Butterflies in the Lupines
One thing that happened in the last few weeks is that the garden shifted from being fairly dull and lifeless to being full of all kinds of wonderful things. Well, caterpillars at any rate. It appears that there are some caterpillars enjoying the comfortable habitat of my California natives garden. A cursory web search says these are likely to be Gulf Frittilaries, but any correction on that score is welcome, as I know squat about caterpillars (Edit: or maybe they're Whatevers).
They totally love the Rodeo Red lupine, though. Good taste, those
Gulf Frittilaries Whatevers.
And another look at a different collection of them. There are a few groups like this all over the various lupines in the planting strip. They are specifically hanging out where the thistle arches over various lupines protectively.
And close in, so you can all tell me I'm right or wrong:
The thistle is going all seedy on me, and I've been letting it (note the bodacious powdery mildew on that rose there). I did prune some of the blooms off before they blew, but the seeds are valuable to birds and they add to the cover on the ground.
Also, the blowing seedheads are lovely.
My little planting strip has turned into quite the habitat. This was, of course, rather the point in planting it, but what with the babies all over the place, I feel less able to deal with the increasingly urgent Bermuda grass problem. So today I pulled a bunch of grass then balled it up and left it in place, should it be needed for cover. I do think it helps that I've been spraying the roses with a fungicide that does not have an insecticide.
Part of my suspicion about the identification of my caterpillars comes from the clouds of these Gulf Frittilaries (again: I think) Actually, these are Skippers hanging out two feet away in the lavender. They fly around with each other, then skip from flower to flower on the lavender.
Yellow-brown wings with black dots, charming smile, cute little antennae. Nice little butterfly, all things considered.
posted by ayse on 07/30/06