Monday, August 24, 2009

Butterflies Ate My Dill & My Passion Flower & My Cantaloupe?

I missed the opportunity to take a photo earlier this year when my lovely dill plant, which I was growing to use in pickles, was entirely and completely consumed by Monarch Butterfly Caterpillars. How on earth did they find my solitary, lonely little plant, in a spot where dill has not grown in many years if ever? It is a mystery, isn't it?

Given the trauma suffered by the dill, I was very worried when my newly-planted Passion Flower was discovered by Gulf Fritillary Butterfly Caterpillars. I took pictures this time, and said a little prayer for the Passion Flower Vine. I figured The Lord could smile on it while He was smiling on the wild grape vine He caused to grow on the other side of this new trellis. What a surprise that was, to find a wild grape coming up there - I thought it was a weed at first! Little blessings and gifts are everywhere we look.

At any rate, the Passion Flower survived and so did the Gulf Fritillaries. One returned for a "fly-by" visit briefly and I was able to get a distant picture of it.

At one point I had too many cantaloupes to bring in all at once, so I left some outside. Something, probably a racoon or possum, but maybe a deer, took a nibble on one - and by the time I saw it, the butterflies had come for miles! These ones are, I think, called "Hackberry Emperor" butterflies. They are very tame and they do love their melon rinds. I remember these butterflies from my childhood at Mama Myrt and Pawpaw's house. They had a burn barrel for their trash, and would throw the melon rinds down next to it to rot or be eaten by the critters. These butterflies would flock there.

A good place to learn more about butterflies, or identify those you see, is You can do a "Map Search" to get to your immediate area, then sort by "Phylogenetic Order" to get them separated enough to make sense of.

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