Retired. Living simply and frugally. Eating healthy, home-grown, local organic food. Avoiding GMOs, processed, packaged, and shipped foods to be more kind to mother earth. Gardening is my passion.
Saturday, July 28, 2012
The Painted Lady, Baby Bluebird, and Goldfinch
Painted Lady Butterfly
Baby Bluebird about to fledge
Back in May, I discovered hungry little caterpillars munching away at my echinops. After a little investigative research, I discover it was the caterpillar of the Painted lady butterfly. My discovery is in this post from June 1. Yesterday, I finally saw the end of the metamorphosis -- the beautiful butterfly. She was very difficult to photograph; shy and fast-moving. When she sat down to feed, her wings nearly never opened and when they did, it was a quick open and shut. Butterflies, bees, and birds are always welcome in my backyard. I call them "my staff." Working hard and never taking a break, they are the great must-have pollinators. The bluebird nest box has been in the garden for many, many years. Each spring, the bluebirds make a nest and try to raise young, but each year they are challenged with sparrows destroying the nest. One year, I found dead baby birds in the nest. This year, three nests of eggs were destroyed with the exception of one lone egg which hatched and the baby was raised to a fledgling. I was very excited to see him fly off into the world. He was a special little baby this year. His odds of survival were 1 in 15. And he made it. The goldfinches are enjoying themselves this year. From two sunflower plants last year, at least 50 plants volunteered to grow on their own and I transplanted them at numerous places throughout the property. The goldfinch are delighted to test each seed head and play around. The backyard is bustling with activity -- what a delight to sit and watch.