Monarch ovipositing!!

Joined: December 2nd, 2017, 4:38 am

May 9th, 2018, 7:50 pm #1

Right when I was mentally complaining that they had yet to find any of my very pretty milkweed (all visits have been to a 6 inch tall flowerless one on the east side of the house) this one looped around and made it.


monarch1.jpg
Eventually wound its way to the front yard patch
monarch4.jpg It even laid eggs on the only remaining Swamp milkweed seedling (others got taken out by some sort of pest.. white flies I think?) so I'm going to have to move the cats when they hatch

Common Buckeye from a few days ago,puddled for a bit and fed on 'Chapel Hill Yellow' lantana.. completely ignored all the Florida pellitory around it so maybe it was male
CommonBuckeye.jpg
CommonBuckeye2.jpg
Glad to see something is using my signet marigolds. If anyone knows the skipper species lemme know, identifying these is always maddening for me
skipper1.jpg
skipper2.jpg I also saw a Gulf fritillary visit (but didn't get a pic) and a Tiger swallowtail flew overhead.. I don't think I've ever had one stop in the yard.


Some flowers:


First flowers of my Ethiopian blue butterfly bush, no butterflies on it yet but there's some sort of wasp using it (not a paper wasp)

Screen Shot 2018-05-06 at 9.28.41 PM.png Passiflora caerula (host for gulf frit, of which I had two of but forgot to take a pic before they went off to pupate) IMG_1650.jpg Stokesia laevis 'Mary Gregory', first year with these plants that I got for 3 bucks in SRG fall sales. Going to get a bunch more in the fall, great shade plant if you live in the Southeast.
IMG_1659.jpg
Gailardia pulchella (native annual), I collected seed from a normal-looking wild plant and  one sprouted. It has consistently self-seeded with this tubular mutation. I wasn't thinking and got some 'Mesa Yellow' and 'Arizona apricot' Blanketflower that I might have to give away because I really don't want them to cross pollinate.

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- Maypop95

Gardener of edibles and plants with high wildlife value in zone 9a/b in Northeastern FL. Enemy of invasive fire ant (Solenopsis invictus) and monocultures everywhere. Also just some college kid doing their thing.

Traveling Jul 24 - Aug 15
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Joined: June 21st, 2017, 12:59 am

May 10th, 2018, 1:12 am #2

Maypop, just curious..... How big is your garden area?   Nice looking plants for sure.

Carol
Carol Trego
New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, USA
Zone 6b
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Joined: May 21st, 2013, 12:09 am

May 10th, 2018, 1:35 am #3

Your skipper looks like a Duskywing. Nice to see your photos
Southern New Jersey
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May 10th, 2018, 3:28 pm #4

I read the Passion vine 'Passiflora Caerulais' is also referred to as Maypop vine.    I only saw it for sale once at a local nursery near the end of the season.   It didn't seem to be very popular and the store had quite a few of them. Had I known it was a host for Gulf Frit I would have tried to grow it.    I'll be on the lookout for it and might grow in a container if I can find it.  The flower is really something.

Carol Trego
New Cumberland, Pennsylvania USA
Zone 6b
Carol Trego
New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, USA
Zone 6b
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Joined: May 21st, 2013, 12:09 am

May 10th, 2018, 3:44 pm #5

Gulf Frit. would be a bridge too far for either of us. Maybe someday if the climate keeps warming? It makes me wonder about any strays in the north. I was in a story just yesterday that had Passion Vine for sale. At least one species will survive up here. 

