May 5th, 2010

breeden

Stuff In My Yard: Question Mark

 

Photo by Joe Mabel, Wikimedia Commons

 

Question Mark

Polygonia interrogationis

The garden is starting to fill in nicely now, although since it’s full blazing sun at the moment, anticipated to crack ninety degrees, the main bed is looking like wilted lettuce.  The flowers are blooming, a vast array in red and white and pink and yellow, a pollinator’s delight…which is, of course, why I found this spectacular butterfly hanging out on the heap of junk on the side of the house, waiting to be dragged away to the dump.

Question mark butterflies aren’t into flowers. They’re into trees. I hadn’t seen one in the yard before today, so I had to run inside and look him up immediately, where I discovered that he’s probably here because all those winged elm trees (well…shrubs…) that are growing throughout the wooded area. Elm is one of their chosen larval host plants.

As adults, apparently they still aren’t all that interested in flowers. (What the one in the photo is doing posing on yarrow, I have no idea–perhaps he didn’t get the memo, or he’s an iconoclast of butterfly-kind.) They like sap. And carrion. And dung.

As butterflies go, these are hardcore.

(The irony here is that the family name of these fellows are “Angelwings” because of those lovely cut-out wing shapes.)

Well. I draw the line at leaving carrion lying around the yard–I mean, I’d probably do it, I’m crazy, and I’d love to bring the local black vultures down for a visit, but that crosses a line where the neighbors actually get to complain. Not mowing the lawn, meh. Large plantings bringing in wildlife, stfu. Leaving carcasses on the lawn…now you’ve got a legitimate gripe. I respect that. (For the record, our neighbors can’t even see our yard, and to my knowledge have never complained about anything. Still.)

The dog crap in the backyard will simply have to suffice for our friendly neighborhood question mark. No need to thank me, butterfly, I give it to you freely. Bon Appetit.



Photo by Joe Mabel, Wikimedia Common
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Originally published at Squash's Garden. You can comment here or there.

breeden

(no subject)

…and I just saw a pair of red-eyed vireos cavorting togther in the big willow-oak tree. Not a bird I see very often–had to dig out the book and pore over it, trying to figure it out–and I only spotted them because one zipped across the yard just as our newly bald male cardinal came out for a drink on the birdbath.

Perhaps the pair will stick around. We have bugs! And trees! Vireos welcome! Great neighborhood to raise fledglings! No HOA!

Originally published at Squash's Garden. You can comment here or there.