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Friday’s Hunt v2.8

Friday’s Hunt v2.8

This week we are hunting for things that Start with H, Week’s Favorite, and Single.

Thursday didn’t seem as Hot as what has become the norm, so I took my iPhone 6 Plus to the backyard with me when I filled feeders and birdbaths. I checked the fennel, and found several Hungry Black Swallowtail caterpillars. This is the first time I’ve seen them this year. 

My Week’s Favorite shows the Black-eyed Susans moved in with the fennel. They were probably like the rest of us, looking for a wee bit of shade. 

Most of the Purple Coneflowers resemble burnt toast, but I found this single blossom. 

Linking to
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Seasons: http://www.linkytools.com/wordpress_list.aspx?id=272172&type=thumbnail

 


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Random 5 Friday

Watch out! Randomness coming your way in 3…2…1…BOOM.
(cough, cough) Now that the smoke cleared, I can see to type.

1. Two days ago, there were a bazillion (ok, seven) early-stage Black Swallowtail caterpillars on one small fennel plant. I went out to inventory them today–the plant is gone, and they were nowhere to be found! I didn’t even get pictures of them!

2. I did find four later-stage ones on other plants in the Fennel Jungle. We planted extra fennel last year; we always had lots of caterpillars up until then, and the plants would be bare in no time. Now we have fennel and few caterpillars.

This is the lightest I’ve seen, usually they’re brighter green.

3. Thursday brought thunderstorms. I got trapped in a craft store–my hubby’s worst nightmare.

Seeing all those leaves on the ground made me sad. That’s rain on the window, though, not tears.

4. The wren from Good Fences #24 came back so you could get a rear view.

5. We got a laugh this week. Z started Pre-K, and when she grows up, she wants to do nothing. Thanks to our daughter for sharing the photo.

Hope you have a weekend of smiles, too.

Random 5 Friday

It’s still Friday somewhere, right? At least for a wee bit longer. Time for Random 5 Friday at Nancy’s blog, A Rural Journal.8616512946_a8c5cf857d_o

Come join the fun, where you share five random facts about you, your day, kids or pets, whatever!  Or just see what others have shared.

1. It was cool earlier in the day, 70s and 80s, compared to what we’ve been having–90s. We’ve had a few days of thunderstorms this week, too; all in all, favorable conditions for weeds. Today, I decreased their population considerably.

2. I need someone to remind me I am not as young as I used to be–before I deadhead, weed, and prune for hours. It was so nice to be outside, I didn’t want to come back inside.

3. My arm bone is  connected to my shoulder bone, which is connected to my neck bone.  There’s your anatomy lesson for the day.

4. The only spider I like is Spider Solitaire. If you do not play, don’t start. You have been warned. 

5. I finally found caterpillars on the fennel! These will metamorphose into Black Swallowtail butterflies. Shown are three of the five instars (larval stages) before they molt into the chrysalis. 

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Thursday’s Thoughts

My first thought is, “Can it really be Thursday, already?” 

The Asiatic Lilies went from this...
The Asiatic Lilies went from this…
...to this in nine days.
…to this in nine days.
I found the first Black Swallowtail caterpillar on the fennel this week.
I found the first Black Swallowtail caterpillar on the fennel this week.

Hubby is on the road again. His parents went from independent living in December to hospitals and nursing homes this spring. He says they seem to be relieved with not having the responsibilities of maintaining a home, preparing meals, laundry, etc. 

…a time for every purpose, under Heaven.
As Joyce Meyer says, “May the Lord’s blessings chase you down the street and overtake you.”

 

 

 

Eggs, Anyone?

After seeing a couple black swallowtails hovering around the parsley, I did some research to identify their eggs, and then headed to the garden to see what I could see. 

I found these–the tiny yellowish balls are eggs. I read that only one out of one hundred make it through the butterfly stage. It’s hard to leave them out there in that big old world. 

I also found this tiny caterpillar. 🙂 Patti’s Nursery may be back in business soon! 

 

 

Wild Wednesday

That would describe my hair mostly, outside doing some much-neglected yard work.

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I took a “brief” respite from weeding when the temperatures rose above 95F (35C). However, I quickly found the weeds had not. 😦

The other night, hubby spotted a black swallowtail caterpillar on the black-eyed susan (rudbeckia). Silly me thought it was looking for variety in its diet. I should have known better! Today I was deadheading flowers and pruning dead stems. I cut and pulled one stem off the black-eyed susan, OOPS! There was a chrysalis attached to it. I now have it in a vase in the kitchen so we can observe it together. 🙂

The area around the birdbath resembles a jungle, so I pruned some branches so I could fill it, and the birds could find it. I wanted to scrub it, and started to prune some of the ivy where I needed to step closer, and found another caterpillar in the process of attaching itself to a stem. No pruning of the ivy or scrubbing the birdbath today. Sorry for the blur, one of us must have moved. 🙂

I also observed a large caterpillar crawling across the mulch, heading for the vinca and rhododendron. It disappeared quickly, so hopefully it has settled in a safe place where the birds won’t find it. I also found this nest, about the size of a quarter, on another plant. Anyone have an idea what lurks within? 

Mystery mud nest

Black Swallowtail Butterflies

The caterpillars are becoming quite large now. 

There are still some early stage instars, but the larger ones are leaving the host plants and moving onto the next phase. 

I saw one attaching to the grid of the new cover on the platform feeder. It was gone later in the day when I looked for it, possibly eaten by a bird. 

Here’s a link that shows the various stages. 

Hubby saw one attaching itself to the siding on the house next to the back porch, and it was a chrysalis when I got home a couple hours later.

 I’ll keep an eye on it. If all goes well, we should have a brand new butterfly in 10-14 days!

Bonus: This is a cabbage white I found on the butterfly bush recently.