Monday, June 30, 2014

Supreme Court on Pro-Life Demonstrators and on Hobby Lobby, Hillary's Secret Advisor, News from the Butterfly Garden


News from the Butterfly Garden

It has been an odd year for butterflies.  Monarchs, usually the mainstay of any butterfly garden, are around, but in far fewer numbers than in other years.  To encourage their presence, I have put in some additional milkweed, their larval host plant, in the hopes of some finding a home in my yard. 

But the biggest failure has been the absence of gold rimmed swallowtails.  There were a few around a few months ago, but despite a thriving Dutchman’s Pipe vine (which they usually love to devour and lay eggs upon), I have pretty much counted them out for the summer.

From a plantings standpoint, more successful have been the passiflora subrosa corky vines which have attracted some Broad Winged Zebras (the state butterfly of Florida).  Though I have difficulty locating their caterpillars and chrysalises, these butterflies’ presence indicates that they are around. But even then, sometimes a week or so goes by between their appearances.                                                                                                                                 
Most successful have been the passiflora incarta and passiflora incense vines.  The fragrance of these passion flowers has attracted Gulf Fritillary butterflies and the “egg-caterpillar-chrysalis-butterfly” cycle is repeatedly occurring for this species.  Here is a cell phone photo taken a few days ago of a Gulf Fritillary on one of these vines.