In the land of butterflies

It’s a poop party at the wild lime

That title sounds like some obscure fetish gathering in an underground establishment that I’d not like to visit nor be invited to.

I’m sure you remember one of my first vlogs where I shared my wild lime tree. You don’t? What the heck have you been doing aside from memorizing my yard? Well, it’s a pity because I lost that vlog during the blogger to WordPress transfer. Your life will never be the same.

Please note the vine of death in the background up there. It is actually starting to sprout leaves, someone has laid eggs on it already and yes, I still have PTSD.

We planted this tree soley for the purpose of attracting Giant Swallowtails. They also like my real citrus trees but this is not a real fruit bearing tree; it’s as fake as a Kardashian derriere.

I found three giant swallowtail caterpillars in the wild lime recently, all in different stages. Can YOU SEE THEM?

Our creator is such a genius; he made it so that the baby caterpillars look like bird poop. Hence keeping predators from eating them. Raise your hands if you’re glad he didn’t follow through with making our children look like bird poop? I mean, I’m not saying I didn’t want to nibble on my babies here and there, but had they looked like poop? Ehhh, I’ll pass and I hope this ‘phase’ passes too.

Two are still in caterpillar form, the third is in his chrysalis.

I captured brought in a baby swallowtail caterpillar in June and was hand feeding it daily. It finally had it’s fill of food and it created it’s chrysallis on July 4th. Last week, much to my surprise VOILA’, she was here just a rustling around in the styrofoam cooler where I pin all the chrysallid’s. HULLO-Lady human, I’m ready to live my best life!

This is my very first time successfully raising a Giant Swallowtail and I was so excited, so you know what I might have done-yes, Happy SHAAAAT. I carried her outside, had her on my hand and was trying to place her on a flower when she decided to come in for a closeup.


I heard her say: why u schwetty? why u slippery and smell like sunscreen? what happen to yur nek, so wrinkky.

Who knew butterflies were so DAMN judgy?

She stuck around for quite a while we had our own Glamour shot sesh.

Go ahead and comment: Pretty butterfly. You know you want to. But also, did you read the part about me almost shatting? That is what some might call quality blogging.

Well, that is enough learning for today. It’s also a reminder to apply sunscreen to your neck and decolletage. I apologize if you fell asleep in class, but that’s what you get when you stay up all night watching bad TV.

XOXO

In the land of butterflies

My {fence} field of dreams with Kevin Kostner.

Way back in December, when the world was semi-normal we started working on updating much of the landscaping.

I wanted to add in more butterfly-friendly elements. I already had everything set for my monarch, queen, eastern black swallowtails, Giant swallowtails, and gulf fritillary community of flyers, but wanted to add in some more swallowtails to the mix. {why so many links, Suz?}

I have a secret to tell you.

I haven’t shared this with everyone.

I have my very own butterfly guru.

I have only had him since December, but I do adore him. His name is Michael, but I refer to him as my guru. I thought I knew about butterflies but darnittoheck, he knows everything about butterflies.

He told me I needed to plant pipevine; I’d read about the pipevine prior and I did want it, so no arm twisting was involved.

He said if you plant this THEY WILL COME!

Perhaps less ominous-sounding in real life.

He brought over two pipevine plants. Hmmm…they, they look like a regular vine. So far, nothing to wet myself over.

But, can you just plant them in the ground?

Hell to the no.

This is a special vine that needs special equipment; it needed a professionally designed and installed espalier. 

Did you know that there are people on the planet that their job is to design and install these?

Kind of reminds me that I need to blog about the guy who injects our palms; he’s a professional palm injector.

Now that I say that out loud, it sounds dirty.

I digress.

Here are my baby pipevines back in December on their custom espalier.

Then a few months later.

This is the weird bloom it makes.

My eyes have seen a lot of things, but they ain’t seen nothing like that…see how I slipped into my southern drawl? 

Do you remember health class in school? Is that an ovary or a fallopian tube? 

Again, I’m off track.

The pipevine attracts different types of swallowtails depending on where you live; in SW Florida, it attracts the polydamas swallowtail.  Which, I swear I have NEVER seen in person.

Not sure why I have to swear so much but it feels good.

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Polydamas pic borrowed from UF/IFAS

So, I’ve been training my vine every few days; I move the growing vines around the wires to keep them attached as they grow.

Remember training bras?

This is nothing like that I just wondered if you remembered those.

When I’m out there doing my training, I can hear Michael, aka the Guru, saying “if you plant this, THEY.WILL.COME.”  He doesn’t even look like Kevin Costner, but he’s in my head.

The other day I went out for my training, and guess what.

Wait, did you hear a sudden high pitched squeal around noon Eastern time on Thursday?

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Max is such a poser.

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I have polydamas babies!

I wanted to shout it from the rooftop that I have eggs and larvae thriving on my vine.

But, our roof is really tall, I struggle with vertigo and it’s hot outside, so a blog post will have to suffice.

I was so excited I almost wet my pants. Which really, at this stage isn’t unusual.

BTW: spellcheck wants me to change the name to polygamous. Weirdos. 

So, that was my exciting butterfly news for last week.

Life is good in my butterfly world and that makes all the hard to swallow pills easier.

XOXO