Stealth Butterfly

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Found a caterpillar eating blossom of my gaillardia. It’s probably a moth, which I think of as stealth butterflies. I spent some time poking around on the web to see if I could find out what exactly it was, but “moth” covers so much ground I wasn’t able to narrow it down. I thought about removing it, but wildlife here has had such a hard time for the last couple of years, I just left it.

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The gulf fritillary larvae are doing pretty well. I moved them from the vine that they’d eaten all the leaves off of to another one.

My garden is really small. I have a long, narrow patio and postage stamp front yard. I used to think of my garden as this little cup of life in the desert of suburbia. Most of the houses around us have yards that are aimed at being the least possible maintenance. But lately I’ve come to realize how much the cup overfloweth. The things that I put in the garden are only a part of what happens there. There are the bees that come and drink the water from my water pot. The birds that come for both food and water. The bugs that eat the plants, the lizards that eat the bugs, the rat bastard squirrel that ate all my macadamia nuts last year.

There are a few who have yard like that in my neighborhood and I wonder how much wildlife depends on these tiny oases. How many creatures pass through every day? I get the feeling that spaces like these are going to be more important at more people are squeezed in and everything else is squeezed out.

Stop here

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I’ve come to the conclusion that the boston ivy that covers most of the patio wall has to go. It’s just too hot for it now. It never really looks good except in early spring. Then the weather heats up all the leaves burn and I’m left with a wall of toast. So I’ve been pulling it down, a few feet at a time. It’s easier on me than trying to do the whole wall at once and it gives the local wildlife a chance to move to a new location. I was out trimming this weekend when I found my stopping point. A mantid egg case. Between that and the fact that the trash was full, a good place to stop.