt said...


The Spring Azure uses Flowering Dogwood blooms for a larval food only. Spring Azure is single brooded because the dogwoods only bloom one time a year. What you have there is Summer Azure which has many broods and uses lots of plants for larval food.

Amy said...

Sherry, I cannot believe that egg on the lavender - absolutely incredible! Your whole post had my jaw dropping...

Have a wonderful and safe trip West. It looks like you've prepared well and I'll anxiously be looking forward to your reports.

Chris said...

Have a great trip, Sherry :-)

ShySongbird said...

Dear Sherry, another lovely safari with beautiful photos. We have the all we need are the Monarchs...oh well, it's nice to dream :)

Have a wonderful, happy time!

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Q, I think posting about butterflies and their habitat is a really helpful thing. I know several people who have recently started butterfly gardens because they read about them on blogs. People want to see the flowers that butterflies nectar on and the host plants that the larva need to feed on.

That's making a difference.

Kimberly said...

Sherry, what a delightful post! I enjoy hearing of you passion for the visitors in your garden.
I recently purchased and planted milkweed, specifically for the monarchs. I try hard to keep plenty of blooms that will attract all varieties of wildlife. It's an important part of gardening that many people seem to miss.
Gorgeous photos, too!
Enjoy your June!!

Rose said...

The photographs of the butterfly and its egg are amazing, Sherry! You must have been very patient to have captured this photo. I'm happy to say we have many more butterflies this spring than last. I have planted dill, parsley, and fennel for the butterflies, and my butterfly weed has multiplied this year. I'm hoping to see more Monarchs this year.

By now you are on your way West; I hope you are having a safe journey and enjoying lots of new experiences and sights.

Angie said...

What AMAZING photos, especially the one of the egg on the lavendar!!!!!! Safe travels, Sherry! We will miss you until you return. Enjoy!

Wendy said...

What an uplifting post - chock full of interesting tidbits and lovely pictures.

I have tried saving seeds from my marigolds and planting them in spring, but for some reason, they just die.

Enjoy your trip. I hope you have nice weather and lots of fun.
Will be thinking of you.

Web Designer Philippines said...

Wow! I haven't seen an all white butterfly. It's beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

marmee said...


what a great thing to witness your beautiful butterfly laying her eggs on your lavender. i have milkweed in my garden for the monarchs and i love the way it looks too. i hope you are having a wonderful june with your many adventures. i will also be adventuring in june.
happy summer days.

Anonymous said...

I love Sam the Firefly. I haven't seen that book in ages, but couldn't get enough of it as a kid. Thanks for helping me rediscover my youth!

Meggie said...

In New Zealand the Monarchs needed Swan Plants to survive. I have no idea what they live on here in Australia.
I know you will enjoy your travels.
I look forward to seeing more amazing photos upon your return.

Jan (VA Zone 7A) said...

I am in awe of your capture of the butterfly laying the egg...what a shot! I've been waiting for monarchs here...I have planted about 15 milkweeds for them to enjoy. Just hoping they'll show up! So far, none of the milkweed is in bloom yet...but they are growing and I'm hoping they'll bloom in time for the monarchs to lay their eggs.