Watching

Monarch 200903

Spent a while watching butterflies on Saturday. A big monarch seems to have claimed the yard for her own. At least I think it was a she. She would patrol from one end of the garden to the other and back again, looping around the butterfly milkweed plants to make sure there were no interlopers.

There was also a cabbage butterfly and a couple of what I think were hairstreaks, but I didn’t get close enough to see them clearly.

Hairstreak 201107-ad

The monarch left the smaller butterflies alone, but when a gulf fritillary wandered into the yard it promptly got chased back out again. I think it’s larger size and orange and black colors make it too monarch-like. It was an immediate target.

Fritillary200910-c

I was glad to see a good number of bees. When everyone stopped watering everything the bee population seemed to take a real dive. There were days in the beginning of the year where there’d be only one or two in the front yard and none at all inside the gates. Now there’s a good mix of pollinators, bees, butterflies and hoverflies. It was a good day for bugwatching.

Lack of Larvae

I have these:

20170622_Monarch

There’s one that I’ve seen patrolling the yard, flitting from one end of the yard to the other, stopping occasionally to lay eggs on the butterfly plant. She chases off any interlopers. Butterfly fights are interesting to watch. They look like leaves caught in a whirlwind. It’s hard to believe they’re battles for territory.

I was hoping for more of these:

20170622_MonarchLarva

But this is only the second one I’ve seen this season.

Nepenthe

20170620_Nepenth

I am as proud of this plant as almost any in my garden. In the past I have done a wonderful job of killing them. I got this one off of Ebay, intending to put it in my kitchen window with the sarracenia I haven’t yet killed, but it was too big. So I put it in a compote dish that belonged to my mom-in-law. There it has room to drape over the edge. I’ve been watering it regularly with distilled water and have it in bright indirect light. I haven’t been paying much attention to it until this weekend when I noticed it had traps. Not just traps, but kind of large traps, over three inches long. It’s also developing some smaller ones at the base, but they’re smaller and look different. I’m wondering if there are two different varieties in the pot. Sometimes it seems like the best things in my garden happen when I’m not looking.