Sunday, August 23, 2015

August Butterfly List

After years of chasing, standing in the sun and waiting, this year I vowed to stop trying to get photos of butterflies.

That was before A Gulf Fritillary tried to ring the doorbell.

Sometimes they just pose themselves when I'm out there to get pics of flowers, like this Skipper did.

Gulf Fritillaries find Tithonia irresistable

... As did this Giant Swallowtail

... and this Spicebush Swallowtail. We're also seeing Tiger Swallowtails and Pipevine Swallowtails.

Now matter how dry it gets and right now I'm not able to drag out hoses, there's a little nectar somewhere.

I found a dozen little Tersa Sphinx Moth caterpillars on one little Pentas plant in the greenhouse. One had gone into a brown colored instar and was hiding on the back of a sole remaining leaf. They devoured the whole plant while I was not looking. No Pentas outdoors are hosting larvae that I found.

Agalinis plants are plentiful in the meadows and will bloom next month. Buckeyes are out there but they'll be more plentiful in September, laying eggs on False Foxgloves and nectaring on the pink blossoms.

I'm excited to be reminded of the meme Butterfly Bucket List at The Transmutational Garden.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Bloom Day, A Little Late

When Bloom Day came, I was between a hospitalization and going for surgery. I cared less if my lovely blossoms were missed. I visited as many blogs as I could and didn't make excuses for the lack of a Bloom Day post here.

Zinnias, Melampodium and a tattered Swallowtail.


Fianlly Duranta

Julia Child. Carefree Delight has a handful of blooms, too.

Most Zinnias turned out in shades of yellow. Love this one.

Pentas finally started good bloom, here with Persian Shield.

Cannas are everywhere.

Tecoma stans; Esperanza if you will. 

Melampodium stands up to drought. Sweet Zinnia.

Red Pentas with a Zinnia.
Red Pentas in the greenhouse had 11 little caterpillars on it,
it was nearly eaten when I found it.

I think of Zinnias like this one as 'Sunset Shades'

The weather is dry and some things are wilting. They will have to survive without my help as I can't drag hoses and all hoses were stored so He-Who-Mows can mow while I can't move heavy things. Survival of the fittest.

So glad to be back In the Garden. It is so hard to resist an impulse to bend over and give a weed a hard yank.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Butterflies and Orange Flowers

No need to keep looking at that awful damaged tree. I don't feel up to going out to make new photos but I did walk across the front to the mailbox today and I can show old pics with up-to-descriptions from today.

There are lots of Bengal Tiger Cannas, not all in bloom but 
the foliage is worth having. Some are almost smothered 
in Tithonia.

Tithonia is the favorite of many different butterflies. I saw a Giant Swallowtail last week. Buckeyes and American Ladies are showing up; Sulfurs, too.

Everybody that isn't visiting Tithonia is visiting either Lantana -- any of 3 colors: lavender, white and yellow -- or the tropicals Caesalpinia and Esperanza.

It's dry but I am not going to pull hoses so some things may bite the dust soon unless there's a rain.

Don't worry if I don't post for a while. When next you hear from me I will have given up my gall bladder to try to insure that I have no more pancreatitis. I'll be looking at your blogs as I can.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Power of Lightning

Amending the post on August 15 to add this information about lightning from our son Glenn.

Less than 10% of lighting delivers a positive charge to the ground (earth). It usually occurs around the perimeter of the storm miles from where one would be experiencing frequent lightning. It originates from the anvil at much higher altitudes depending on the geometry of the storm. 

 Positive lightning is usually a single stroke and does not branch. It also delivers ~10 times more energy than the common negative high as 1 billion volts and up to 300,000 amps. Not sure who was holding the meter, but anyway. 

 Trees and most everything else struck by positive lightning do not survive. Trees will explode as per your photographic evidence. The physics of the tree coming apart is simply the water content flashing to superheated steam at slightly less than the speed of light. The poor tree expands way too fast and you saw how far.