Monday, July 23, 2012

An early morning garden tour

Just after dawn on Saturday morning in the garden...
A male black swallowtail butterfly looks like a jewel with the early morning sun backlighting his wings.

The same butterfly with the sun at its back. He must have been newly emerged because
he stayed on this grass flower head for a long time.

A female butternut squash flower waiting to be pollinated. A squash flower requires
8 or 9 visits by pollinators before it will set fruit.

This luna moth has been through a lot. Adults live only long enough to have sex and lay eggs.
They have no mouth parts, so their energy comes entirely from their larval stage, which feeds on leaves of walnut, hickory, sweetgum, maple, oak, persimmon, willow and other trees. Around our yard they have plenty of larval food--sweetgum, oak and maple.

A blue bee lit on the dew-covered spiderwort just as I snapped the photo.

Earlier in the season, I dug a volunteer squash from between the peppers. Oddly, it turned out to be a birdhouse gourd. It blooms at night so even in the early morning, the flowers do not look fresh--I suppose it's pollinated by moths or bats.  This is also called a bottle gourd or a calabash, which reminds me of Jimmy Durante.

The birdhouse gourds I planted up near the pumpkins look like this now.  See "The birdhouse gourd adventure". Most of the seedlings that I transplanted to the rim of the swale did not make it, but I still have some good-looking seedlings that sprouted in the center. More birdhouse gourd adventures to come.

There are wonders to behold in the landscape. I'm pleased to share my current wonders, for tomorrow's will be a different story.

Green Gardening Matters,
Ginny Stibolt


  1. Ginny you have some wonderful treats in the garden. I have had to hand pollinate squashes to ensure pollination although the pumpkins have wonderful pollinator activity. I also found back swallowtail caterpillars on my is just so much fun walking around to discover all these wonderful things in the garden.

    1. Thanks Donna. It IS fun to walk slowly through the garden and I especially enjoy this at first light.