So our friend in Florida is actually a vine, who'd have guessed.
Southern New Jersey
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May 10th, 2018, 6:26 pm #6

I didn't pay much attention to the fact the Maypop vine hosted Gulf Frit butterflies; was thinking of another kind of Frit that I see here.   Oh well.  Here is information about the Maypop vine.

http://homeguides.sfgate.com/care-maypo ... 25397.html

Carol
Carol Trego
New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, USA
Zone 6b
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Joined: May 21st, 2013, 12:09 am

May 10th, 2018, 6:40 pm #7

It is violets for our Fritillaries 
http://nababutterfly.com/caterpillar-fo ... t-violets/
This a little article from the North American Butterfly association which speaks about it.
Southern New Jersey
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Joined: June 21st, 2017, 12:59 am

May 10th, 2018, 10:04 pm #8

Well I guess there is some good reason then for wild violets.   I have a gazillion of them in the grass and flower beds.   The Frits will always have host violet plants here as host plants.  Not that I want the wild violets no how pretty they look when blooming.   I can't get rid of the thugs and fight with them every year.

Carol
Carol Trego
New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, USA
Zone 6b
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Joined: December 2nd, 2017, 4:38 am

May 11th, 2018, 2:55 am #9

Update on the "wasp", I thought something looked off about the mouth and antenna but it really fooled me and I couldn't notice it only had two wings.
It's a Mydas fly species. Mydas flies are large wasp-mimics that fall under the order Diptera ("two-wing" aka all the true flies) and are some of the largest flies. The young eat grubs underground and are considered "beneficial insects". The feeding habits of the adults are poorly understood for the most part and I didn't see any direct feeding behavior either. Closest species I could find was Phyllomydas parvulus but the coloration seems somewhat different.

unknownwasp.jpg
@ Carol: Thank you! :)
Judging by google satellite view Backyard is about 40 feet long, 12 feet wide probably add a few feet to each measurement. Front yard isn't a perfect square but if it was it seems to be about 40 long, 36 wide but some of that is the driveway.

[ I really wish the sizes were switched because it is infinitely easier to landscape backyards vs frontyards (I find houses as backdrops to be very limiting) and if it was the backyard I could divide it up into "garden rooms" instead of having to waste so much space on an HOA-approved lawn. I'm not sure why so many house layouts are like this!! wouldn't people want the private backyard to be the bigger one?]
- Maypop95

Gardener of edibles and plants with high wildlife value in zone 9a/b in Northeastern FL. Enemy of invasive fire ant (Solenopsis invictus) and monocultures everywhere. Also just some college kid doing their thing.

Traveling Jul 24 - Aug 15
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Joined: December 2nd, 2017, 4:38 am

May 11th, 2018, 2:58 am #10

BTW Passiflora caerula isn't the same as the maypop but they are both good gulf frit hosts. The maypop is the native species, Passiflora incarnata. Sometimes Maypop is called the Purple passionflower (though there are many purple species...) and mine is called the Blue passionflower. Both have beautiful flowers though I do slightly favor P. caerula's flowers. To make matters more confusing there are also many hybrids of the two in commerce.

P. caerula attracts gulf frits but does not attract Zebra longwings like maypops do, unfortunately. Gulf frits are greedier in my experience so having a P. careula around to move most gulf frits onto (and saving the maypop for longwings) can be a practical choice.

Passionflowers are my favorite flower I think or at least in my top 5 c: which is why I chose this username..someone ought to make a slightly OT favorite flower thread.
- Maypop95

Gardener of edibles and plants with high wildlife value in zone 9a/b in Northeastern FL. Enemy of invasive fire ant (Solenopsis invictus) and monocultures everywhere. Also just some college kid doing their thing.

Traveling Jul 24 - Aug 15
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Joined: June 21st, 2017, 12:59 am

May 11th, 2018, 11:21 am #11

Maypop, I've lived in the same house for 42 years, much older than you are.  Have about a half acre lot.  Most of the gardens are on the side and back of the house, although there is a front yard too, but no grass (ground cover, shrubs, plants and a path to the back yard).   Actually, there is not much grass to mow because the rest of the yard area is in gardens or ground cover.   It's getting more difficult to garden here because I live on a hill and there is no access to the rear of the property except by foot, wheel barrow, etc.  I have a motorized wheel barrow which I couldn't garden without on this hilly property.  I could probably be your great grandma because I'm 68 :))

I sometimes use Flickr to store images and post some on the forum.  Went there today and all the images were I previously had on there are gone.   I checked back on previous posts of mine to the forums to see if the images were still accessible and they are.   

