Sunday, July 26, 2015

More Broods of Butterflies

There's really no need to go out in hot sun and humidity to take pictures of butterflies just like the ones that were here last year and several years before that on the same nectar plants I always grow, except that I do it anyway.

Gulf Fritillaries sharing a Tithonia Bloom.
-- as if there are not plenty to go around.

Duranta has finally squeezed out a limb or two of blooms.
I took the pruners and whacked back some 7 foot stems
in hopes that forces bloom.

Excited to see a Giant Swallowtail, I tried for a good pic.

... and tried.

... and gave up.

Spicebush Swallowtails are trying some of every type bloom.

Esperanza and Pride of Barbados offer the perfect spot for
nectaring in front of ripening corn, rustling in the wind.

It seems that new broods hatch out about every 2 months here. First butterflies show up with Azaleas in March, another wave in May, June looks sparse and then the big broods come in July. September we get the final broods except for a few that show up must any warm day year 'round.

There are some native orange Asclepias blooming across the road. I thought they were gone forever but they're back after plenty of rain this year. We mostly just see Monarchs en route somewhere else, spring and fall.

What I haven't seen are Zebras. No Longwings, no Zebra Swallowtails recently. I accidentally broke my Asimina augustifolia but there are other narrowleaf Paw paws at the edge of woods nearby. The one I broke is putting out new growth. Zebra Swallowtails usually show up to nectar nearby on Lantana.

Zebra Longwings are scarce here but their host is the same as Gulf Fritillaries of which there are plenty. Maybe I stay inside too much where it's cool and am too content to watch butterflies fly by the kitchen window.

Here's a link to Butterflies and Blooms August 2014 -- last August, same kinds of butterflies, same flowers, different pics.

I've seen Painted Ladies, Buckeyes, Fritillaries, Dogface Sulphurs, Cabbage Whites, various kinds of Skippers in addition to those above. Oh, and Pipevine and Tiger Swallowtails.

Spicebush and Pipevine Swallowtails.

Late note: I found a Butterfly meme HERE for Butterfly Bucket List.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Curcuma, Tropical Ginger

Curcumas are blooming early this year.

 Often called Hidden Ginger, for some reason the flowers are not hidden under leaves this year.

I pinned a scene from Albert Hadley's garden in Naples, FL which has the caption, "A boardwalk in the garden replaced a cement walk to heighten the tropical experience.". So, I added one of my Russian-made wood pathways.

Alpinia, or Shell Ginger in the near view.


Up close: The pink parts are bracts. The flowers are the yellow parts.

Cardamon ginger and ferns. The pitiful two-leafed plant is a Strelitzia that tries its best to make a comeback after every cold winter. If it were anything other than a Bird, I would dig and toss it. Gingers are happy in shade here.

This critter was clinging to the back of a Shell Ginger leaf. Actually it's an empty shell of a cicada.

Twenty years ago, one of my imaginary friends had a terrific web site devoted to his efforts to see what would best grow in this area. He kept detailed records of everything he planted, built an elaborate hypertufa garden and was doing quite well I thought, despite a number of losses such as we all experience. Ten years ago he let all those wonderful photos and texts go after he discovered a whole new world: Gingers. Eventually he narrowed Gingers to Costus as his focus. 

Dave owns the URL I thought I'd found him on Facebook. Turns out GingersRUs on Facebook is a group of Redheads, fond of bad jokes and puns. 

A last look at Curcuma.

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