Thursday, October 15, 2009

Butterfly Invasion!

My yard has been invaded by butterflies!! Seriously. I have never seen anything like it. Queen butterflies (Danaus gilippus) are literally taking over my yard. Not 5, not 10, not 50, but hundreds!! It is crazy! Walk along my side yard where I have a bunch of Greggs Blue Mistflower and a hundred butterflies swarm you, dancing about like fairies in some kind of wonderland. I have to duck, half expecting to be doused in butterfly-fairy dust. They are carpeting the mistflower, the butterfly bush, the salvias, the rock rose, and even the trees.

You have to look close, but there are about a 50 butterflies in this pic. They are on the flowers, in the grass, in the trees, in the air, and at least another 50 dancing around and above my head as I took this photo:


And on the Snow on the Mountain:

Then as the sun began to wane, the butterflies began to collect on the trees in giant clumps:

First a few on the orchid tree on various branches here and there:

A few more in the pomegranate:

Then they began to commune on the Texas Oak tree:

And more came to join the party:

Soon the branches were coated with Queen butterflies:

Apparently they have decided to stay for a bit and are going to sleep in the trees in my backyard. It appears I will be playing host to the butterflies for a while. I should probably put out a bowl of wet sand for them to puddle in tomorrow as I wouldn't want to be a bad hostess.

Bloom Day - October 15th, 2009

El Nino has finally arrived! We have had much rain over the last couple of weeks and my garden is bloomin' crazy in response. Let's get to it:

The begonias are finally really happy, although they toughed out the summer really quite well (hanging in the shade of course):

Dragon-wing begonias:

The fan flowers have been amazing all summer and fall (just keep them wet!):


The geraniums are making a comeback. Here is a hummer hiding from the rain the other day on the feeder between the geraniums:

The shrimp plants continue to bloom and attract hummers:

The Abutilon stuggled through the summer and is beginning to revive now that the weather has cooled a bit:

Gulf muhly and red coreopsis:

Blackfoot daisy and Damianita:

Bulbine and Damianita:

Blue Mistflower:

Mealy blue sage:



Texas Mountain Sage (the hummers fight vicious battles for this one):

Turks cap:

Golden Leadball tree:

Hotlips Salvia:

Laceleaf lavendar:

Mexican Mint Marigold:

Mexican Bird of Paradise:

Moonbeam Yarrow:

Mushrooms (ok, not a flower, but still cool):

Pink skullcap:

Rock Penstemon and Antelope Horns milkweed:

Rock Rose and Mexican Bush Sage:

Various salvias:

Snapdragon Vine:

Anacacho Orchid:


Obedient Plant:

The Flowering Senna is LOADED with blooms:


Texas Betony:

Autumn daffodil - Sternbergia lutea (actually a member of the Amaryllis family):

And Texas Bluebell. These are finally winding down for the season, only a few blooms remain. This was the BEST flower in my garden this year as it simply thrived on the heat as long as it had a bit of water (it is growing by the jar-fountain):