I can't figure out how to add an image to a post like this that is already established.  I know how to add an image from my computer if I start the thread, but haven't been able to figure out if using "Full Editor and Preview" (below) will work to add an image to an already established thread.  Might try that later.  Gotta run and get weighed in a WW.  I'm a lifer.

Carol
Carol Trego
New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, USA
Zone 6b
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Joined: December 2nd, 2017, 4:38 am

May 11th, 2018, 12:10 pm #12

@ Carol: Yeah I'm in my early 20s so I imagined most people here are older, or as I would put it, more "experienced" than me. :P I like to use this site because while I have a lot of friends my age understandably few garden. When I say "my yard" I refer to my parent's place as I do not have my own yet. I hope one day to have some place outside of Ocala FL. And my goal is to become a Biology professor so with any luck if I combine that income with that of my  partner, we'll be able to afford a place with a bigger garden in a less expensive (less coastal) area. Professor is kind of ideal job for me because I liked tutoring people and because I have a connective tissue disorder complete with a heart deformity, the retail work I've been doing since I was 14 is very draining. Even activities I enjoy like hiking are very draining unless I do it on a beach where the sand cushions my joint problems. Kind of annoying but it is what it is.

It's funny you have 1/2 an acre because that's my ideal size I think!  At least that's my ideal size to maintain, I could have additional land that was forest that didn't require monitoring except for potential invasives (air potato I'm looking at you!) but not garden space.
 I'll have to look through your posts for garden pics as I am interested in what all of that looks like. Sounds pretty good to me!


If you click full editor&preview you can add images. That's how I added the wasp-mimic photo.
- Maypop95

Gardener of edibles and plants with high wildlife value in zone 9a/b in Northeastern FL. Enemy of invasive fire ant (Solenopsis invictus) and monocultures everywhere. Also just some college kid doing their thing.

Traveling Jul 24 - Aug 15
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Joined: June 21st, 2017, 12:59 am

May 11th, 2018, 2:26 pm #13

People with experience in life can be a great asset in many respects to those who are just starting out.  You are ahead of the game with young people around your age, many who don't want much to do with gardening, birds, butterflies, etc.

I would also say thanks to you for teaching me new things about plants and gardening.   I like learning new things on any subject.   For example, I watched a YouTube video last night about the Victorian Gardens in the UK.   Head gardeners and helpers of the Victorian age sure had it tough with tools that were hard to use.   The lawn mower wasn't invented until around 1898.  Early hedge clippers needed two men to use them and were manually operated (it looked like torture to me to trim a hedge).  I learned Queen Victoria loved violets and they appeared all over the country after a special violet was hybridized and named after the Queen.   I learned women and men in the Victorian Age who went to events like concerts, etc. liked to have fresh flowers in their hair, on dresses, on a man's lapel.  The head gardener sent flowers to London where most of the events occurred and the lady's maid and man of the house who has an aide were responsible for putting the flowers together so the important people looked marvelous.   Sometimes they had small tubes of water hidden so the flowers stayed fresh in their hair, dresses, or lapels.  It was hard to keep the flowers fresh for six hours or so during the events.    One more thing, the head gardener in the Victorian Garden YouTube video was a man and he always had a shirt and tie at all times.  You wouldn't see that now :))

Here are a few images of my garden and yard areas.   Carol

rsz_front_yard_51018.jpg Front garden view from my living room window.


rsz_hillside_in_backyard_51018.jpg Hillside garden in back of porch

rsz_salvia_and_microphylia_plants.jpg Area in back yard planted with Salvia and Hot Lips (those in poultry wire) rsz_side_yard_3.jpg rsz_round_garden.jpg
Upper yard.

Carol
Carol Trego
New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, USA
Zone 6b
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Joined: May 21st, 2013, 12:09 am

May 11th, 2018, 7:06 pm #14

Carol, your gardens are a lot neater than mine are right now - you must work harder.
Maypop, are you a biology student? You do have good grasp of your local fauna and flora. Maybe they are doing a better job in schools these days than they did in the past? I never forget an incident back in the late 1970s in Seattle. I was a party and at the party of a grad student in forestry. What an opportunity I thought. Identifying western conifers was a struggle to me so I asked him for some tips. His answer was he was studying poplars and that was all he knew about. It was great disappointment. It would seem, at least on the surface, that the various disciplines talk to each other more these days. I hope I'm right.

One thing is for sure, the world needs good naturalists, whether teaching in college or active in the community. I see more young people involved these days and many more woman. Most never find employment as biologists, they do their thing on the side. Speaking for New Jersey these so called amateurs have had a profound influence on conservation and land preservation. It was the same in Florida and elsewhere.

One other thing, you said your young friends mostly don't really share your passions. That will probably change. Eventually you will attract like minded people into your circle, discover the joys of friendship with those you might have admired from a distance. It takes some time, at least it did for me, I was about 30. thirty-four year later I still feel lucky. 
Southern New Jersey
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Joined: December 2nd, 2017, 4:38 am

May 12th, 2018, 1:24 am #15

@ Carol
Wow that red bush.. I'm guessing an Azalea? Is very impressive/well-cared for I don't think I ever saw one that impressive in MA. Also love those conifers!! The layout looks very peaceful and I bet it gets very beautiful in a few weeks. It looks really nice especially considering how early in the season is. That's how you use 1/2 an acre !

I'd post pics of my parent's yard but it's still kind of embarrassing as a landscape, the structure is there but it's still quite sparse. I've neglected flowers, focused on planting some small tree starts (a native Flatwoods plum, a Red Buckeye, a Flowering Buckeye, and the exotic but not invasive 'Shoal Creek' Vitex).   If anyone reading this has perennial recommendations for Florida that are around 4 feet tall I'd like to hear them, just to have something in front of all of these hedges other than Salvias (which I love but I need to branch out).

However, I will share my elderberry tree as I am a little bit proud of it. I planted it in middle school when it was a 6" weed growing in someone's lawn and now it's a good size. I do need to take a chainsaw and fix some of it's canopy structure as it's a bit rough after 3 hurricanes in 2 years lol (also yes the Pygmy date palms got considerable frost damage)

Screen Shot 2018-05-11 at 8.51.11 PM.png

@ Ward.
Thanks for the compliment c:

Yes I am a biology student! I'm specifically part of an ecology and evolution program. I used to be a different major though so I haven't even gotten into the specific courses yet. If I know anything it's because of previous interest and research but I look forward to getting more formal knowledge, especially botanical. Maybe I'll learn a plant genus other than Salvia LOLL

I think people are expected to have a basic background in everything (with their specialty on top). Like if you're an entomologist be able to identify major families of bugs and then know a lot more about your specialty. For the forestry example if a species was local they should probably be able to somewhat narrow it down because I don't think you can understand forestry without understanding the trees that make up that forest.. especially since forestry is more practical-oriented. Your example is even odder because Seattle area. I've seen photos of the forests out there and they are rich in conifer diversity you'd think he'd know Something. That's like being an ornithologist in Florida and not knowing anything about egrets.

As far as friends and passions go, I hope so. I mostly meant by my comment that they aren't into it as intensely as me (understandable, we all have our niches) and that they don't garden but that's largely due to our age group. Living in a college dorm isn't the most conducive thing to gardening. When they do get a plant for some reason or another they do come to me for advice which is very flattering so I appreciate it but I feel bad because I'm hardly qualified haha. I look forward to when they actually have places I can gift plants to
- Maypop95

Gardener of edibles and plants with high wildlife value in zone 9a/b in Northeastern FL. Enemy of invasive fire ant (Solenopsis invictus) and monocultures everywhere. Also just some college kid doing their thing.

Traveling Jul 24 - Aug 15
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